Visit us at Lilac Festival for your chance to win Stampede prizes!

Who’s ready for some sunshine and fun this weekend?  We are!

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Stampede volunteers from the Next Generation committee will be set up at the 4th Street Lilac Festival on Sunday, June 5th, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This free family-friendly event is a Calgary tradition that takes place on 4th Street SW between 13 Avenue and Elbow Drive and draws crowds close to 100,000 each year.  There’s definitely no shortage of people watching!

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Win your way to the 2016 Stampede at the Community Round Up!

The Next Generation committee is getting very excited about Stampede 2016, and we hope you can all join us for a pre-Stampede community event to celebrate!

Come on down for your first Stampede pancakes of the season on Saturday, May 28 at the Stampede Community Round Up! We are presenting this event in partnership with the Centre for Newcomers. Find us outside the Pacific Place Mall (999 36 St NE) from 9 a.m. to noon. More info here.

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There will be many interactive activities for kids to get in some hands-on learning about animals and agriculture, including a petting zoo!

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Win a Special Date Night!

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We’re thrilled to be giving away 2 tickets to the Kevin Hart “What Now Tour” show at the Saddledome coming up on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 7:00PM, as well as a $75.00 gift certificate to Melrose Café & Bar.  Everything you need for a perfect night out!

All you have to do is tweet something that really made you laugh to @cs_ngc and you’re entered to win.

The contest commences at 5:00PM (MDT) on October 27, 2015 and concludes at 11:59PM (MDT) on November 8, 2015.  You can find the official rules here:  Stampede Date Night Contest Rules.

Good luck!  We can’t wait to hear what makes you laugh!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter so that we can message you if you win, and keep an eye on our account all year round for fun contests and other Calgary Stampede information.

*Please note that due to the 10:00PM show being cancelled, the contest winner will now receive tickets to the 7:00PM show. Our apologies for any inconvenience. 

A Stampede Celebration in China

If you’ve ever met Janet Jessiman and Gabby Franco, then you’re probably aware that they know how to throw a good party!

These two long-time Stampede volunteers didn’t let their recent move to Beijing damper their Stampede spirit.  Instead, they shared it at a special gathering with 37 of their new Chinese friends.

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It’s official!  2 Promotion Committee members + 1 Reception Committee member + 37 Chinese folks = 1 great Stampede party.

With videos of the Stampede and Calgary playing in the background, Janet served up some sliders and a few other nibbley foods.  Most of their guests had never tried a hamburger before.

The handy “Calgary Stampede Party in a Box” that they picked up last year included everything for a good western party, from a souvenir banner to cowboy party hats. Gabby said their guests had never seen frisbees before and had fun tossing them around the room.

Janet’s daughter Samantha, and her fiancé James were also in town for a visit and with western tunes pumping, Sam got a chance to teach them all some line dancing moves.

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“Needless to say they had a blast.  They were so genuinely thrilled to be doing this and now want to visit Calgary for sure!  They kept coming up to us asking for posed pictures, and toasting (we had beer of course), and repeating how much they were enjoying themselves,” said Gabby.

While they took the party with them, it was not quite as good as the real thing.

“At one point I was putting the sliders together and I looked up to a video of the Stampede.  Yup, tears in the eyes and realized how much I missed it,” said Janet.

Thanks for sharing your western hospitality with our friends on the other side of the world.  Hopefully we’ll see some of your pals at Stampede 102!

Fluor Rope Square is Ready to Entertain!

As Stampede 101 heads into its final days, don’t miss your last chance to pop over to Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for some great entertainment on Saturday, July 13th. 

Our incredible Downtown Attractions Committee has organized a number of fun things for all ages to see and do, right in the heart of our fine city.

DREW GREGORY – 9:00AM

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Start the day off right with a free concert by Drew Gregory.  An Alberta boy, raised in the small farming community of Standard, Drew Gregory has maintained a successful musical career while still working on the family farm. More about Drew here.

LAMMLE’S WORLD CHAMPION HAT STOMP COMPETITION FINALS – 10:05 AM

Watch this year’s 6 finalists show off their hat stomping skills in three categories: Mash Factor, Originality and Style.  The most talented stomper will take home the grand prize of a championship silver buckle!

PARADE OF THE OLD TIME RIGS – 10:20 AM

Watch Old Time rigs that date back as far as the late 1800′s parade through the city to Olympic Plaza.  There are around 15 rigs in the inventory, including: buckboards, coaches, doctors’ buggies, carriages, an old Red River cart, and a surrey with the fringe on top.

CALGARY FIDDLERS – 10:30 AM

The Calgary Fiddlers are an incredibly talented group of young folks that are sure to get your toes tapping!  They perform a variety of music, ranging from traditional folk fiddling, to country, bluegrass, Celtic, and even big band.

HIGH STEPPIN’ DADDY – 11:05 AM

A highlight of the Canadian country music scene, their music includes new and classic country as well as a mix of rock, R&B, and oldies.

FIRST NATIONS PARADE – 11:30 AM

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See members of the five tribes of Treaty 7 from Southern Alberta, in their traditional regalia, as they proudly share their heritage and culture through dance, music and commentary (weather permitting).

The tribes represented include Kainai or Blood (Fort MacLeod), Nakoda or Stoney consist of three bands: Goodstoney, Bearspaw and Chiniki (Morley from west of Calgary and Eden Valley west of Longview),  Peigan (Brocket), Siksika or Blackfoot (east of Calgary), and Tsuu T’ina or Sarcee (southwest of Calgary).

OLDE WEST RAIDERS CLUB – 12:00 PM

The Olde West Raiders Club provides unique western demonstrations and entertainment. The group combines cowboy skills of the day, western history, acting, improvisational elements and authentic period costumes to transport the audience back in time. They use real firearms, both antique and reproduction Cowboy Era guns in our shows and demonstrations using Cinematic Blanks to simulate gunfire. Their shows are intended to be fun while reliving some of the myths and legends from our past.

When the show is over it’s the perfect time to head down to the grounds and take in all that “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” has to offer!

Come Visit us at Lilac Fest on Sunday!

Lilac Festival is coming up on Sunday, May 26th, along with another chance to win some great prizes from the Calgary Stampede’s Next Generation Committee.

This fantastic, FREE one day celebration of culture and community has been entertaining Calgarians for 24 years, with lots to see and do for all ages!

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Make sure you stop by our booth, which will be located near the Roots store on 4th Street just passed 17th Avenue, where you can get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your Calgary Stampede experience this July 5-14!

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Aggie Days: Free Fun for the Whole Family

Looking for something to do with the kids next weekend?  Pop over to Aggie Days at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park on Sat, April 13 and Sun, April 14. This FREE annual event is guaranteed to be a fun day for the entire family.

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If your kids love animals you won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to see more than 100,000 square feet of agricultural exhibits with cows, sheep, and horses; plus farmers, ranchers, blacksmiths and more.

Attendees will get to try hands-on activities like cow milking, seed planting, and watch sheep shearing and stock dog demonstrations.

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As much of our society becomes further removed from life on the farm it’s important to preserve the rural-urban connection, and ensure the next generation knows where the items they purchase at the grocery store come from.

“Aggie Days is committed to educating children and adults about agriculture through unique and interactive displays,” says Connie James, Chair of the Agriculture Education committee. “It is an industry that we depend on heavily; however, so many people are unfamiliar with it. Aggie Days gives children and adults the opportunity to make a connection between the food they eat and the farms that grow it.”

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Stop by the Next Generation Committee’s display where kids can hand-craft their very own bolo tie, and parents can get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your Calgary Stampede experience this July!

Plus, we’ll have details about our amazing contest for those who are on Twitter and Instagram, with multiple chances to win some amazing prizes between now and Stampede.

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More information on Aggie Days can be found here2013-aggie-days-floor-plan

Former Stampede Chucks Announcer Honoured on Walk of Fame

If there’s one voice that Calgarians know, it’s that of Joe Carbury.  Not only is he one of the most recognized sports voices in western Canada for hockey, football, and wrestling, he spent 45 years calling the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede until his retirement in 2008.

Joe called races the old school way – just Joe, his binoculars, and a microphone – no instant replays or helpers, and when his enthusiastic voice would yell, “And they’re off!!!” the crowd would go wild.

The local legend was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and was most recently honoured with his likeness on a “grate portrait” on the Stephen Avenue Walk of Fame, painted by local artist Mandy Stobo.

I had the pleasure of escorting Mr. Carbury to his grate during the special signing event on September 20th and was able to chat briefly with him about his involvement with the Stampede.

When I asked if he was surprised when he found out he was being included on the Stephen Avenue Walk of Fame, his response was an excited, “Oh yes!  And very honoured.”

The emcee of the event, the always entertaining Dave Kelly (former co-host of Citytv Calgary’s Breakfast Television, and fellow Walk of Fame honouree), joked that the cotton candy being served there was Joe Carbury’s secret recipe and that he puts it on his toast in the morning. “Carbury Candy” got a good chuckle from the crowd, especially Joe.

Joe noted that one of his most memorable moments at the Stampede was his last night announcing.  They figured that by the time he retired he had called over 5,000 races.  He said that he got pretty choked up calling out “And they’re off!” for the very last time.

That night they brought Joe and his family on stage where he received a standing ovation from the crowd of over 20,000 people.

“I was very honoured, but also very nervous,” he said, pointing out that he was used to a very different view and experience of the crowd from his “eye in the sky.”

Joe was able to make it down to the Centennial Stampede celebrations 4 times this year.

“It was really something special!  The rodeo was spectaculor. Congratulations to the whole Stampede Board on an amazing event!”

He really loved to go down to the barns and hang out with the chuckwagon racers and their families.

“Those are my kind of people.”

Carbury’s grate portrait is located in the “Pop Culture & Entertainment” section of the Walk of Fame on Stephen Avenue Walk between 1 St SW and 2 St SW near Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack.

Another amazing supporter of the Stampede (and the city), Bill Siebens, was also honoured with a “grate portrait.” Siebens, a local philanthropist, rancher and businessman, generously gifted the Calgary Stampede Foundation with the almost 8,000-acre southern portion of the historic OH Ranch.

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Christopher Loach

Well, that’s a wrap.  What an awesome 10 days of celebrating 100 years of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!  We couldn’t do it without the hard work and devotion of all of our incredible volunteers and staff.

The number of people that volunteer for the Calgary Stampede is amazing, and so is the diversity of skills that come with them.

I was lucky enough to ask Christopher Loach, Chair of the Communications Sub-Committee for Downtown Attractions, a few questions about his involvement with the Calgary Stampede.

Christopher’s day job dealing with media as the Communications Director at Theatre Calgary made him an excellent fit for this volunteer position.

1)  What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved?

I was fortunate to join the Downtown Attractions Committee (DTA) as a volunteer in 2007.  During Stampede every year I wandered down to Olympic Plaza when it transformed in Fluor Rope Square and took in the festivities.  When I heard the DTA was looking for people with a media relations background for their communications sub-committee, I jumped at the chance and managed to fill the void.

2)  What are one or two of your favorite Stampede memories?

As a native Calgarian, I have never missed a year at the Stampede.  My earliest memories are of the Stampede grounds at night, being pushed in a stroller, looking at all the lights and hearing all the sounds of the midway.  Later in high-school and then University, I worked as an usher in the Grandstand for 7 summers.  I met so many different people from around the world and made life-long friendships with many of the people I worked with.  I’ll never forget those days.

3)  What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

Our Communications sub-committee works with Stampede Tourism to host local and international media when they come down to Fluor Rope Square. So many of them are visiting Calgary and the Stampede for the first time, and most of them are amazed that we actually do a hat stomp and get away with it.  It’s such an honour and a thrill to see them be truly amazed at all the work that goes into what we do, and then take those observations back and share them around the world.

4)  What’s your favorite midway food?

I’m a bit of a traditionalist, so I’m sticking with mini-doughnuts.  But any good hot dog is a close runner-up.

5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

It’s not always about being in the loudest and most crowded tent for a great party.  Sometimes the real treasures, like watching a stock dog competition or visiting the Western Showcase art exhibit can be a rewarding and relaxing experience. Take time to see all the little things you never thought about visiting…you’ll be surprised at how much western pride and history you can take away from them.

 

If you’re interested in lending your time and skills to the Stampede team, learn more on how to get involved here.

Searching for Some Stampede Fun? Check Out our Online Games!

Whether you’re trying to entertain fidgety kids on your smartphone while standing in ride line ups, or sitting at the office wishing you were on the grounds, there are some pretty sweet online games on the Calgary Stampede website that will provide you with a little fun and get you in the Stampede mood!

 

WANTED POSTER 

You can customize your own wanted poster by adding a photo, reward amount, and crime. There are old classic crimes on the list like “Bank Robbin’” and “Gun Slingin,” but my personal favourites were “Heart Stealin’” and “Felony Cuteness.”

 

CHUCK THE WAGON

This game lets you launch the chuck wagons into the sunset with a cactus slingshot. Yahoo! 

 

ROUND ‘EM UP

I liked Round ‘Em Up the best.  It’s very similar to Space Invaders, but with a floating cowboy head that shoots lassos at critters falling from the sky.  You can hide behind hay bales for protection…until the critters destroy them.

Have you created a wanted poster with your photo in it?  The Next Generation Committee is collecting your best memories and moments to include in the #CSTimeCapsule Please email yours to: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com and it might get included.

NGC Twitpic Contest: Day #7 – Win Johnny Reid Tickets!

Good Morning Calgary!

It is day 7 of the Calgary Stampede and that means it is day 7 of our Next Generation Committee Stampede contest.

Today you could win Johnny Reid tickets for Friday, July 13th!

How?!

Well it’s easy!

We are looking to add a Stampede Midway Stuffed Animal to our time capsule. If you have this item and are willing to contribute it to the Calgary Stampede’s Centennial Time Capsule please send us a twitpic of it!

Be sure to include our Twitter handle, @CS_NGC and the hashtag #CSTimeCapsule with your photo and you will be eligible to win. Entries will be accepted until 10:00pm tonight. So please have us your entry by then!

Winners will be notified at the end of the day by direct message (so make sure you’re following us!). From there we will ask for your email address (so make sure you check your messages!).

Good luck cowboys and cowgirls!

For more about the Time Capsule Project check out our website.

For more information about the contest check out this blog.

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Jodi Wilson

Jodi Wilson is the Chair of the Downtown Attractions Entertainment Sub Committee, whose full time job is Legal Counsel at ARC Resources Ltd.  Luckily, her company is very supportive of community minded volunteering, as are so many in Calgary.

They have a lot of fun events at Fluor Rope Square (AKA Olympic Plaza) every morning, but the two that stand out most for Jodi this year are the Lammle’s Hat Stomp on Wed, July 11th for tickets to the sold out Brad Paisley show, as well as the Deric Ruttan concert, which will be at Rope Square on the Friday, July 13th at noon.

 

1)  What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved? 

I became a volunteer in 2004.  I was given the opportunity to get involved through friends on the Rope Square committee and jumped at the chance!  I’m from small town Saskatchewan so grew up very community minded and loved the cowboy way of life!

2)  What are one or two of your favorite Stampede memories? 

Standing behind the chutes at the Rodeo, going to the barn parties after the Chuck wagon races and answering questions for visitors to our city about what to see and do during Stampede.

3)    What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year? 

Tails!  Garth Brooks!

4)    What’s your favorite midway food? 

Corn on the cob.

 5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede? 

Hydrate and pace yourself!

 

If you have any special memories of volunteering at the Calgary Stampede we’d love to hear them! The Next Generation Committee is collecting your best memories and moments to include in the #TimeCapsule Please email yours to: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com.

 

For more information on Calgary Stampede volunteer opportunities please click here.

Wanna Beat This Heat? It’s Time to Hit “The Beach”

Since I moved to Calgary the thing I miss the most (besides my family) is the ocean.  There’s nothing quite like hanging out at the beach, especially on these plus 30 days we’ve been having recently!  Fortunately, this summer the Stampede is bringing the beach to Calgary.

The Stampede Market (BMO Centre Hall A) will host a brand new entertainment and retail zone “The Beach,” that features real sand, palm trees, tiki huts and tropical island-themed shops. It will also be home to the exciting FlowRider Surfing Simulator, where you can go to watch professional surfing demos, or grab a board and catch a wave for yourself!

You can’t bring a beach to Calgary and not invite the Beach Boys, so you’ll be happy to know that the Virgin Mobile Stampede Concert Series will present the original Beach Boys at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wed, July 11th.

The hugely famous American group boasts the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits with 36. Come on down and see Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks, who have all reunited for the first time in 20 years for a 50th Anniversary Tour.  Calgary is one of only three lucky Canadian cities on the tour.

We’d love to hear your favourite Stampede concert memory, or any other special Stampede memories you might have!  Please email them to the Next Generation Committee at calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com and your submission may be included our Time Capsule.

NGC Twitpic Contest: Day #3 – Win Rodeo Tickets!

Good Morning Calgary!

 

It is day 3 of the Calgary Stampede and that means it is day 3 of our Next Generation Committee Stampede contest.

 

Today you could win Rodeo Tickets for Sunday, July 15th!

 

How?!

 

Well it’s easy!

 

Today we are asking for your twitpics of Stampede Breakfast Parties. Simply tweet us with your picture and you could win. We will also include your twitpic in the NGC’s Time Capsule.

Be sure to include our Twitter handle, @CS_NGC and the hashtag #CSTimeCapsule with your photo and you will be eligible to win.

 

Winners will be notified at the end of the day by direct message (so make sure you’re following us!). From there we will ask for your email address (so make sure you check your messages!).

 

Good luck cowboys and cowgirls!

 

For more about the Time Capsule Project check out our website.

For more information about the contest check out this blog

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Esther Mitchell, Downtown Attractions Committee

The largest Calgary Stampede committee with over 325 year-round volunteers is the Downtown Attractions Committee (DTA). Their main goal is to make sure that all Stampede visitors have a hand clappin’, toe tappin’, and belly bustin’ good time!  Over Stampede these kind folks will feed you, entertain you, and have you dancing in the street (literally).

Downtown attractions include events and activities at Fluor Rope Square, and other locations in the downtown area.  All of their events and activities are coordinated by volunteers and all are FREE!

I had the pleasure of meeting Esther Mitchell, Committee Relations with Downtown Attractions, last year when I went on a tour with her.  We rode the old time rigs, had a chuckwagon breakfast at Fluor Rope Square, and did some square dancing on Stephen Avenue – thankfully I had a really good partner!  It was so much fun and one of the reasons I wanted to become a Stampede volunteer.

I was able to catch up with Esther again recently and ask her a few questions about her experience volunteering for the Stampede.

 

What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved?

In the early 80’s I worked for a company that had a Chuckwagon that raced in the Stampede. They would bring the Chuckwagon downtown to the Westin Hotel and we would cook and serve breakfast off the back of it. We met tourists from all over the world, even the Indian Parade would pass by each day. Then, I decided to get involved and become a volunteer with Downtown Attractions Committee. In 1992 I started volunteering as an Information Rover handing out Stampede information.

What are some of your favorite Stampede memories? 

Volunteering as an Information Rover, I have branded hundreds of kids, tourists and Calgarians with the Calgary Stampede Logo. The lingo that went along with branding was telling people; “hold still its red hot” (it was only red ink), ask them if they could “smell the hair burning,” and some of the good sports of the male gender we would tell them “it’s a good thing we aren’t going to make you into a steer!”  Then together there was always a big “YAHOO!”  We would end by saying to them “now you belong to the Calgary Stampede and you have to return every year”! After 10 days of Yahooing, it would take a couple of weeks for my voice to recover.

 

What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

I can honestly say that Stampede gets in your blood and the fun is infectious, my son has watched all the fun I have had through the years and he decided to become a volunteer with Downtown Attractions Committee in 2009. He is involved in the Square Dance Subcommittee and they have a small part in the show TAILS, which is at the Corral 3 times a day during Stampede. I am looking forward to this show and I am excited about all the people I am going to meet hosting them on a tour of Downtown Attractions while volunteering.

 

What’s your favorite midway food?

Fiddle Sticks

 

What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

Start your Stampede Day with Downtown Attractions at Flour Rope Square where there are Chuckwagon Breakfasts, all kinds of entertainment, First Nations parade, Clowns, Mascots, contests, a gun fight, Old Time Rig rides and Square Dancers (both Saturdays and Monday thru Friday). Continue the fun and head on down to the Stampede grounds, YAHOO!

 

If you have any special memories of volunteering at the Calgary Stampede we’d love to hear them! The Next Generation Committee is collecting your best memories and moments to include in the #TimeCapsule.  Please email yours to: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com.

 

For more information on Calgary Stampede volunteer opportunities please click here.