On Saturday, February 4, the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership (CLIP), in partnership with the Calgary Stampede, the Government of Canada, The City of Calgary, ENMAX and ATB hosted Building a Life in Calgary: A Community Cultural Exchange. CLIP organized the event for newcomers and refugees who have settled in Calgary in the last year. Hundreds of people gathered at BMO Centre for learning workshops, a resource fair and a cultural exchange, where newcomers had the chance to speak with immigrants from Vietnam, South Sudan and Colombia about their experiences settling in Calgary.
Calgary Stampede volunteers brought their A-game with authentic western experiences including the Incredi-Pull, Bluebell the milking cow, crafts and even horse-drawn wagon rides.
Kids and adults alike enthusiastically gave the Incredi-Pull their all and found out how many pounds they could pull, hooked up to a harness.
Many of the newcomers come from agricultural backgrounds and were delighted to see their kids interact with Bluebell.
The beautiful black Percherons pulling wagons were quite a sight. Bundled under blankets, riders got to enjoy a little tour of Stampede Park and get a true one-of-a-kind Stampede experience.
Stampede Royalty dropped by to meet newcomers and help enthusiastic young artists at the craft table.
A cultural performance stage featured performances by the Calgary Multicultural Orchestra, First Nations dancers and others. All told, it was a wonderful way for Calgarians–new and old–to gather and share.