About melanie

My parents moved to Calgary when I was a baby and I am just one of the many locals who worked at the Stampede as a teenager! Now I'm a writer, editor AND the Stampede Blogger for 2009 hoping to get everyone excited about this year's event.

Bon Jovi to play at the 2010 Calgary Stampede!

The Calgary Stampede is thrilled, I repeat: THRILLED, to announce that Bon Jovi, one of the most prolific and exciting live rock bands in the world, is the first major act to be announced for next year’s Calgary Stampede, July 9-18, 2010.  The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth welcomes Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan and Tico Torres to the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday, July 14.

Bon Jovi’s visit to next year’s Stampede will be the only western Canadian arena show during the band’s The Circle World Tour.  The tour will see the band spend much of the next two years on the road, performing 135 shows in 30 countries.

“Obviously, we’re overjoyed to welcome Bon Jovi, one of the hardest working rock bands in the world to next year’s Stampede,” say Jim Laurendeau, senior manager, Stampede Programming. “We know that this is just the first of many major announcements about the talented lineup we’re bringing to next year’s show. Stay tuned.”

Over the past two decades, Bon Jovi has sold more than 120 million albums, and performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans.

Tickets for Bon Jovi go on sale on Monday, November 16 at 10 a.m. and range from $49.50 to $169.50 (plus applicable ticket fees). Tickets would make a terrific Christmas gift and are available online at www.ticketmaster.ca or by calling Ticketmaster at 403-777-0000.

Everyone singalong now because you know you want to:

When I walk these streets
A loaded six string on my back
I play for keeps
‘Cause I might not make it back

I’ve been everywhere
(Ohh, yea)
Still I’m standin’ tall
I’ve seen a million faces
And I’ve rocked them all

‘Cause I’m a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I’m wanted
Dead or alive

We can’t wait to be rocked Bon Jovi!

Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship – Day 1

A good time was had by all last night for opener of this year’s Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presented by Wrangler.

The results:

Saddle Bronc: (SB) Sam Kelts – 83.5
Bareback Riding: (BR) Kevin Taylor – 83.5
Tie Down Roping: (TDR) Al Bouchard – 7.5
Team Roping: (TR) Levi Simpson/Matt Fawcett – 5.5
Steer Wrestling: (SW) Todd Woodward – 4.0
Ladies Barrel Racing: (LBR) Brittany Pozzi – 13.63
Bull Riding: (BR) Ty Elliott – 86.5

For those who couldn’t make it – here are some of the highlights from yesterday:

For up-to-date information follow along with us on Twitter and Facebook and check out the photo gallery on our Flickr page.

Canadian and World Champions set to thrill and spill this weekend

Both four-legged and two-legged rodeo stars are set to thrill at the finale of the Canadian rodeo tour this weekend in the Stampede Corral. Five-time world and Canadian bareback champ Grated Coconut and Speed Dial, Stampede’s rock star bull, will challenge contestants to hang on for their piece of the $218,500 purse.

Two-legged stars vying for prize money and a spot in the 2010 Stampede include World Champion Barrel Racer Lindsay Sears and eight-time Saddle Bronc Canadian Champion Rod Hay.

And that’s not all; the Blackstar Saloon is back with live entertainment starting on Friday afternoon at 4:30 and headlined by Lonestar at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Prices start at $19.86*. To buy tickets click here or call 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.

Tickets office hours this week:

Monday to Friday: Grandstand Ticket Office – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: Corral Ticket Office – 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Sunday: Corral Ticket Office – 11:00 a.m. to the end of the rodeo

*plus applicable fees and taxes

Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presents Doc Walker!

The Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship is presenting the Doc Walker CD release party on September 25th at Flames Central. It’s the release of their highly anticipated CD “Go”.
This is an exclusive event and there are only 80 tickets left! If you are a Stampede Insider then hopefully you have your tickets already. For those of you who haven’t signed up yet (first of all: why not? Look at all the great opportunities you are missing out on!) you can reserve your four FREE tickets by calling 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.

That’s right – FREE!

When you pick up your tickets you will be automatically entered to win a “GO PASS” that includes: a meet and greet with Doc Walker, an autographed “Go” CD and prime seats to the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship on Sunday, October 4.

For full contest rules, click here or call the Stampede Ticket Office at 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.

And really, sign up for the Stampede Insider’s List – you are crazy not to.

Are you ready to put your boots back on?

For those of you who hate getting your boots dusty waiting for the next Stampede – and really, isn’t that all of us? – you are in luck! October 2-4th we give you the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presented by Wrangler.

Photo from the Calgary Stampede on Flickr

The Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship is the culmination of the Canadian Rodeo Tour. Mark your calendar for October 2-4, 2009 and come down to the Corral at Stampede Park to see all the action. This event will give fans new and old the chance to see the best cowboys and cowgirls in Canada of the 2009 rodeo season go up against the toughest animals in the world.

With a $218,500 purse up for grabs, including the final Sunday Showdown the competition will be fierce. And through grit, strength, and sheer force of will, the top two cowboys in their events during the Tour Championship will earn spots in the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) held in Edmonton November 11-15, 2009. Additionally, the top two contestants in Saddle Bronc, Bareback, Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing will qualify for the world famous Calgary Stampede in 2010.

There is also a phenomenal music event tied in with the rodeo – so great in fact it deserves it’s own post so stay tuned and dust off those boots!

Western Legacy Awards

Calgary is a great place to live, and chances are if you live here you know a few folk who work hard to keep it that way. These generous individuals exemplify the Western Values that are part of the soul of the Calgary Stampede. All of these individuals deserve our respect and appreciation.

Established in 2005 as a provincial centennial project, the Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards are entering their fifth year of honouring community members who exemplify western heritage and values. From now until August 21st, please nominate your community hero. The chosen recipients will be recognized at a Gala Luncheon this fall.

Nominees will have demonstrated significant achievement in promoting or exemplifying western values defined as hospitality, commitment to community, pride of place and integrity. In general, these people will have acted on their visions to create a better community for all, will have helped their neighbours whether near or far, and will have acted honestly and ethically in all their activities. Nominees will live in Calgary and the surrounding area generally bordered by Olds, Strathmore, High River and Cochrane.

The Western Legacy Awards are assessed in three categories:

The Western Legacy Award for Sustained Contribution: the winner will have exhibited extraordinary community support over time.

The Western Legacy Award for Innovation: the winner will have created a single visionary project that speaks to our western values.

The Western Legacy Award for Youth: the winner will be a youth (up to 25 years of age) who has demonstrated his or her commitment to making a difference.

Questions may be directed to Steve Major at 403-298-3643.

Click here for more information on the Western Legacy Awards

Highlights for the final day of the Calgary Stampede – Sunday, July 12, 2009

It might be the final day of the Calgary Stampede, but things aren’t slowing down one bit. We’ve got a full slate of activities, events and entertainment sure to make you eager for the next Stampede.

Showdown Sunday: Rodeo’s Richest Afternoon

Showdown Sunday has arrived and the top competitors are all hoping for a big payday. This year’s total payout is more than $2 million, making the Calgary Stampede the richest outdoor rodeo on the planet. Sunday’s rodeo will determine the winners for each of the six major rodeo events – saddle bronc, bareback, ladies barrel racing, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and bull riding. For a complete listing of Showdown Sunday finalists, please visit: http://cs.calgarystampede.com/events/rodeo/results/.

Rangeland Derby

It’s been 10 days of thundering speed and excitement in all weather and track conditions. With this year’s new format, and in increase in prize value, it all comes down to Sunday’s final heats. To see who leads in the aggregate standings, visit http://cs.calgarystampede.com/events/chuckwagon-races/results.html.

Calgary Stampede Lotteries

Winning draws for the Calgary Stampede Lotteries take place Sunday at midnight. There’s still time to get your tickets for the Rotary Dream Home, the Lions Groceries for Life and Lucky Loot, and the Kinsmen Wheels packages. Money raised from the lotteries helps local service clubs in their efforts to support local community projects.


Only one more day to sink your teeth into a giant barbecue burger from the Bull’s-Eye Cookshack across from Nashville North.

New “Must-Sees”

There are so many new things this year, so here’s a quick re-cap of some of the favourites you can still catch: The Rocktagon digital playground at The Bell Getaway in the Big Four Building, the Director’s Cut free 8×10 comic photo starring you in the BMO Kids’ Zone, or the increasingly popular Western Oasis and Wine Garden in the BMO Centre.

On Stage for Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nashville North: Emerson Drive 9 p.m., Hey Romeo 11 p.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Coca-Cola Stage: Johnny Reid 9 p.m.

Saddledome Plaza Stage: Recycled Percussion, The USA Break Dancers, The Treaty 7 Native Dancers and The Calgary Stampede Showband (various times throughout the day)

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wild Card Saturday at the Rodeo

The top six competitors in pools A and B will compete on Wild Card Saturday in a one-shot, go-for-broke performance. The top two in each Saturday event will advance to Showdown Sunday. All six major rodeo events are included – saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and ladies barrel racing. Tonight’s the last shot for the teams competing in the chuckwagons to get into tomorrow’s finals, where $150,000 will be up for grabs.

The Big Show

After the Chuckwagons tonight, The Big Show hits the Grandstand with its unique brand of western magic, including Suzie McNeil, The Wheel of Death and acrobatic feats on the Dream Flight Cable System. TransAlta Lights Up the Night tops off the Show with a spectacular fireworks display that salutes Canada high into the night sky.

International Livestock Auctioneer Championship

Going once, going twice… Sold! The fastest mouths in the west will be at it again this year during the 21st annual International Livestock Auctioneer Competition under the Calgary Stampede’s Big Top. Competitors will be judged on rhythm, clarity, voice control, livestock knowledge, as well as their ability to spot bids and conduct a sale. The final round is in The Big Top at 11 a.m.

Stampede Talent Search Finals

It’s been a long road to make it to the finals of the Stampede Talent Search. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in The Boyce Theatre, 14 performers will compete to join the ranks of previous winners like Paul Brandt, The EarthTones and more.

Duelling Chefs Final

Four of Calgary’s premier chefs have competed this week. The two finalists will cook-off tonight at 7 p.m. at the Atco Kitchen Theatre in Western Oasis, BMO Centre.

Fun for Everyone

Get hypnotized by Terry Stokes or at least have some good laughs watching it happen at the Coca-Cola Stage at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Also on the Coca-Cola Stage, The Lost Fingers are playing at noon and 3:30 p.m.


Looking for an alternative to deep fried? Come have a shot of wheat grass on the Stampede Midway.

New “Must-Sees”

Agrium Ag-tivity in the City is featuring a Croplife Canada presentation. Learn about the benefits, value and safety of plant science technologies. Listen to bugs chewing on plants, participate in the Farming Frank Challenge by managing a farm, and learn about the evolution of food over the past 100 years.

On Stage for Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nashville North: Gord Bamford 9 p.m.

Coca-Cola Stage: Daniel Wesley 8 p.m., Bif Naked 9 p.m.

Saddledome Plaza Stage: Visiting Marching Bands 3 p.m.

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Friday, July 10, 2009

Chuckwagon drivers sign autographs

Stop by the GMC Tent located near Agrium Ag-tivity for chuckwagon driver autographs. Signings are daily from noon to 1 p.m.

Big names on stage

Kenny Chesney performs tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Joe Diffie hits the Nashville North stage at 9 p.m. The Coca-Cola Stage has big acts tonight with Karl Wolf, Elise Estrada and Kreesha Turner all taking the stage with the first show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Heavy Horse Pull Competition

The Heavy Horse Pull Competition is an exciting event featuring true working horses pulling up to five times their bodyweight. This action-packed event demonstrates the power and skill of these magnificent horses.


Try one of the Stampede’s 2,000,000 mini-donuts sold on Park each year.

New “Must Sees”

This year’s new Lions Groceries for Life lottery gives the winner $700 a month for 20 years. Also don’t miss Les Vitamines. This utterly hilarious pair of juggling acrobats has made it their mission to dazzle audiences of all ages with their extraordinary technical abilities and burlesque-style staging.

On Stage for Friday, July 10, 2009

Nashville North: Joe Diffie 9 p.m.

Coca-Cola Stage: Karl Wolf 7 p.m., Elise Estrada 8:30 p.m., Kreesha Turner 9:30 p.m.

Saddledome Plaza Stage: Treaty 7 Native Dancers and Les Vitamines (show times throughout the day)

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Thursday, July 9, 2009


Reba performs at the Pengrowth Saddledome tonight and Terri Clark is putting on a show free with admission on the Coca-Cola stage at 9 p.m. Also on the Coca-Cola Stage are some favourite children’s characters including a Playdate with Max & Ruby, Miss Spider and Bananas in Pyjamas hosted by the Fairly OddParents at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Hide your Deep-Fried Oreos, the Cookie Monster will be at Jaycee Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.


Rodeo continues today at 1:30 p.m. with all six major rodeo events including Wild Pony Racing. In Wild Pony Racing, teams of three youngsters have a blast as they take to the arena in a timed version of the Stampede Horse Race.

Western Art Auction

The Western Art Auction features 85 pieces of original art by Canadian and American artists including the magnificent newly-unveiled piece by Don Oelze that inspired the 2010 Calgary Stampede poster. The auction begins with a light buffet dinner at 5 p.m. in the Palomino Room in BMO Centre. The bidding begins at 6:30 p.m.

Heavy Horse Pull Team Auction

Today at 7 p.m. in the Victoria Pavilion of the Agriculture Building, bidders have a chance to become a Stampede event supporter. Winners of the auction will have their name displayed on the chosen team as they compete for the title of Grand Champion in The Big Top.

All Canada Sheep Classic

Three hundred head of sheep from across Canada will begin competing for top honours in their breed and for supreme titles. The Market Lamb classes are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Victoria Pavilion of the Agriculture Building.


Friends, family and music-lovers will come out and cheer on Calgary’s newest up-and-coming country talent as they compete for the title of the Calgary Stampede’s first “Nashville North Star”. Performances start at 6:30 p.m.


Try the Calgary Stampede’s new cricket or alligator pizza, located in the “pizza on a stick” booth on the Midway. Served daily at 7 p.m.

New “Must-Sees”

The Winners of NBC’s Superstars of Dance Competition, “The Groovaloos”, are performing daily at 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. in the Bell Getaway.

New for 2009 is the Freestyle Extreme Motocross show that performs daily in the Midway Circus (located east of the Big Four Building). Crazy jumps and stunts have been thrilling packed audiences. Showtimes today are 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. An additional show at 10:30 p.m. has been added for Friday and Saturday night only.

On Stage for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nashville North: Jason Blaine 9 p.m.

Coca-Cola Stage: Terri Clark 9 p.m.

Saddledome Plaza Stage: The USA Break Dancers 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Wednesday July 8, 2009

BMO Kids’ Day

It’s a grand day for the kids today. Children under the age of 12 and accompanying adults get free admission from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. They’ll enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Grandstand Courtyard from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Buckaroos Stage

There’s entertainment all day long in the lower level of the Big Four Building. New for 2009 is the Loose Moose Theatre for kids where traditional tales get a cowboy twist. Showtimes are throughout the day.

BMO Kids’ Zone

Little cowpokes can get involved in some Stampede-style competition with the Kids’ Tractor Pull and Kids’ Team Penning at Saddledome Lane in the BMO Kids’ Zone.

2010 Poster Unveiling

Be on hand for the 2010 Calgary Stampede poster unveiling at the Window on the West Stage in Hall D of BMO Centre at 10 a.m. The poster original artwork will be auctioned off along with 85 works contributed by Canadian and American artists at the 2009 Western Art Auction, July 9.


Try Stampede’s Deep-Fried Jelly Beans on the Midway.

New “Must-Sees”

Disney’s High School Musical: Summer Celebration! A full cast of singers and dancers perform the favourite songs from all three hit High School Musical movies on the Coca-Cola Stage. Showtimes are at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Bobs & Lolo engage kids with dancing, singing and playing along in an exciting world filled with bikes, gardens, rocket ships and more! Daily 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. Additional shows July 8, 11 and 12 at 11 a.m.

On Stage for Wednesday July 8, 2009

Nashville North: Crystal Shawanda 9 p.m..
Coca-Cola Stage: The Ending 8 p.m., Thornley 9 p.m.
Saddledome Plaza Stage: The USA Break Dancers 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Pengrowth Saddledome: Taylor Swift 8 p.m. (sold out)

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Tuesday July 7, 2009

Western Heritage Day

Seniors are invited to come down and enjoy the Calgary Stampede with free admission all day plus free refreshments and entertainment in the Stampede Corral. Seniors also receive free WestJet Skyrides all day and a free bingo play at the top of each hour.

Showbands Live!

Don’t miss Showbands Live! Where nearly 1,000 competitors from as far away as Australia and Taiwan compete for top honours and prize money. Competition starts at 1 p.m. The Showcase Performance is at 6 p.m. and the awards ceremony is held at 8 p.m. in the Pengrowth Saddledome.


Rodeo action continues at 1:30 p.m. today. New for 2009 Western Heritage Day, seniors can get Free Copper Section Rodeo and Evening Show tickets (limited seating). Tickets are available at the Grandstand Ticket Office starting at 10 a.m.


The Canadian National Miniature Horse show wraps up today with shows from 8 a.m. to noon at The Big Top and from 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at Northern Lights. The Canadian Supreme Halter Champion will be awarded at the end of the show.

New “Must-Sees”

The Heebee-jeebees are new on the Coca-Cola Stage for 2009. Showtimes today at 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Indian Village

The Indian Village has been part of the Calgary Stampede since 1912. Watch traditional handgames, cheer at a tipi raising contest, admire native handicrafts or learn about traditional meat cutting skills. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.


New at the Harvest Room Café located in the Plus 15 level, BMO Centre try the Wonton King’s signature Wonton Soup.

On Stage for Tuesday July 7, 2009
Nashville North: George Fox, 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Kentucky Headhunters 9 p.m.
Coca-Cola Stage
: Inward Eye 8 p.m. The Trews 9 p.m.
Saddledome Plaza Stage: Treaty 7 Native Dancers 2:30 p.m.  A Band of Outriders 7 p.m.

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)


Highlights for Monday, July 6, 2009

World Stock Dog Championship Finals

Watch these highly skilled dogs herd sheep through a course and into a pen as their handlers guide them with a whistle or voice commands. Some handlers even direct their dogs with only the slightest hand gestures. It’s fascinating to watch and finals begin tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Pengrowth Saddledome with the winner taking home $10,000.

Team Penning Championship Finals

Watch a race against the clock as the skills of horse and rider square off against the herd instincts of cattle. The winners of today’s finals will get their share of over $200,000 in prize money. This event is located in the Pengrowth Saddledome at 5 p.m.


It’s the last day for Pool A to compete in the six major rodeo events – saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and ladies barrel racing. Each event has $17,500 up for prize money daily. They are vying for a spot in Final Sunday for the richest ride in rodeo with total prize money topping $2 million.

Farm Families Recognized

BMO and the Calgary Stampede honour 19 outstanding Alberta farm families with the BMO Farm Family Awards in the Palomino Room from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meet Dora The Explorer

Come on, vamanos! Dora is visiting Jaycee Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 6 and July 7. This is a special chance to get a hug and a photo from this popular children’s character.

New “Must-Sees”

Visit Western Oasis, new for 2009 and located in the newly expanded BMO Centre Halls D and E. Enjoy western art and lifestyle displays while taking a break in the relaxing oasis areas, complete with natural outdoor elements such as stone, greenery and water features. While there, don’t miss the Western Oasis wine garden where guests can enjoy wine samples and learn more about wines from our Stampede hosts.

Check out Les Vitamines on the Saddledome Plaza Stage. New for 2009, this hilarious pair of juggling acrobats has wowed audiences across North America. Showtimes throughout the day.


Today’s Best Music Monday presented by Energy 101.5 features a great line-up: Carly Rae Jepsen, Serena Ryder, the New Cities and Simple Plan on the Coca-Cola Stage. The afternoon performance with JUNO award-winning Serena Ryder is the first time the Stampede presents a highlight act on the Coca-Cola Stage during the day. The show begins at 3 p.m.

On Stage for Monday, July 6, 2009

Nashville North: Aaron Pritchett 9 p.m.
Coca-Cola Stage: Serena Ryder 3 p.m. Simple Plan 9 p.m.
Saddledome Plaza Stage:The Calgary Stampede Showband, the USA Break Dancers, Treaty 7 Native Dancers (times throughout the day)

Today’s Rodeo Results


Tonight’s GMC Rangeland Derby Race Results (available after midnight)