From the Report to the Community: A chance meeting with Belgian farmers

This week, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite stories from the 2016 Report to the Community. You can check them all out in the full online Report here. This story comes from Ag-tivity in the City volunteer Ross Bucsis.

It was a Saturday and raining at the 2016 Stampede, and it was early in my Barn Tour shift for Ag Ambassadors. I met a family (father and son) of Dairy Farmers from Belgium, and they stood out—both were very tall, over 6 feet 3 inches. Having determined they were farmers on a visit, and as is my usual protocol, I invited them to sit down, have a bite to eat and a drink of their choice at the International Room.

They were wet and cold, so acceptance came easy to them.

CanadianSoil_RossBucsis

As we walked, I asked if this was their first time in Canada. The son replied, “No, this is the second time I have been on Canadian soil.” I asked quickly, “Oh great, when was your first time here?”

He replied, “I have walked among the dead in the Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium where the fallen Canadian soldiers are buried. That was my first time on Canadian soil; you earned it.”

I did not say another word. I couldn’t, as the tears were coming down my face. We got up to the International Room and I shook their hands very firmly. They knew I had been emotional and proud. I told them safe travels and to please return again to the Stampede and Canada.

Check out our 2016 Annual Report to the Community!

We are excited to share the 2016 Report to the Community with you.

2016 Report image

This year, you will hear the 2016 Stampede stories directly from Stampede volunteers and employees.

The three lead videos take you back to our rainy-but-wonderful 2016 Stampede, on the journey of ENMAX Park and into the brand new TransAlta Performing Arts Studios.

Indian Village - ENMAX Park

The 2016 Indian Village in its new location at ENMAX Park

In the stories that follow, the Stampede team takes you behind the scenes to the lesser-seen moments of Stampede. Stories like this, one from Josh Traptow on the Ag Media committee:

This year, I was assigned to help the Heavy Horse Pull. We had a competitor—Rocky Dempsey—from Fort McMurray. When I first talked to him, just before Stampede, he had been evacuated from Fort McMurray. He didn’t know if he was going to be able to compete. He’d been training for months before the fires and, when he fled, he wasn’t able to bring the harnesses he needed for the competition. Ever since he was a kid, he’d dreamed of competing at the Calgary Stampede.

Rocky Dempsey

He decided not to give up. He overcame so much to be able to compete in the Stampede after all he had been through. It was his lifelong dream come true.

Learn about new education and community programs. Meet a member of our award-winning bucking stock. What’s it like to sit down with a 1960s Rodeo Star? Who did the Showband drumline perform with at the Junos? Drop in on a moving encounter with farmers visiting from Belgium. And more.

Showband - at Junos

The Showband at the Junos

The Report is an opportunity to get to know some of the faces behind the Stampede–and get a sense of how much work, passion and care goes into everything we do. We hope you enjoy it!

Hundreds of newcomers gather on Stampede Park for a fun-filled Saturday

On Saturday, February 4, the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership (CLIP), in partnership with the Calgary Stampede, the Government of Canada, The City of Calgary, ENMAX and ATB hosted Building a Life in Calgary: A Community Cultural Exchange. CLIP organized the event for newcomers and refugees who have settled in Calgary in the last year. Hundreds of people gathered at BMO Centre for learning workshops, a resource fair and a cultural exchange, where newcomers had the chance to speak with immigrants from Vietnam, South Sudan and Colombia about their experiences settling in Calgary.

Calgary Stampede volunteers brought their A-game with authentic western experiences including the Incredi-Pull, Bluebell the milking cow, crafts and even horse-drawn wagon rides.

Wagon rides

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Congratulations to the Western Legacy Award winners

On Thursday, November 17, the Calgary Stampede honoured three inspiring individuals and one remarkable group based on their commitment to western heritage and values at the 12th annual Western Legacy Awards. The 2016 Award recipients are community leaders who genuinely embody the values and commitment to community that southern Alberta is known for.

Robert Anderson is a man who keeps western heritage alive every day. He has been involved, in one form or another, with the Calgary Stampede since early childhood. Robert first participated in the Calgary Stampede parade with his father and brothers 70 years ago. A second generation volunteer with the Antique Show Wagon, over the last 20 years Robert has provided thousands of guests the opportunity to experience Western history. He has had a booth in the Agriculture Building during Stampede, sharing his passion for the equine species with everyone. Robert believes western lifestyle has a lot to teach people – from respect for nature to respect for others. Robert is committed to the community and embodies Western values.

Robert Anderson_Western Legacy Awards

Darby Young is an advocate for people with disabilities and applies her lived experience to help remove barriers. She served as the co-chair of Calgary city council’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility, advising city council on disability issues brought forward by citizens and organizations. Through this role, she created change for people with disabilities by increasing knowledge and environmental accessibility. Darby has been an invaluable volunteer with the Cerebral Palsy Association, along with a number of other organizations. Darby’s innovation is a tremendous example of the Stampede spirit to make the world as accessible as possible for everyone.
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Artist Shannon Lawlor tells us the story behind the 2017 Calgary Stampede poster

Shannon Lawlor, an artist based in Nanton, Alberta, painted the original artwork for the 2017 Calgary Stampede poster. The Calgary Stampede is excited to participate in the first annual #LoveYYC Day! On Saturday, November 5 we are offering 2 for 1 pricing on select Evening Show tickets for Stampede 2017. Use promo code LOVEYYC to get yours here on November 5.

If you would like a 2017 Stampede poster, you can pick one up at Stampede Headquarters Reception, 1410 Olympic Way SE. Read on to learn more about Shannon’s journey as an artist and the story behind the 2017 Stampede poster.

CS 2017 Poster Lawlor 1 Retouch SF FLAT Bleed Oct17 FINAL_LOW RES

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Where does your Thanksgiving meal come from? Learn about key ingredients grown on Alberta farms

Well, Thanksgiving has rolled around once again. With snow flurries in the air, it’s going to be a cozy one. Have you ever thought about where your Thanksgiving meal comes from? Alberta farmers are hard at work all year to bring those delicious foods to your table. Here’s a little window into the story of your potatoes, wheat and turkey. This Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to thank our Alberta farmers!

Wheat

Of course no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without stuffing, and with bread as its core ingredient, wheat is at the heart of your stuffing. Here’s a staggering fact: wheat has been around for 11,000 years. A few more:

Alberta Wheat

  • Wheat is the third largest production crop in the world and the largest crop grown in Canada.
  • Wheat is grown on approximately 6.8 million acres of land in Alberta and 24 million acres in Canada.
  • Alberta produces 8.3 million tonnes of wheat annually.
  • Alberta’s wheat feeds consumers both internationally and at home.
  • Alberta produces enough wheat in one year to make 9,258,000 loaves of bread.
  • Wheat is on the Alberta flag!

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Meet the 2017 Stampede Indian Princess

The Calgary Stampede is pleased to introduce Savanna Sparvier as the 2017 Indian Princess. Savanna is 19 years old and from the Siksika First Nation. Her Blackfoot name is “All Around Snake Woman” which is a third-generation name passed down to her from her Grandmother, who she is named after.

Savanna is a ladies traditional dancer is working towards her goal of becoming a teacher in both the English and Drama departments. Her parents are Sandra Sparvier and Mario Girolami, both from Siksika First Nation. Savanna is a direct descendant of the last traditional Chief of Siksika (Duck Chief).

Calgary Stampede Indian Princess 2017

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Meet the 2017 Calgary Stampede Royalty!

After competitions including horsemanship, speeches and a number of other events, the  2017 Royalty have been crowned. We are thrilled to introduce you to Indian Princess, Savanna Sparvier, Stampede Queen, Meagan Peters and Princesses, Brittany Lloyd and Lizzie Ryman. These women will act as official ambassadors of the Calgary Stampede, promoting western heritage and values, in the community and around the world. Additionally, the Stampede Indian Princess will educate people about the rich, vibrant First Nations cultures. Get to know these four accomplished women in the short interviews below!

2017 Royalty

From Left to Right: Princess Brittany Lloyd, Queen Meagan Peters, Indian Princess Savanna Sparvier, Princess Lizzie Ryman

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Why this year’s Stampede Doors Open will be the best ever

The Calgary Stampede is once again participating in Doors Open YYC. We are excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look at little-seen places in the Stampede Grandstand, Rodeo chutes and chuckwagon barns, with some new twists this year! You will learn about the inner-workings of our biggest events: the Stampede Rodeo, GMC Rangeland Derby and the TransAlta Grandstand Show. Here are a few reasons why a (free!) visit to Stampede Park will be a great way to spend your Saturday on September 24.

Doors Open - Grandstand plans

This rendering and write up is from the 1972 Stampede annual report. The Grandstand opened two years later.

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A baker’s dozen of ideas for how to spend your Final Sunday at Stampede

Ok, guys, tomorrow is final Sunday. It’s free admission from 10 a.m. to noon. Stampede Park is jam packed with fun rides, great food, crazy adventures, dazzling shows, agriculture, culture and much, much more. Not sure where to start? Here’s a baker’s dozen of ideas. Come celebrate – and have fun!

1. Take a free WestJet Skyride! (Yes, free! All day!)

2. Visit Indian Village. It’s one of the most interesting, vibrant & peaceful places on Stampede Park. Have a bite at the Bannock Booth and browse the arts and crafts fair. Indian Village Closing Ceremonies, 7:30 p.m.

IV

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The Artist Ranch Project: incredible art inspired by the western way of life

Each year the Stampede funds a small group of selected contemporary artists to spend a weekend in Longview to experience the western way of life on an authentic working ranch. The artists will then create a body of artwork inspired by their ranch experience, culminating in a unique exhibition and sale of work in the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase art show.

This program is called the Artist Ranch Project.

2016 Artist Ranch Project by Michelle Atkinson

Glass piece by Michelle Atkinson, inspired by the red barn at the OH Ranch

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Why do cows poop so much? And other amazing questions from BMO Kids’ Day

BMO Kids’ Day was full cute kids in western wear, tons of pancakes, blue thundersticks and….questions.

As part of the Million Question Challenge, the Calgary Public Library joined BMO Kids’ Day to ask curious kids: Imagine you can speak animal (llama, horse, pig, goat, dog, bull, chicken or cow). What questions would you ask the animals?

Kid

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Don’t miss your chance to win up to $1 million with Stampede Lotteries!

The Calgary Stampede Lotteries made history last night when the Split’Em 50 pot hit $1 million – and it’s growing by the minute. That means this year’s winner will win more than $500,000—and up to a whopping $1 million! That’s right—there are $2 million worth of Split’Em 50 tickets available.

But only $2 million worth. With half of the tickets already sold and five days left of Stampede 2016, come down to Stampede Park and get in on the biggest Stampede Lotteries jackpot in our history!

Lotteries

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10 pro tips for a rainy day on Stampede Park

Just because it’s wet outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a whole lot of fun on Stampede Park. We challenge you to use rainy weather to find something new on Stampede Park. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Grab covered seats at the Grandstand for the Rodeo or the Evening Show (which includes the GMC Rangeland Derby and the TransAlta Grandstand Show). Use the Virtual Venue to see which seats are covered – bring a blanket, stay dry and enjoy the show! Tickets available here.

Rodeo

Look at all of these Rodeo fans not getting wet!

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A flaming tightrope, pyrotechnics, fly lines and other cool behind-the-scenes facts about the TransAlta Grandstand Show

This year’s TransAlta Grandstand Show is titled Grand Spectacular. Here’s a few behind-the-scenes facts that earn this show its name:

The state-of-the-art stage surface installed in 2014 has been upgraded with the integration of water and fire. Multiple nozzles and reservoirs have been installed within the stage structure to provide special effects that have never been seen before at the Grandstand.

Photo Credit: Andy Nichols / Calgary Stampede

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