Queen Mick’s Farewell

Hello there!

Seeing as I will soon be passing my crown, I feel as though I should get one last blog post in.

This past year has been nothing short of a great adventure. As with all life’s adventures, there were some highs and some lows, unexpected turns and a few plateaus, but most of all there were many, many memories made with wonderful people.

As my reign draws to an end many people are asking if I am sad that it’s almost over. I have to admit that after the unforgettable 10 days of the Calgary Stampede, I lamented a bit knowing that I would never be able to relive those 10 days. However, I entered this year knowing that it would inevitably come to an end, so while I could be sad and drag my heels, I have chosen to embrace this season and be nothing short of excited; excited for the next three young ladies who will be crowned and excited about my next chapter of life.

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 Addressing the Grandstand during the Afternoon Rodeo.

This year’s competition brought out many extremely talented, smart, courageous, and beautiful ladies. I am sure glad I am not a judge; they have a very tough job to do! Whichever three ends up winning will certainly have earned the title. Continue reading

Queen Mick’s June Update

Hello again! Are you ready for the 2015 Calgary Stampede? The Princesses and I have been gearing up and anxiously counting down the days until July 3rd when the big Show is set to begin! Mind you, it feels like the days have been flying by, so the counting hasn’t been hard. I have noticed that the City of Calgary has started to buzz with Stampede Spirit, as all sorts of pancake breakfast have already taken place and many more are to come! You might also notice window murals painted in a decidedly western fashion on the store fronts of many businesses, as well as a few more folks in cowboy hats in and around town. This really is a great time of year in our city and I have heard more than one person mention that “Calgary feels more like a small town rather than a big city during Stampede”. If you’re not from Calgary, I really hope that you will come visit us during July and experience the Stampede Spirit for yourself! Just this past weekend we were invited out to the Village of Beiseker (which is approx 1 hour North East of Calgary) to participate in the 97th Beiseker Lions County Fair. We had a great time riding in the parade and awarding ribbons at the 4H sale. The townspeople were all so friendly, welcoming, and hospitable! All of us were so grateful to be treated so kindly, and it really was a privilege for us to share in the Village’s celebrations. 019

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At the Beiseker Parade.

We also had the opportunity to stop in at a Calgary Stampede Showrider’s practice and meet this year’s team. All the young ladies riding this year are very talented and enthusiastic. I have no doubt that they will do an outstanding job during Stampede, and I am looking forward to seeing them perform! The Princesses and I gave the team a brief presentation on the Calgary Stampede Royalty Program, as the applications for next year’s contest are already open! Our program truly is a fantastic opportunity for young women. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the opportunities this program offers are second to none. The amount of support and diverse training the Trio receives during their reign is a uniquely empowering experience that will serve as a solid foundation for achieving future goals. If you are (or know a young lady who might be) interested in entering the competition to be a member of the Royal Trio, I really encourage you to do so! It is an experience like no other!

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2016 Contest Poster.

With that, I will say so long for now! Hopefully I will see you at the 2015 Calgary Stampede! Love, Queen Mick

Stampede Queen and Princesses, true friends for life

Well hello!

It’s hard to believe that April is almost over and soon it will be May! The last month has been full of events and from our sneak preview of May’s schedule, we will only be getting busier from now until Stampede time! All I can say is that I’m so glad Princess Kimberly, Princess Haley and I get along so well because we sure do spend a lot of time together.

Just this past week we were interviewed by Branded Magazine, which is a local magazine geared toward the “young, bold, and thriving in YYC” (as their facebook page says). The interview was for the upcoming summer issue which will feature a few stories on the lesser known facts of the Calgary Stampede. It was a great opportunity for all three of us to sit down and share some of our experiences so far. One of the questions that came up during the interview was a common one; “how do all three of you get along?”

Well, we all looked at each other for a moment and then Princess Haley answered by saying;

“We all get along because we are just nice, easy going ladies.”

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It was during this moment that I thought back to the start of the competition and to how nervous I was to meet all the other ladies who were entering as well. I had never entered a competition like this one, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping to meet some nice girls and make a few new friends, but to be completely honest, I was afraid that I was going to be thrown into the mix with a few Miss Congeniality/Rodeo Girls and really wasn’t sure how I’d cope with that. Luckily for me, all of the ladies who competed were very nice and personable. Not only did I make some new friends, I also ended up being crowned alongside two of the smartest, most dynamic young women I have ever met.  Continue reading

Stampede Queen’s top three memories of 2015 so far

Well hello again! I hope the winter hasn’t been too rough on you and that you are looking forward to the spring and upcoming rodeo season as much as I am!

These past few months have been packed full of fun adventures and it is hard to believe that the Princesses and I are almost at the halfway point in our reign. There are already countless stories that I could tell you about what has happened, but I will narrow it down to the top three.

The first very memorable incident took place a few months ago while I was on a family trip in Mexico. We all went out for dinner one evening to a small restaurant that had a picturesque patio overlooking the beach. I am sure you can imagine my surprise when I noticed three Calgary Stampede posters hanging on the wall, so out of curiosity I had to ask the waiter (who was also the restaurant owner) if he was a fan of the Calgary Stampede. He replied that yes, he was a big fan and that one day he and his wife would love to make the trip to Calgary to go to the Stampede. Well, he was just as surprised to find out that I was the 2015 Stampede Queen as I was to see the CS posters hanging in his restaurant. So naturally, we needed to have our picture taken together. I think this moment stuck with me the most because I have always known of the international fame of the Calgary Stampede, but had never directly experienced it until one evening on a family trip.

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Mick Plemel with restaurant owner and waiter in Mexico

Continue reading

Stampede Queen finds holiday spirit at Grey Cup

Hello! I am writing this after a fabulous trip to Vancouver thanks to the Calgary Grey Cup Committee. I had never visited Vancouver or been to the Grey Cup festival before, so now I can cross both off of my bucket list.

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One of my favourite memories from Grey Cup was helping out at the pancake breakfasts and seeing just how many different people had gathered together to enjoy some Chuckwagon Flapjacks and sausages.

There were people there from all walks of life; men and women in business suits, avid football fans from all over the country, local Vancouverites just on their way to work or school, visitors from the different countries, people who were down on their luck and otherwise might not have eaten that day, volunteers from other festival stations, media personal, the list really could go on and on. I had the opportunity to talk with many of them and listen to their stories. While most of the people there were very different from one another it was an awesome experience to see everyone come together and enjoy a meal together.

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How great would it be if something like this could happen more often? If people would cast aside their differences for a few hours each day and just enjoy each other’s company? My bet is that a lot of problems would be solved and that the fights that lead to wars would never start.

With the holiday season already upon us, it seems like the perfect time of year to put aside our differences and get to know one another. Now, I’m not suggesting you invite the entire neighbourhood over for a holiday meal (but by all means, if you would like to, go for it!), but maybe start small. Smile at a stranger passing by, or when you’re waiting in line at a busy store start a conversation with the person next to you. If that seems too hard to do, maybe just be extra patient with the cashier or store clerk, understanding that they are incredibly busy this time of year.

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Whatever you do, keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be a special occasion like Grey Cup, the Holidays, or Stampede for people from all walks of life to come together and have a good time. We live in such an interconnected world that it could happen every day.

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In the words of the late Bil Keane, creator of the Family Circus comic;

“ Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”.

On that note, I’d like to wish you all a wonderful holiday season, however you choose to celebrate, and from the bottom of my heart I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Love,

Queen Mick

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2015 Stampede Queen Mick Plemel trades her hip waders for royal outfits

Hello there! My name is Mick Plemel and I was recently crowned as the 2015 Stampede Queen! I am very honoured to have the opportunity to represent the Calgary Stampede this year, but let me tell you, immediately after I was crowned, my life began to dramatically change.

You see, I have always been a very low maintenance, outdoorsy girl. Sure, I would get dressed up once in a while, but those times were somewhat few and far between. I went to Olds College and studied Land and Water Resource Management and after I graduated last spring I took a job as a “Field Technical” with the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Cows and Fish for short). I had a wonderful time spending all summer traveling the province doing health assessments on pasture land and grazing leases, but due to the nature of the job (always outside around water) I spent most of the summer in a ball cap and hip waders.

So as you can imagine, after I was crowned and the trio was outfitted by our wonderful sponsors with a new wardrobe, make up, and jewelry, it has been a challenge for me to get used to the new “look”.

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One thing that I have found out is that it doesn’t matter what clothes a person is wearing, or how they have their hair done, or whether or not there is a crown on their cowboy hat; what really matters is who they are on the “inside”. I am very happy to say that all the people I have met on this journey so far (the other Contestants, Trio members, Indian Princess, Royalty Advisors, Committee and Board members, Alumni, judges, fans, sponsors, volunteers and many more) have been kind and honest people, which makes them beautiful on the inside and out!

If you have ever felt like you were “not good enough” to pursue a dream I hope you’ll think back to my short story, and remember that if a hip wader and plaid clad girl can go from that to the Stampede Queen, surely you can make your dreams come true as well.

Enjoy the rest of your day and hopefully we will meet somewhere along the trail!

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