2016 Best Food on the Midway winners: your eating guide for Final Sunday

Don’t forget to tag your food adventures with #Stampede2016 and #CSFoodie!

The Best BBQ on the Stampede Midway award went to Boss Hogs BBQ for their BBQ Pork Ribs. Perfect for sharing, they’ve won multiple awards across Canada for their take on this summer classic and now they’ve won in Calgary too. Check them out at the Triple B.

BestBBQ2016

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

2016 Rodeo Highlights – Day 8

P.M.  8

There’s nothing like a little moisture and mud to test cowboy determination, for rodeo contestants and even the visiting Prime Minister! Friday provided those conditions at the Calgary Stampede, just when Pool B contestants needed to bear down and secure their spot for Showdown Sunday.

But the rain stopped as the rodeo began and fans loved the mud, especially in the steer wrestling, where there was no choice but to get dirty.

Continue reading

There are two Oases that offer a break at Stampede Park

Most people know about the Western Oasis, retreat for Cabernet cowfolks who prefer a civilized glass of wine to mud and beer.  In that quiet murmuring space visitors can enjoy the variant colours and textures of the different works on display in the western art show and the western photo gallery. My personal favourite is Bonnie MacRae-Kilb’s work, featured in the Artist Ranch Project, as striking and energetic as the artist herself. That Oasis is a wonderful spot, reminding us that celebrating our western heritage is tied to image and art, which speak for both memory and vision.

Photo Credit: Andy Nichols / Calgary Stampede

The other is Enmax Park, the new Indian village, which combines the best of the old village with a better location, the striking Treaty 7 family teepees set into the crook of the confluence of the Elbow and the Bow.  The new setting is lush and well planned, now slightly apart from the hurly burly of the midway and the bustling crowds. The Bannock Booth is busier than ever, and I tasted the best bannock I have ever eaten the other day.  The grassy expanse, the picnic area, and the serenity of the new spot all combine with the interpretive programs and dances, and celebrate the powerful cultural heritage of the people who have gifted us this land. The 26 tipis representing the Kainai, Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda, Siksika and Piikani nations are circles of memory and respect, of the ongoing traditions of the land and the indigenous people and their continuous role in our history.

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

Both are worth visiting, offering a chance to spend a few quiet hours away from the muddy infield, a small circle of stillness and quietude at the heart of Stampede’s celebration.

How to become an auctioneer with Ryan Konynenbelt

We’ve all seen and heard auctioneers at work: they’re those fast-talkers who deal goods to the highest bidder. Just about anything can be auctioned off: from services, to art, to equipment, to – you guessed it – livestock.

You can see the top auctioneers at the International Livestock Auctioneer Championship Saturday, July 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Agrium Western Event Centre.

But how does one get into auctioneering? For last year’s Calgary Stampede International Livestock Auctioneer Rookie of the Year Ryan Konynenbelt, he’s wanted to do it since he was a kid.

He was just 15 years old and doing a church fundraising sale when the Picture Butte Auction Mart, near his hometown of Nobleford, called and gave him a job selling chickens and rabbits on Saturdays. From there, it only grew. Konynenbelt was soon selling sheep, goats, horses, cattle, and doing the odd fundraiser while he was at it.

Konynenbelt isn’t quite the typical case of an auctioneer realized. Many of his peers have been in the business for 20, 30 years – longer than he’s been alive.

But when you’re good, you’re good. In 2015, with 18 years of age and with three years of experience under his belt, Konynenbelt placed third in the Stampede competition.

He’s back again this year – another year older, and another year wiser.

RK_1

Auctioneering is much more than fast-talking: there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with it, too. As Konynenbelt succinctly put it, “You’re selling livelihoods.”

“You wanna do the best you can,” he said. “You’re working for the producer. It’s not the easiest job in the world, but it’s worth doing.”

Because it’s such an important job, Konynenbelt has to be at the top of his game. He has to know exactly the value of what he’s selling in order to make sure he can get a fair price for it.

“Know your numbers inside and out. It’s gotta come naturally to you. You’re counting your way up,” Konynenbelt said. That, along with being as easy to understand as possible, is crucial to auctioneering.

Like every auctioneer, he has filler words to keep a rhythm going as he lists off numbers, which is where all that fast-talking comes in while he’s working to drive up the price. He starts off with a starting bid, and knowing the numbers, is able to get it up to what he wants.

RK_2

Konynenbelt’s favourite part of auctioneering? Everything. He says the people in the industry, the atmosphere – all of it’s awesome, and he can sit there all day and just listen.

“The community is like a family,” he said. “You only see them a couple of times a year but you all have something in common.”

So, how does one get into auctioneering? Konynenbelt is self-taught. He’s been doing this from an early age, practicing as much as possible and working at a handful of auction marts. But even he went to school before nailing down jobs.

“Go to school,” is Konynenbelt’s advice to any aspiring auctioneers. “Visit auctions, and just practice. You can practice anywhere.”

At home, on the road, when you’re driving – anywhere is fair game to find your voice.

Don’t miss world-class animals & competitors at the Junior Steer Classic this Sunday!

Have you ever been to a cattle show? Have you ever wondered what it takes to train a steer? Have you ever wondered how exhibitors prepare their animals for competition? A winning steer takes hours of patience, determination, respect for the animals, and impeccable animal husbandry – Come see what it’s all about Saturday, July 16 and on show day, Sunday July 17, from 1-5 p.m. in the Agrium Western Event Centre.

Steer Continue reading

2016 Rodeo Highlights – Day 7

Cory Solomon 7

It’s not every day you can make a slip and still come out a winner.

But Cory Solomon is on a roll at the Calgary Stampede, and not even a slight bobble slowed him down. The 2012 Stampede tie-down roping champion came out Thursday afternoon like a shot, and was making his tie before you could even blink. He was poised to be as fast, or faster, than his speedy 6.7 second run Wednesday, which topped the round.

Continue reading

We farm to support a brighter, better future for our children

Kassie O’Brien and her husband Kent, who is a 4th generation farmer, and their two daughters Klair and Karla, started 4K Farms in 2013. Their farm is located in Southern Alberta near the small town of Swalwell.

They started their farm with goats, alpaca and chickens. Wanting healthier lifestyle options for their family they purchased a sow Ezmerelda, then a boar Zuckerman and their pig adventure started!

4kfarms_pig

4K Farms is presenting Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 11AM on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage BMO Marketplace, Hall A.

Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about 4K Farms

Kassie O’Brien:  4K Farms heritage pigs are BC SPCA Certified and are raised without the use of antibiotics.

With over 60 humanely raised breeders 4k farms sustains a complete farrow to finish farm! 4K sows are bred ONLY once or twice a year, Moms have months in between births to allow some relaxing time.

All the pigs at 4k are given clean paddocks with trees for shade and wallowing holes, we rotate paddocks frequently to prevent boredom and allow rejuvenation of the land.

We give our pigs enrichment items that change all the time, tires, frozen treats, balls, forage and scattered treats to dig up and sniff out! 4K pigs are fed a diet of wheat, peas, barley and fodder.

Fodder is grown year round so the pigs are fed grass in the winter months.

4kfarms_pigletts


CS:
When did you know you wanted to be involved in the food industry? Continue reading

Calgary Stampede Livestock auctioneers to make Stavely debut

Livestock auctions aren’t new to Stavely, Alberta – but the Calgary Stampede’s International Livestock Auctioneer Championships are.

Before the top 10 finalists take over the Agrium Western Event Centre the morning of July 16, 23 auctioneers will compete at Foothills Auctioneers Inc. Among the contestants are auctioneers from Australia, South Africa and the competition’s first female entrant.

foothills_auctioneers_inc

Continue reading

2016 Rodeo Highlights – Day 6

Nancy Csabay 6

Winning a go-round at the Calgary Stampede is a special deal. Not only is it worth $5500 in the bank, but it also includes an introduction on the stage and a Stampede bronze.

That wasn’t necessarily part of barrel racer Nancy Csabay’s game plan, but when it happened on Day 6 of the Stampede, the Taber cowgirl was as thrilled as could be.

Continue reading

Stampede kitchen shares recipe to keep you energized while you visit Stampede Park

The 2016 Stampede is already at the halfway mark – but there are still tons of events for guests to check out this week, including the many shows that are included with your admission such as the Canine Stars, Bell Adrenaline Ranch and Peking Acrobats – so here are two quick and easy recipes from the Calgary Stampede Kitchen to keep your energy high.

Graham Armstrong, Stampede sous chef, holding the granola bars with his coworkers and fellow chefs holding the honey and granola bits.

Graham Armstrong, Stampede sous chef, holding the granola bars with his coworkers and fellow chefs holding the honey and granola bits.

Continue reading

Baa is the new moo

Their name says it all – Lambtastic! Ray and Nancy Nolan, partners in life and business, own and operate Lambtastic Farms near Vulcan, AB. Lamb is low in fat and full of protein so you can actually feel good about what you eat! Their lambs are raised in a healthy environment without the use of hormones or animal by-product feeds.  Lambtastic is presenting with Grainworks on Friday, July 15, 2016 at 3PM on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage BMO Marketplace, Hall A.
Lambtastic sheep

Calgary StampedeBriefly tell us about yourself and what your typical day looks like.

Ray Nolan:  Born and raised on a sheep farm in Ireland, where the family farm still operates today. Before returning to the a agriculture career, I was a chef for over a decade cooking in Ireland, England and finally Canada. During my culinary career I was fortunate enough to work at some great establishments. meeting some great people and cooking for the likes of HRH Queen of England at her royal state banquet to Nelson Mandela which was my personal favorite. Also during that time I met my wife, Nancy while working at the Dorchester hotel on park lane London.

Today we reside in Vulcan AB with our two boys Brayden 4, Charless 2. We run a flock of 350 ewes and grain farm. Our typical day is never a dull one varies from meeting chefs to butchers and the daily business of running a farm which is highly demanding. Our livestock require care 7 days a week, a farmers work is truly never done.
Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Chili Chili Bang Bang

For the last seven years, one day each Stampede, the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage has been the scene of the great chili cook-off among 3 teams from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. This year the competition takes place on Wednesday, July 13th at 11AM on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage in BMO Marketplace Hall A.

Boys and Girls Club 2014

The kids are incredibly creative and draw on their own culinary experiences (and maybe some advice from mom and dad) to come up with various themes on the traditional chili. We’ve tasted “Jamaican Me Crazy” , “Cha Cha Chicken”, “Chili, chili, bang, bang” chili and many more. It is so much fun to watch these kids embrace the Stampede experience .

Kids chili cookoff Nenshi 2015

Continue reading