Cute animals & Amazing demonstrations at this year’s Aggie Days

Do you know what a Romney, Hampshire or a Dorper is?

These are just a few of the different breeds of sheep that will be shown at Aggie Days Saturday, April 8 – Sunday, April 9 in the Agrium Western Event Centre located on Stampede Park. Admission is FREE!

Live sheep, baby lambs, sheep shearing, spinners & weavers and Clock, Stock and Barrel – our exhilarating stock dog competition – will all be there!

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

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I’m thrilled to be highlighting an exciting program hosted by the Agriculture department here at the Calgary Stampede. Bridging the gap between urban and rural audiences is an area of focus for the Agriculture team – their mandate is squarely in focus as this free event will create a day of learning aimed at enhancing students’ awareness and understanding of rural and farm safety. Students, teachers and parent chaperones will have access to interactive activities and information stations.

Farm Safety Day supported by AltaLink will be held on Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students in Grades 6 to 9. Located in AltaLink Hall at the  Agrium Western Event Centre, the aim of the program is to have a series of hand-on experiences for the students that will make a lasting impression.

Some activities planned for the day include :

  •  Large equipment safety
  •  Confined spaces and grain safety
  •  Mass force & large animal safety
  •  Chemical handling and hazard assessment
  •  ATV safety and distracted driving
  •  Electrical line safety
  •  Water safety
  •  Fire prevention and first aid

A few days ago I spoke to Kristina Barnes (Communications Manager, Western Events and Agriculture) who noted that various schools around the city have already registered along with participating classes travelling from Strathmore, Arrowwood, Three Hills and Claresholm. They’re just shy of meeting full registration for the event so if you are hoping to participate, don’t delay in filling out the registration form - due prior to March 31, 2016.

HOW TO REGISTER: Interested teachers must pre-register by completing and returning the registration form available online. The registration form can be scanned and emailed to or faxed to 403.262.3067. Please note that funding is available to assist with bussing costs.

I am looking forward to seeing the success of this program and of course for more exciting Agricultural programming as we count down the days to 10-day Calgary Stampede 2016!


Suncor Family Day Breakfast- Sunday, July 5 2015

Suncor Family Day Breakfast ! photo credit: Mike Ridewood

Howdy all y’all Calgary Stampede followers! How excited are you that The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has finally arrived? I know that I certainly am!  There are so many great old and new additions on park this year to partake in.

One great tradition that many families look forward to is coming up this Sunday July 5, 2015. The free Suncor Energy Family Day Breakfast will take place from 7-9:30 a.m., and will be served to the first 20,000 people with a breakfast ticket (distributed at park entrances) in the Grandstand Courtyard. Can you believe the first 20,000 people thru the gates will be granted FREE admission (from 6-9:00 a.m.) as well as be served up some of the best pancakes in town??

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Are you getting ready to enter our amazing contest for a chance to WIN LIKE A CHAMPION at this year’s Lilac Festival? We want you to start thinking ahead to what you’re most looking forward to for this year’s upcoming #calgarystampede2015!

To help you get your early planning in motion, we’ve put together an amazing prize package totalling over $900 and we’re going to be giving this pack away to one lucky winner who is following us on twitter.

We won’t reveal the prize until Lilac Festival – just to keep some element of surprise for Sunday morning. Do you have any ideas as to what it might be? Feel free to tweet us your guesses! Continue reading

Money Can’t Buy Stampede Experience Winners

Holly and her family with Dan James.
Yesterday our committee hosted two families who won a special unique experience thru contesting on twitter a few weeks back. We wanted to set up a series of amazing money-can’t-buy adventures often giving a behind the scenes look at life at the Calgary Stampede.

For this specific unique experience, Dan James hailing from Australia- an incredible horseman, invited our families into the arena at the Agrium Western Event Centre to interact with some of the horses he has trained.

First, the kiddos were up with a mini horse and they were naturals! Taking the reins and running thru the event area and commanding him to lay down were some of the highlights. Next up, Mom & Dad tested their nerves by sitting next to Dan & his horse on a big crash mat and more.

Our second family were welcomed into the arena to meet James and interact with the horses : lead by Jocelyn, included her three month old son- his first Stampede will be a memorable one!

You can catch James continue to push the limits of horsemanship and entertainment with his exhilarating performances, helping horse enthusiasts expand their knowledge thru the rest of our 10-day Calgary Stampede. This and so many other amazing Agriculture experiences await you! Check out the daily listings here.

Holly mentioned that she was so thrilled to have been given this chance at a once in a lifetime opportunity that her children will remember for years to come.

Our contest winners in the arena.
We’ve got more amazing experiences to share with you, check back daily to see what else is in store for some lucky families. There may even be a few more opportunities to come, so be sure to follow us on Twitter @CS_NGC so you don’t miss a thing!

The Big Top hosts Mini Chuck races – a must see event at the Calgary Stampede.

 *(this is a guest blog post from on of Next Generation Committee’s Graham McCrimmon)*

I was lucky enough to take part in the Mini Chuck races last night at the Big Top (and even had a chance to drive a team around for a few loops)- was it absolutely incredible.

Think : take all the fun and excitement from regular Chuckwagon races and squeeze it into a smaller, explosive package.  The mini horses may be small in stature, but are big in personality and have only one speed; Turbo.

The drivers had a tough time pulling them to a stop to get the races started and as soon as the horn blew they kicked into action.  Drivers got thrown back as the horses hustled around the barrels in a figure 8 pattern.  Dirt came flying off the wheels, chuckwagons whipped around the corners teetering on two wheels as the two racers would collide into each other racing around the first corner.  Drivers encouraged their team around the track at max speed and the majority of the races were neck in neck.  Be prepared to hold your breath as adrenalin runs high from start to finish.

If you missed last night’s exciting races, make sure you make it a priority to plan your Stampede around this thrilling event for next year- I guarantee you won’t be disapointed.  This has instantly become one of my favourite events during 10-day.

WIN a VIP experience to the UFA Steer Classic and meet cast members of AMC show Hell on Wheels!

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

Howdy Calgary!!

You guessed it- time for another contest!!! If you haven’t entered or won a unique experience yet, this might be one of our most exciting opportunities. We are looking for a lucky family to be part of the presentation of the ribbon for our Youth Supreme Champion this Saturday July 13th.  The lucky winners will be given entry into the grounds, a  $50 food voucher and VIP seating to watch the Supreme Championships in The Big Top.

As an added bonus we have set up a meet and greet with cast members from the popular AMC Show Hell on Wheels!

As always, you can enter online by commenting on the blog post below, OR follow us onTwitter @CS_NGC and include the hashtag #CSAG101 in your tweet.

We’ll choose a lucky fourpack at random by 10AM tomorrow- you’ll need to be available to meet us at the entry gates of your choice at 1:30pm tomorrow July 13th.

Best of luck everyone!! And…for more information on the exciting events happening in our Agricultural Zone, check out the event schedule here.


Win A VIP Experience for your family at the Mini Chucks!

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

Hi Calgary!

Now that we’ve finally got some sunshine, there’s no reason to shy away from Stampede park!

We are looking for a family to join us as we take in the Mini Chuckwagon races at the Big Top Thursday, July 11. Since these guys are a Mini version of the other wagons that will be running that night (for the GMC Rangeland Derby), we’ll need to make sure your family includes some little Buckaroos 6 and under. (They may just have the opportunity to sit on a wagon themselves! ) Don’t let the size of the horses and wagons fool you, this event is just as action packed as the big rigs!

The winning family will be treated to a once in a lifetime unique experience which will include gate entry, a VIP seating section for the Mini Chucks, and most of all- bragging rights as being an ‘advertiser’ to their wagon of choice!

Enter online by commenting on the blog post below, OR follow us on Twitter @CS_NGC and include the hashtag #CSAG101 in your tweet telling us why you think your family has what it takes to be a Chuckwagon advertiser.

We’ll choose our winning family at random by noon tomorrow- you’ll need to be available to meet us at the entry gates of your choice at 6pm tomorrow evening (July 11).

Hope you’re all enjoying #stampede101 and be sure to keep on sharing your own unique experiences with us on Twitter.


Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

WIN a VIP experience for a family of four to see the Canadian National Mini Horse Show

Photo Credit: Tye Carson

Photo Credit: Tye Carson

Hi Calgary!!

How have you been enjoying all the incredible #csag101 events happening so far this year?? Have you chosen a favourite yet?

Well if you haven’t, this next prize up for grabs just might become the top of your list. We’re  looking for a lucky family of four to come down to the park for a unique experience you just can’t buy.

The lucky winners will enjoy entry into the Calgary Stampede grounds, a VIP seating section for the Canadian National Mini Horse Show, and perhaps a few extra fun surprises just for good measure.

Enter online by commenting on the blog post below, OR follow us on Twitter @CS_NGC and include the hashtag #CSAG101 in your tweet.

We’ll choose a lucky fourpack at random by noon tomorrow- you’ll need to be available to meet us at the entry gates of your choice at 6pm tomorrow (July 9- already!). 

Best of luck and stay tuned for more amazing, unique experiences up for grabs!




CS Metal Art Showcase 2013- Celebrity Takeover!

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

Hey Calgary!

In just under an hour the Calgary Stampede’s 11th annual Metal Art Showcase will be held under our Big Tip Tent.

A spin-off of the Stampede’s annual World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition (WCBC), the Metal Art Showcase features art from around the world, and new this year, a celebrity component.

Our committee’s own ‘celebrity’ Graham McCrimmon and social media guru Phil Moad will be competing in an “Iron Chef” style blacksmith contest. We’re so excited to see what they come up with! Once the teams have completed their masterpieces, there will be a metal art auction with proceeds donated to the Alberta Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation.

We hear that some celebs include Junior Turner of the Calgary Stampeders, TJ Galiardi of the Calgary Flames, Rangeland Derby chuckwagon driver BJ Carey Pavlo Padakin of the Calgary Hitmen, Geoff Snider of the Calgary Roughnecks and Bearcat Murray as auctioneer, with special appearance by Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Best of luck to all the participants- and of course, go Graham and Phil!!

Yahoo- see you all at the Big Top.

WIN a behind the scenes look at the Indian Village Presented by PennWest Exploration

Indian Village Presented by PennWest Exploration

Hi Calgary!!

How have you been enjoying your 101st Calgary Stampede so far?

It is truly so exciting to be entering into our second Century together.

In light of the recent events that have transpired thru our great province these past few weeks, we wanted to give an opportunity for one lucky group of four to have a reprieve from the cleanup and other stresses.

Do you know someone that needs a small break to enjoy some of what #stampede101 has to offer? We’re looking for a group of four- a family, bunch of friends, you name it- we want to host you for a behind the scenes look at the Indian Village presented by PennWest Exploration (You’ll also receive 4 gate passes to get on park, and once you’re done with the tour there’s so much more for you to discover on your own!)

It’s easy to enter- either:

1-      Leave a comment below the blog post with some background info on why you are nominating someone (or yourself) for this prize.

2-      Reach out to us on Twitter by following us @CS_NGC and tagging your message with #CSAG101 with the same background info!

We’ll cap the contest entries after Monday, July 8 at 9pm so that the lucky winners have time to organize themselves to be free on Wednesday, July 10 at 5:45-7:00pm for the tour. (Again, after that the night is yours!)

Best of luck to all- we look forward to hearing from you!


Community Development Committee assists University of Calgary Dinos Rugby Club


The University of Calgary Rugby Football Club (UCRFC) embarked on a major tour to Scotland which coincided with the university’s reading week, February 14, 2013 to February 25, 2013 and would encompass three games plus various cultural tours in the Glasgow / Edinburgh areas. The group reached out to the Calgary Stampede to obtain some iconic white cowboy hats to wear on the tour, in order to represent our city in style.
I was able to catch up with some of the team members and gather a summary of individual responses to the questions below. 

How did you decide you wanted to bring the iconic “White Hat” with the team to Scotland?

The team felt it would be a good tour theme but more than anything, what better way to portray a team from Calgary.  The hats represent Western Canadian values but more importantly, values we hold dear in our city.  These values symbolize respect, honour and pride in our heritage.  The hats would be a novel memento, unique & recognizable- and fun to wear.

How recognizable do you feel the hats were?  Did most know you were from Canada, or even Calgary, specifically?

The hats were very recognizable however many

initial thoughts were USA / Texas origin with some knowing Calgary.  The hats did elicit many comments and questions which allowed the players to explain where we were from.  Team was very recognizable in a crowd and this helped bring the team together.  The hats were in great demand.

One of the most memorable moments was when the team caught the attention of an elderly Scottish gentleman in Glasgow who in jest informed us that the only way we could possibly wear the white hats was if we were from Calgary.  Well we got the last laugh when he found out not one, but all of us were.

Did you notice any extra attention while travelling with them in airports or at the games, for example?

We were very noticeable in the airports and felt unified in representing the University of Calgary wearing the hats.  Again lots of comments and questions from people and we even had a Calgarian post a Facebook post about seeing us at Heathrow airport.  A group of 30 wearing cowboy hats is not a common sight in Europe.

Were you able to speak with people who had experienced the Calgary Stampede first hand?

Generally speaking most people we spoke to had not experienced the Stampede first hand.  There was an older gentlemen who had been many years ago, a few who definitely had heard some Stampede legends and many more who have ambitions of coming to Canada and specifically to Calgary to take in the Stampede.

What does having your head in a white cowboy hat mean to you?

Most of us took pride in representing the city of Calgary by wearing the cowboy hats.  There is no single better symbol that defines history & tradition of Calgary and the Stampede.  It is the top of the western trifecta, boots. Levis and the white hats…..makes you feel a few inches taller!!

This is a wonderful example of how the Calgary Stampede is an organization that has reach not only within the community, but a further global presence as well. I know that when I wear my ‘White Hat’, I feel so incredibly proud to be a Calgarian and a strong supporter of the Calgary Stampede. Only 86 more days until Parade Day everyone! 

paisley cowboy hats

Edinburgh cowboy hat