Watch for the Next Generation Committee at the Lilac Festival

This Sunday Mission district will come to life for the 22nd annual Lilac Festival, filling 4th street with vibrant entertainers and a variety of tantalizing and talented food and craft vendors.

The Calgary Stampede’s Next Generation Committee is thrilled to be throwing on our boots and hats a little early this summer to participate in this year’s festival. We’ll be on hand to answer questions, as well as to show you how our online tools can keep you in the loop and help you plan your trip to the grounds to get the most out of Stampede 2011.

We’re also excited to be giving away tickets for some of this year’s biggest and best Calgary Stampede events! Stop by our booth to tell us about your favorite Stampede memory. Or, let us take your picture for the Calgary Stampede Fan Wall of Fame on Facebook. Either way, we’ll enter you into a draw for two tickets to the rodeo, event show or evening show. The tickets include gate entry for the day and come with a food voucher. They are good for any day of the ten day Calgary Stampede except July 17th.
Hope to see you at the festival!

Calgary Stampede Public Art Program is no bull

Ever wonder why a bronze statue of a bull faces Calgary’s downtown Stock Exchange Tower? Well it’s not just any bull. It’s Outlaw, one of the most famous animals to ever perform at the Calgary Stampede, and it’s there as part of one of the Stampede’s community outreach activities: the Public Art program. The program was launched in 2008 to facilitate the creation of 10 heroic-sized bronze sculptures for downtown Calgary and Stampede Park. The original pieces of art will recognize and honor our western heritage, allowing us to share these values with city visitors year-round.

Outlaw was unveiled in May 2010 and is the first of the 10 life-sized pieces of art to appear in Calgary’s streets. The statue of the red and white speckled bull reflects western spirit, entrepreneurship and determination – a good fit for a city that is rapidly becoming the financial centre of western Canada.

Outlaw isn’t the only western animal keeping an eye on our city these days. The program’s second statue, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, was unveiled in October 2010 and sits in front of the new Calgary Court Centre. This piece, which shows eight horses in different poses, is one of two identical statues created to commemorate Quebec City’s 400th anniversary and celebrate the sister-city bond between Quebec City and Calgary. The steel plate horses are in different poses to represent the movement of past, present and future. Together, they celebrate the horse’s role in tying Canada together throughout history.

The next statue in the program, By the Banks of the Bow, will be one of the largest sculptures in North America.This bronze will depict two cowboys herding 15 horses across the Bow River. The statue, which will be located south of the Corral on Stampede Park, will reflect the values of hard work and people helping one another that are at the core of western living.

Outlaw, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, and By the Banks of the Bow, along with the remaining seven statues, will help ensure that the western spirit remains here, in Calgary, all year.

Brad Paisley @ the Dome

Brad Paisley will bring a little country spirit to the Calgary Saddledome tonight. His concert, part of the H2O World Tour, starts at 7:30 pm with opening acts by Darius Rucker and Justin Moore.

Brad is one of my favorite country singers.. His songs are light, funny, and down to earth. Time and time again, listening to his songs reminds me to find joy in the simple things in life. My all time favorite song is “Mud on the Tires”, but I’m also a fan of some of his more humorous songs, like “Ticks” and “I’m Still A Guy”.

There’s no doubt that tonight’s performance will include songs from Brad’s latest album, American Saturday Night. Here are some fun facts about the album.

American Saturday Night is Brad’s eighth album.

The album’s title is Brad’s nod to Saturday night – a night when people can let loose and forget about the rest of the week.

Brad co-wrote every song on the album.

“Anything like me”, a light and amusing song about fatherhood, features a vocal cameo from Brad’s two-year old son, William Huckleberry Paisley.

“Then”, was Brad’s fastest rising single and marked his 10th consecutive non-seasonal chart topper, ranking him up amongst chart legend’s like Alabama and George Strait.

Brad is most proud of the album’s “Welcome to the Future” because it talks about how a world of change and fear can lead to progress.

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

Relax in the Western Oasis

Had enough rides, drinks and mini-donuts? Check out the Western Oasis, located in Halls D & E of
the BMO Centre. The Western Oasis features the western art and lifestyle elements of the Calgary
Stampede we know and love in an oasis-style atmosphere where you can unwind and relax. While
you’re inside check out phenomenal western photographs, bronzes, paintings, cooking
demonstrations, arts & crafts and western entertainment. Or, put your feet up and relax in one of
the natural oasis environments.

10 Questions with a Superdog

I caught up with Monster, one of the featured Superdogs, the other day. Here’s what he had to say.

1. What breed of dog are you?
I am a papillon, which is one of the oldest breeds of toy spaniels.

2. Who is your trainer?
My mum and trainer is Shannen Jorgensen.

3. How long have you been a super dog?
I have been a Superdog for 3 years now.

4. What is your favorite part of the show?
Hearing people cheer for me and the rest of the dogs. It is very encouraging; I love to run and jump.

5. How do you prepare for a show?
My mum keeps me in top shape all the time so I am always ready when it is show time!

6. Which of the other Superdogs is your greatest competition?
Earmuffs. He tries to get mum’s attention too. When one of us gets to come out and run, I don’t like it when mum picks Earmuffs instead of me for an event. Mum likes us to take turns so we don’t get too tired out.

7. What do you like most about coming to the Calgary Stampede?
It is a wonderful environment full of excitement and fun. The audience appreciation and enthusiasm makes for a great Stampede. Calgary is my home, so I love being able to show off on my home turf.

8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I compete in agility trials now and I am training to hopefully compete at my first agility national championships later this year.

9. What is your favourite treat?
A ball or a frisbee. Playing both with mum means I get a big treat reward.

10. Who is your best friend?
My mum. I live with other papillons and they are good friends too.
Be sure to check out Monster and the other super dogs as they present Holly-woof High! at the Calgary Stampede. The show runs daily in the Big Four Building and admission is free, though do come early to get your free ticket!

A Whole Lot of Winnings

Have you bought your tickets for the Calgary Stampede Lotteries yet? This year there are over $1.4 million in prizes up for grabs, including the Rotary Dream Home, $300,000 in the Lions Lucky Loot plus a $15,000 custom diamond bracelet. There are also six different vehicle packages in the Kinsmen Wheels including the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and the popular Groceries for Life lottery, with the winner taking home $700 a month for 20 years.

Winnings aside, the money raised from the lotteries is directly re-invested into the community towards many different good causes. Tickets for each of the Stampede Lotteries are sold at Stampede Park every day of Stampede. Lottery prize winners are drawn at midnight on Sunday, July 18, 2010, live on Global TV.

Animal Safety at the Calgary Stampede

Animal safety is a big deal to a lot of people but it definitely gets more attention during Stampede time as animals are often center stage in many of the exhibits and events. I wanted to understand how the Stampede ensures the safety of the animals so I did a little investigating. Turns out there’s a lot to learn!

A new rule, effective this year, in the steer wrestling competition is: if a steer falls with his legs under him or lands on the opposite side of the cowboy, known as a “dog fall,” a judge will automatically end the run and the cowboy will be given a “no time.” To receive a time the cowboy must throw the steer so the feet and head are facing the same direction. The Calgary Stampede Rodeo is the first rodeo in North America to implement this “no time” rule. This rule is being imposed to ensure animal safety during the event. It is just one of the steps the Calgary Stampede has taken to make sure that animals are treated safely during the Stampede. Here are some other examples:

The Calgary Stampede takes a disciplined approach to animal care, focused on meeting three distinct standards:
- The regulations set out in Alberta’s Animal Protection Act; these are regulations monitored on-site each year by the Calgary Humane Society and Alberta’s SPCA;
- The codes of best practices for each animal species as recommended by Canada’s industry experts; and
- The animal care practices developed specifically for the Stampede-specific events.

During Stampede, a team of veterinarians are on Park full-time to ensure proper care for the animals involved in the Stampede’s many exhibition, education and competition events. Earlier this year the Calgary Stampede established a new Animal Care Advisory Committee of leading experts who are helping identify new ways to enhance animal care. Three years ago, the Calgary created a Chuckwagon Safety Commission which continues to set the highest standards for safety in that sport.

The Calgary Stampede meets each year with the Calgary Humane Society and Alberta SPCA to hear their assessment of the stampede’s practices. Over the years, their input has led to many improvements. The Calgary Stampede provides the Calgary Humane Society and Alberta SPCA with unfettered access to all corners of Stampede Park – both organizations are empowered by the Province to enforce Alberta’s Animal Protection Act.

There you have it! One thing I realized while doing all this research is that the Stampede is always working with a wide variety of stakeholders to ensure the safety of the animals, but also to accurately demonstrate the skills required by the cowboys as many events show skills that come directly off the farm or ranch.

Best Places to Find Stampede-Worthy Outfits

When July hits I always end up tearing apart my closet to piece together western-inspired outfits. This year I decided to get a head start by checking out what my favorite stores had to offer. I found a lot of neat pieces that have western flair and can be dressed down to fit your regular style post-Stampede. Here are the top 5 stores I’d recommend checking out:

#5 Old Navy If you’re looking for the basics, Old Navy is a good place start. It has reasonably-priced collard shirts for men and women and a lot of denim to choose from.

#4 RW&CO
Although there weren’t many options for women, RW&CO got a lot of points for their men’s plaid shirts. They come in some fun colours and are western enough to wear on grounds, but modern enough to keep wearing after the Stampede is over.

#3 Zara
For more feminine pieces, Zara has some nice western tops and dresses – lots of flowing fabrics and floral prints.

#2 American Eagle
This is a great place for girls and guys to find fun Stampede outfits together. They have lots of denim, plaid shirts, western-inspired belts and dress.

#1 Plum
Located in Westhills, this store was my favorite stop of the day. They have really cute dresses, tops and belts, lots of denim, and a few printed t-shirts with a fun western flair. They also have a lot of great western jewelery, including large turquoise pieces and dream-catcher earrings. A lot of their stuff is on sale right now and all denim is an additional 20% off the sale price until July 9.

Honorable Mentions
If you want to splurge on brand-name denim, Aritzia has a lot of great options. And, as always, for the real western deal, Lammles is open and ready for business.

What to eat on the grounds in 2010

Hungry? From the Stampede’s classic mini donuts to newer favorites, like deep fried pickles and pizza on a stick, it’s hard to go hungry on the grounds.
Here are some of the foods I’m excited to try at the Calgary Stampede in 2010.

Deep fried please.
It seems like you can get anything and everything fried this year. Deep fried pickles, twinkies and jelly beans are just a few of the options.

Eating on the go.
Food on a stick is another trend. Cover off breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Belgian Waffle-on-a-stick, pizza-on-a-stick and Chicken-on-a-Stick.

Cold drinks.
Grab a cold one at The Cantina in the BMO Centre, Bud Light Beer Gardens on the south side of the Stampede Corral, or at the Bud Big Rig on the south side of the Skyride.

Sweet Treats.
And, of course, indulge in the sweeter side of the Stampede with mini donuts, candy apples and cotton candy. I know I will!

Happy tasting!

Going beyond the grounds at Stampede 2010

It’s time bring out your cowboy hat, the Calgary Stampede is less than a month away. Even if you won’t be able to spend all your time watching bull riders and eating mini-donuts on the grounds, you’ll find a little bit of Stampede spirit in just about every corner of the city.

Going somewhere?
Whether you’re coming or going, volunteers from the promotion committee will be at the Calgary International Airport to greet you with a “howdy!” and a smile – or, to remind you to come see us again soon. They’ll have daily event information and even a little country music and entertainment to get you in the spirit.

Going downtown?
If you’re heading to the heart of the city, don’t forget to rustle up some breakfast. At Rope Square you’ll enjoy an authentic pancake breakfast straight from the back of a chuckwagon. Breakfast starts at 8:15 am on July 10 and from July 12-17.

Still hungry?
You’ll find authentic cowboy breakfasts throughout the city! Just follow your nose…or download the flapjack finder app from flapjackfinder.com.

Need a high five or a hug?
Harry the Horse, the official mascot and ambassador of the Calgary Stampede, is here for you. You’ll find him around Calgary throughout the Stampede, and he’s ready to meet and greet stampeders of all ages.