Introducing Calgary Stampede’s newest board members

On March 21, 2017, the Calgary Stampede’s shareholders elected three new directors to the Stampede board: Elizabeth Burke-Gaffney, Dave Lantz and Stuart O’Connor. The board further approved the appointments of three additional directors: Lesley Conway, Greg Kwong and Cindy Provost. The biographies for all of these new directors can be found below.

The Stampede’s board is currently comprised of 20 shareholder-elected directors, four government-appointed directors and five board-approved externally-appointed directors. The externally-appointed directors from the larger Calgary community provide the board with supplementary expertise from specific business sectors that are key to supporting the strength of the Stampede’s leadership in light of the organization’s Master Plan and Strategic Plan initiatives and developments.

David Sibbald, president & chairman of the board, commented on the newly appointed board members, saying ”Lesley, Greg and Cindy will bring tremendous expertise to the board as we move forward with plans to expand the BMO Convention Centre and our youth education platform. They are leaders in Calgary and lend to the Stampede a broader perspective and representation from our community.”

Warren Connell, chief executive officer, added “These individuals understand where the Stampede is going and are passionate about helping us get there.”

The Stampede congratulates the six new directors on their elections and appointments and looks forward to the support of their leadership as the organization drives toward furthering its vision to create a world-class year-round gathering place for the community.

2017 BOD Group Shot

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Bell Let’s Talk – Calgary Stampede employees join the effort to end the stigma around mental illness

It’s first thing in the morning, January 27. Before settling into their desks and getting down to work for the day, a handful of Calgary Stampede employees gather for a conversation and a quick photo in support of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.

Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.

At the same time, around Stampede Park, across Calgary and throughout Canada, similar conversations are being started through the photos and messages of support posted to social media with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day engages Canadians in a cross-country conversation in an effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. For every social media mention, as well as every text or call on the Bell network on January 27, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs.


This year’s campaign achieved record-breaking participation and Bell has announced it will be donating nearly $6.3 million.


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George Lane’s legacy continues to grow

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 –  September 24, 1925)

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 – September 24, 1925)

George Lane was a successful rancher in southern Alberta around the turn of the 20th century. He was also one of the “Big Four” ranchers who bankrolled Guy Weadick in 1912 to create the first Stampede, The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! For all of his successes, he will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City at a ceremony held April 15 – 16, 2016.

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Look great, feel great and be great in Paige Callaway’s new Stampede inspired line

Calgary-raised cowgirl and fashion designer, Paige Callaway, just launched an exclusive clothing collection at London Drugs, with a few designs featuring some of the earliest photos of the Calgary Stampede!


Callaway, a World Champion Trick Rider and former performer at the Stampede, has a long history in rodeo. In fact, being part of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth runs in the family!

Callaway’s unique collection is available in London Drugs stores in Calgary and Airdrie during the Stampede time (Friday, July 3 to Sunday, July 12, 2015). $5.00 of each Wild Rose or Pursue Victory clothing proceed will go to the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

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It’s Earth Day!

The Calgary Stampede is extremely proud of it’s role as a steward of our Park. This incredible space, nestled by the Elbow River, has been our home for more than 100 years! In order to take care of our Park for 100 more years, the Stampede’s focus is to reduce the Park’s carbon footprint, year-round and during Stampede time, through technology and the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.


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The Calgary Stampede and Calgary Flames heat up Western night at the Dome

The Calgary Flames and the Calgary Stampede teamed up once again for the annual Western Night at Friday night’s game between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks.

Flames Western Night

To kick off the night, the Calgary Stampede Showband Band of Outriders and Stampede entertainment got game goers into the western spirit as they arrived on Friday night. Thanks to help from the promotion committee, the first 10,000 fans received red Calgary Stampede foam fingers.

During the game, the crowd, donned in western wear, was fully ignited, cheering on the Flames with the coveted foam fingers. One hundred fifty lucky guests won an iconic white hat, while others received 2015 Calgary Stampede belt buckles, t-shirts and tickets.

The night wouldn’t be complete without some great entertainment between periods. During the first intermission, the official voice of the Stampede chuckwagon races, Les McIntyre commentated a mini version of the Stampede’s iconic chuckwagon races on the ice. Reigning Calgary Stampede champion Kurt Bensmiller and driver Jordie Fike drove the mini wagons fueled by players from the Bow Valley minor hockey club. Bensmiller took the title with Fike only seconds behind.

During the second intermission, the Calgary Flames surprised our very own Harry the Horse with a special 30th birthday Zamboni ride!

Throughout the night fans had the opportunity to meet the Calgary Stampede royal trio as well as the 2015 Indian Princess, try their skills at Yahoo IQ and hang with Harry the Horse and Harvey the Hound.

The evening kindled some western and Stampede spirit for the upcoming Calgary Stampede, July 2 – 13, 2015.

Stampede renews Purpose and Vision

Earlier this month, the Calgary Stampede took a pen (red of course!) to our purpose and vision statements.

The changes were made after close evaluation with internal stakeholders and members of our highly-valued external audience.

We wanted to know: What does the Stampede mean to people? Do our most important words align with what we actually do and where we are headed?

Across all audiences, it was agreed the Calgary Stampede generates a powerful emotional connection with all audiences, rooted largely in the exceptional experiences we deliver. But some updates were required to align our purpose with these benefits and connections.

Our former purpose statement, “to preserve and promote western heritage and values,” now reads “to preserve and celebrate our western heritage, cultures and community spirit.”


The purpose statement aligns with the experiences stakeholders have interacting with the brand year round and incorporates the spirit of the world-renowned, community-focused event that has captivated Calgarians for more than a century. It incorporates the sense of celebration, fun and community spirit that makes the Stampede so unique.

The new vision statement also incorporates the Stampede’s important connections to the community.

The statement, formerly “to create a world-class year-round gathering place”, now reads “to create a world-class year-round gathering place for the community.”


Our research confirmed that the term “world-class” is important to internal and external stakeholders. It sets high expectations for the Stampede organization to continually raise the bar, deliver exceptional experiences and attract global audiences.

With the purpose and vision statement clarified, we took a closer look at the Stampede’s core values.

  • Western hospitality is personified by the Stampede family going the extra step to show spirit and warmth to all of our guests.
  • Stampede Park is a special place and development plans show our pride of place is alive and well for the next 100 years.
  • Commitment to community drives Stampede’s reinvestment of all profits into youth programs, education, culture, facilities and programming.
  • And, finally, here at the Stampede we strive to do the right thing and build trusted relationship where ‘our word is our bond’ – that is what we mean when we talk about integrity.

Our focus groups felt these statements accurately reflect what the Calgary Stampede values and recommended that we add more context to demonstrate how the organization embodies them.

We will continue to build our relationship with the community and to create space for education, western events, community and world-class entertainment and experiences. We are proud of the Stampede legacy and excited for what the future holds.

Please watch Saddlebag for more examples of our purpose, vision and values in action.

Donations become a lasting legacy

It all started with a vision and the bricks and mortar. Now, eager participants are bringing it all to life.

Thanks to the generous donations from hundreds of Albertans, the vision of Stampede Park as a year-round gathering place is becoming a reality. A number of these contributions have been made by Calgary Stampede volunteers. Nicole Henson, a proud seven-year Stampede volunteer and chair of the Agriculture Media committee, is passionate about agriculture and youth education. When Henson donated to the capital campaign, she chose to give to the Agriculture Discovery Zone.


Nicole Henson

The Agrium Western Event Centre – part of the Agriculture Discovery Zone – plays host to an innovative, inquiry-based learning program and a variety of regional, national and international equine championship events. One of the first lucky riders in the new Agrium Centre was Faith Stewart, a 16-year-old member of the Big Hill West Light Horse 4-H Club in Cochrane.

Stewart felt privileged to ride in this new cutting-edge facility. She described the building as “wonderful, so clean and bright” adding, “the larger arena gives the horse and rider the freedom to run full, big patterns.” In fact, this 125×250 ft. arena is referred to by competitors as one of the top 10 facilities of its kind in North America.


Faith Stewart and her sisters

Besides hosting youth agriculture programs, the Agrium Centre is providing a home to events typically not seen at Stampede Park. Some of these events include the Arabian Horse Association Region 17 Championships and the Royal West Show Jumping Tournament.

Henson is thrilled to see these events and youth programs at the Agrium Centre. She grew up on a family farm and “wants to help keep agriculture alive” for future generations. Henson’s generosity helped contribute to a place where youth like Stewart can showcase and celebrate their western heritage.

If you make a donation to the “We’re Greatest Together” capital campaign you can choose where your money goes. Your donation can be applied to the general capital campaign, or to one of three designated areas – Agriculture Discovery Zone, ENMAX Park and Youth Campus.