Make the Stampede part of your story – leave a legacy gift and support youth development

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The Young Canadians show their zest for life!

“You don’t know this yet, but you are about to win your second world championship and will go on to win your third next summer! Remember how you feel right now. The passion, the strength, the determination, they will follow you forever,” wrote Katie a Calgary Stampede Showband member in a reflection letter to herself.

For Katie and many others, being a part of the Calgary Stampede’s performing arts programs is about more than performance excellence, it’s about building confidence. Since joining the Stampede Showband, Katie’s confidence has soared and she’s become part of a community of champions.

The Calgary Stampede Showband are five-time world champions and challenge young Calgarians to think about what it means to be a citizen, an active member of their community, while learning about western heritage.

May is Leave a Legacy month and the perfect time to finalize your legacy and become part of the Stampede’s story. A planned gift to the Calgary Stampede Foundation will help build the next generation of community builders, change-makers and trailblazers.

“When you support the Calgary Stampede Foundation, you are supporting programs that motivate and engage youth, empowering them to do amazing things. These programs are an important part of the fabric of our city and create a generation of young people with the skills, confidence and drive to make the future brighter,” says Sandra Lunder, manager, philanthropy & community investment.

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The Calgary Stampede and Calgary Stampede Foundation are extremely proud to create opportunities that support our talented youth, allowing them to grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

By becoming part of the Stampede’s story your generosity will enhance our performing arts, agriculture programs and unique educational experiences, such as: the Calgary Stampede Showband, The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, 4-H programs, Stampede School and the OH Ranch Education Program.

Past president of the Calgary Stampede and generous donor, Bob Thompson sheds some light on why he chose to support the Stampede, “For me the choice was an easy one. My family has a long history with the organization and I understand and believe in the great contributions the Stampede makes to the community and to youth achievement. The difference these programs make is nothing short of amazing.”

Without donor contributions, we wouldn’t be able to offer youth the opportunity to realize their potential, hone their talents and build valuable leadership capabilities.

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The Calgary Stampede Showband has 140 members and travels all over the world!

“We appreciate every donor and contribution to help the Stampede continue its important work of shaping the future of our city,” shares Lunder.

What is planned giving?

A planned gift is a donation you make during your lifetime, but which the Calgary Stampede will not receive until sometime in the future. There are several types of planned gifts, such as: bequests in your will. We can work with you to tailor-make a gift that helps you fulfill the lasting legacy you want to leave.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of the youth in our communities.To discuss opportunities to make the Calgary Stampede part of your legacy, please contact:

Sandra Lunder, manager, philanthropy & community investment 403.261.9345 or slunder@calgarystampede.com.

TransAlta Grandstand Show promises to deliver a uniquely Canadian experience

There’s only one way to tell Canada’s story: big! As Canadians celebrate the nation’s milestone 150 birthday, the annual TransAlta Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede joins the party this week, announcing the creative spectacular Together. Together is an exhilarating spectacle that promises grand imagery and breathtaking performances only available at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

One of the many talents performing front and center at the TransAlta Grandstand Show

Produced by Dave Pierce, Emmy Award winner for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, Together is a force of creativity with outstanding voices and talent coming together from coast-to-coast-to-coast to bring audiences an unforgettable experience.

“The Olympic ceremonies set a benchmark for showcasing Canada. Together will be the biggest, most visually spectacular show yet, an extravaganza not to be missed — made right here at home just for the Calgary Stampede,”says Pierce.

Hosted by Canadian icon, Jann Arden and backed by an all Canadian creative team, the TransAlta Grandstand Show also features the talents of the Alberta Ballet, The Young Canadians, Calgary’s adult choir Revv52, Inuit throat singers, Cailyn DeGrandpre and Samantha Kigutaq, among many other inspiring performances by musicians, acrobats and dancers of all ages. Continue reading

A Wet and Great Stampede!

Yes, it was the wettest ten days I can remember in my 30+ years of volunteering (and in fact I now hear it was the rainiest 10 days since 1927), but definitely a lot of bright spots and great memories from the 2016 Stampede:

1. Pre-Stampede, on Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 7, I was very busy with large and in some cases record crowds at the CBC Breakfast, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Parade, Tourism Calgary First Flip, the Field Law and Miles Davison LLP parties and Parade committee kick off BBQ. No question from those events that the city was very much looking forward to celebrating Stampede this year.

David Gray, host of the Eyeopener on CBC Radio (L) interviewing Codey McCurrach, chuckwagon driver (R) at the CBC Breakfast

David Gray, host of the Eyeopener on CBC Radio (L) interviewing Codey McCurrach, chuckwagon driver, (R) at the CBC Breakfast

Pancakes being flipped at the First Flip breakfast hosted by Tourism Calgary

Pancakes being flipped at the First Flip breakfast hosted by Tourism Calgary

2. Parade Day is always special and I never take for granted the thrill of being on horseback riding along the downtown parade route in front of hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators. Parade Marshals PB&J (Paul Brandt and Jann Arden) were great ambassadors for Calgary and the walking entry of about 100 representatives from the various Fort McMurray agencies involved with the emergency first response, re-location and re-settlement of that city received a huge and well deserved show of appreciation.

parade 2016)

Waving hello atop of Pa – the horse I rode this year from the Stampede Ranch

3. The Stampede Rodeo was great all week (even during the downpour on Finals Sunday, which I would argue just made it that much more challenging and exciting). Barrel Racer Mary Burger became an instant Stampede hit during the first go around and then continued to win over hearts and fans by pulling in the big prize on Sunday. Getting to award announcer Ron MacLean his own bronze for his 25 years of involvement with the Stampede Rodeo was also a very special moment for me.

Ron and Bill

Ron with his bronze and me

4. More often than not, the GMC Rangeland Derby and Evening Show faced the wettest moments of each day. The track held up magnificently and kudos to all the drivers for night after night of exciting and safe racing. The TransAlta Grandstand Show was one of the best I can recall and was designed in such a manner that “the show could go on” each night notwithstanding the weather. Great job by Dave Pierce, the Grandstand committee and all others involved in producing and putting on this show.

Exciting finish to one of the chuckwagon races

Exciting finish to one of the chuckwagon races

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede performing in the Grandstand Show incorporating water in the show

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede performing in the 2016 Grandstand Show incorporating water in the show

5. The Stampede is a great place to see, meet and host people and that includes politicians from all levels of Government. His Worship Mayor Nenshi rode in the Parade and then to his credit attended every community event in the city, or so it seemed. Premier Notley also rode in the Parade and she and many of her cabinet and MLAs attended many Stampede events on Stampede Park. We even had Justin Trudeau and his daughter Ella-Grace on Stampede Park for a few hours on Friday, July 15 (though as you can see from the attached below, even our Prime Minister was not spared the rain). PM visit 6. Beautiful Enmax Park and the new home of Indian Village was a hit with our guests and one can only imagine how popular that area of Stampede Park will become in future years with better weather. Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede 7. The main Midway attractions (Dog Bowl, Peking Acrobats and Bell Adrenaline Ranch) all received deservedly rave reviews. The Agriculture programming was also outstanding and saw big crowds for Cowboy Up, Stock Dogs, Heavy Horse Pull, Steer Classic and all the exhibits in Agrium Western Event Centre, such as the Cattle Trail and many others.

The Canine Stars at the Dog Bowl

The Canine Stars performed incredible tricks at the Dog Bowl

Heavy Horse Show in the Scotiabank Saddledome

Big crowds came out to watch the Heavy Horse Show in the Scotiabank Saddledome

8. By far the most enjoyable moments for me throughout the ten days was hand out the President’s Certificate of Appreciation to surprised long term Stampede volunteers all over Stampede Park. Such a privilege to honour so many deserving people who have given so much to Stampede and to their respective committees. Many thanks to Jennifer Jenson and Shane Ellis for taking care of all the logistics and making this work with my crazy busy Stampede schedule.

One of the recipients of the awards - Jill Cross.

One of the recipients of the awards – Jill Cross.

Thanks to all of you for what you do for Stampede. Hope all the employees and volunteers of the Calgary Stampede have a great and relaxing (and warm and dry) rest of the summer. You all deserve that. Bill

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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10 things to see and do at Stampede 2016

Axe throwing, deep fried tequila shots, a 45-foot tall spinning ride, an international pavilion, a fire-lit tight-rope walker and a beautiful, new, 16-acre park are just a few of the new offerings to check out this Stampede. What’s your Stampede thing?

1. Ride the Stampede’s new ride

A new ride means a new opportunity for challenging yourself and your friends; Spin Out is a 45-foot tall rotating claw that spins you in every way imaginable – including spinning while you’re hanging upside down! For information on our other rides and ride packages, check out: http://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/midway

Spin Out

Spin Out

 

2. Watch rescue dogs perform jaw-dropping tricks at the Dog Bowl

These rescue dogs and dogs adopted from shelters, of multiple sizes and breeds, prove that you can do anything you set your mind to, and overcome any obstacles in your way; watch as these dogs defy gravity through freestyle Frisbee disc, flyball racing and high jumping agility demonstrations. Be sure to stay until the end of the show for the exhilarating dock diving act. Canine Stars will motivate you to go home and train your pooch a new trick or two.

The Dog Bowl will feature six shows daily with room for more than 2,000 dog lovers per show. Daily shows are at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. In addition, on Suncor Family Day and BMO Kids’ Day, the first show will be at 10:30 a.m. Sneak-A-Peek on Thursday, July 7 will feature two shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Canine Stars

Canine Stars

 

3. Relax by the river in Indian Village’s new home in the brand new ENMAX Park

Stampede Park’s newest green space, a beautiful inner city public park and gathering space, is the new home to Indian Village presented by Penn West. Located by the MacDonald Entry, and across the bridge from Kids’ Midway, you can experience a number of activities at Indian Village including daily dance demonstrations and  tipi raising competitions, cooking demonstrations over a an open fire, and traditional arts and crafts created by Treaty 7 artisans. Don’t forget that the Bannok Booth has also moved with Indian Village to ENMAX Park so be sure to grab some doughy goodness and relax and enjoy it on the lush green grass.

Indian Village’s first event, the Opening Ceremonies and Camp Moving Ceremony on Friday, July 8, the first day of the 2016 Calgary Stampede.

Indian Village has moved to beautiful ENMAX Park!

Indian Village has moved to beautiful ENMAX Park!

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Tips for your audition for The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts

Auditions for The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts (TYC) are in full swing. To help you with your audition, we’ve compiled a list of audition tips from TYC members and instructors. Good luck to everyone this weekend!

 

Tips from members of The Young Canadians

1. It’s okay to be nervous. You need that adrenaline. Take that nervous energy and turn it into good energy.

 

2. Always be a little early. It’s very important to warm up properly, whether that means stretching or warming up your vocal cords.

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh / Calgary Stampede

 

3. For a dance audition, make sure to dress properly! It’s important to wear something that flatters you but doesn’t overshadow your dancing. Along with dressing properly, having the right dance shoes is essential.

 

4. Get plenty of rest the night before. It’s the best way to relax your body. Also pack snacks and a water bottle—your body will appreciate it.

 

5. Choose a song that suits your voice but don’t be afraid to experiment!

 

Tips for Dance from a TYC instructor

1. Let your personality and individual style shine through.

2. Show us your performance and confidence.

3. Ensure your body is stretched and warm heading into the audition.

4. Get ready to be quick on your feet and pick up combinations across the floor and in the centre promptly. 

5. Relax, enjoy and show us your love of dance! 

The Young Canadian

Tips for Vocal from a TYC instructor

1. Choose a song you are comfortable with and that showcases your talents.  

Show us who you are, not who you think we want you to be. Personally, I always prefer to see something done really well, even if it is a “simpler” song choice, over a piece that is too difficult.  

TYC vocal 

2.  Prepare.  

Take the time to prepare your piece so that when you enter the room you feel ready and can hopefully enjoy yourself. Auditions can be very intimidating, but it is also a chance to perform, so have fun. Practicing will help you to feel confident about what you are presenting. Warm up before you get there and run through your piece the day of the audition. This way you can review things and work out any last kinks. Drink water, not only the day of, but the day before.  

 

3.  Be kind.   

Being kind and gracious to everyone you encounter during the audition process is important. If you have someone playing for you or helping set up your track, be nice to them, and say thank you. If you are using sheet music, put it in a binder (the pianist will appreciate it). Don’t only be nice to us when you are in the room, be nice the entire time you are there.  

 

4.  Be confident, even if you have to rehearse it.

You can take time to practice walking into the room, introducing yourself and announcing your selection. Enjoy yourself while you perform your piece, and show us your personality. You are not only showing us your voice, but also who you are, so find the confidence to let that show through.  

 

5.  Don’t forget that we are on your side.

Every time someone walks in the room, we are excited to hear them. We want them to do well and have a good experience. We take notes to help ourselves remember everyone, and though we may look serious, we are enjoying ourselves and engaged in you. We may ask you to try different things or test your range; this is not to throw you off or see you fail, we are simply trying to get to know you better. We want to see you do well, so think of us as an audience there to support you instead of a panel taking notes behind a table. 

 

An additional tip….HAVE FUN!   

 

The Young Canadians kick off preparation for 2016 Grandstand Show

Taking a quick glance around the room, one might not realize they were surrounded by some of the most talented youth in Calgary.

But in about two months’ time, these youngsters will be performing in front of about 20,000 people every night at the Calgary Stampede TransAlta Grandstand Show.

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede got their first look at Grand Spectacular, the 2016 edition of the Grandstand Show.

When it was revealed May 5, The Young Canadians celebrated the start of a new show and big journey ahead. The very next day, they would already be hard at work and ready to learn the production numbers.

Brian Foley addresses The Young Canadians

Show director Brian Foley addresses The Young Canadians at the official kick off night.

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The best part of being a member of The Young Canadians (and how you can join them)

Do you want to take your technical and artistic performing arts skills to the next level? Auditions for The Young Canadian’s School of Performing Arts are coming up in May.

What’s amazing about being a part of The Young Canadians?

  • Year-round training in vocal, dance and performance with an incredible team of specialists.
  • The opportunity to perform in annual shows (on stages like the Jack Singer Concert Hall and the new Bella Concert Hall), not to mention in front of 20,000 + people for TransAlta Grandstand Show during the July Stampede.

And in addition to all of that? Here’s what The Young Canadians themselves have to say:

Auditions for dance begin May 28 and auditions for vocal begin May 29. Click here for more information. Tips for your audition coming soon here on the Stampede blog! Stay tuned.

Everything New is Old Again, The Young Canadians spring show

On Sunday, April 10 and Monday, April 11, The Young Canadians perform their spring show, Everything New is Old Again at the new Bella Auditorium at Mt Royal University. Robin Murray, 14 and Tiannin Chan, 13, tell us about the show. You can get your tickets here!

Calgary Stampede: Tell us about the title.

Tiannin Chan: Everything New is Old Again, will twist current hits into the musical styles of the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Think Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop as 40′s jazz or the Fresh Prince of Bell Air as 20’s rag time.

As well as twisting new to old, we will flip some old classics on their head.

This show was inspired by New York-based Postmodern Jukebox led by frontman Scott Bradlee. Postmodern Jukebox posts weekly covers of recent pop songs with jazz or other genre variations. In January 2016, the Postmodern Jukebox YouTube channel surpassed 400 million views. The group is currently on a world-wide tour.

Young Canadians rehearsal What's Old is New Again April 2016

CS: What will the costumes be like?

Robin Murray: The costumes are an eclectic variety that ranges from traditional dance costumes to western wear to vintage.

CS: What’s it like performing at the Bella Concert Hall?

RM: Everything New is Old New Again will be the first production that The Young Canadians will have performed at the Bella Concert Hall. This venue is brand new and we are super excited to be performing on this stage.

CS: Sounds like a fun show.

TC: Yes! We are excited to be working on this show and twisting up new and old music.  The audience will hear music they recognize and will enjoy hearing it in a new style and seeing different style of dance that complement the music.

How to be an Arts Champion

Fiddlers. Break dancers. Painters. Sculptors. Singers.

130 young people armed with brass and kettle drums.

Calgary Fiddlers

The Telus Youth Arts Showcase was an inspiring start to the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.

As the Calgary Stampede Showband, joined by the Stetson and Round Up bands thundered “Jubilateo” (commissioned for the Showband as part of the 2012 Stampede Centennial celebrations) to open the lunch, I couldn’t help but feel a little humbled by all the time and passion that these young people, their instructors and their parents invested to bring them to that moment.

Stampede Showband

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions “celebrates the transformative power of the arts, building momentum for the future.”

Arts Showcase_Pulse Studios

If we believe that arts are a vital part of any vibrant community, how can we support? How can we be an arts champion?

In her welcome message, Patti Pon, president & CEO of Calgary Arts Development and chair of the Stampede Community Projects and Development volunteer committee writes:

“[Arts champions] see the arts as a good thing, as something of value, as a way to make discoveries to connect with others, to celebrate life, and to make meaning about what it is to be alive. They see arts as a way to develop youth into their best selves and to help tell our stories in the world.”

Youth Showcase

Did you know that Calgary Arts Development invested in 150 arts organizations on behalf of the City of Calgary in 2015 alone? Wow.

When I started working for Stampede, I had no idea how invested the organization is in the arts.

Stampede invests in youth development programs like the Stampede Showband and The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Did you know that every one of the participants in these programs is given a scholarship by the Calgary Stampede Foundation?

The new Youth Campus will be a hub for creativity—as home to the Calgary Opera, Calgary Arts Academy in addition to the aforementioned youth programs.

The Public Art volunteer committee works to bring public art works that tell the story of our western heritage—they have brought works like Outlaw to the community, and By the Banks of the Bow to Stampede Park. They will unveil a new artwork in ENMAX Park this May.

Western Showcase committee brings Western Canada’s largest Western Art Show to Stampede each year, showcases crafts, culinary arts and runs an artist-in-residence program throughout the year.

Youth Talent Search gives young people the chance to showcase their craft and winners get access to incredible resources, including a $10,000 grand prize.

The great takeaway? There are infinite ways to be an arts champion and we all have the capacity to be one.

The Stampede is honoured to work with artists of all ages – to invest in the next generation of creatives and patrons. And to live in a city where arts and arts champions abound.

Highlights from the 2016 Calgary Stampede Annual General Meeting

Positivity and progress were reoccurring themes at the Calgary Stampede’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Shareholders gathered at Stampede Park to vote for the board of directors, receive financial and shareholder updates, and hear from president & chairman of the board of directors, Bill Gray, and chief executive officer, Warren Connell.

president & chairman of the board of directors, Bill Gray (L), chief executive officer, Warren Connell (R)

president & chairman of the board of directors, Bill Gray (L), chief executive officer, Warren Connell (R)

Gray spoke of the milestones celebrated in 2015, including the Stampede’s new partnership with the Calgary Opera to create a new opera space on Stampede Park, and of the achievements of the Stampede’s many youth education and development programs. “When I started as the Stampede’s president & chairman of the board, I knew that our organization, on a year-round basis, was very committed to youth education.  What I did not appreciate was the breadth and extent of our involvement in those programs,” he said. Continue reading

What gifts will you give this holiday season?

You’re invited to The Spirit of Christmas, presented by The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, on Sunday, December 6, at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. This uplifting performance celebrates the greatest gifts we can give each other this holiday season, inspiring audiences to think about the gifts that come from within.

Dancers and singers act out numerous gifts throughout the performance, including the gifts of compassion, joy, laughter, peace and more. “[This year’s performers] were asked to bring their own life experiences into the pieces, which creates those deeper threads,” says Cyndi Scott, director of dance development.

Our inner gifts

Our inner gifts

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Celebrating two generations of Stampede involvement at the 2015 Stampede Talent Search

For Kerrie Everitt, Stampede memories of being a Young Canadian in 1985 and 1986 are flooding back quickly. She’s preparing to travel with her daughter, Capri Everitt, from their home in Vancouver to be a featured Junior performer at the 2015 Stampede Talent Search.

“I was ten years old when I was a Junior dancer and first performed in the Grandstand show,” says Kerrie. “And it’s pretty neat that Capri is 10, and will be performing at her first Stampede, too.”

Kerrie Everitt (second from right in red and white) in the 1985 Grandstand Show.

Kerrie Everitt (second from right in red and white) in the 1985 Grandstand Show.

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Saddle up, sopranos

The Calgary Stampede is pleased and proud to announce a trailblazing partnership with the Calgary Opera.

The Calgary Opera’s new home will be on Stampede Park—Calgary Stampede’s Youth Campus, a year-round gathering place for the community is slated to open in 2017 or 2018. Under the agreement the Stampede will provide the land for the Calgary Opera to build a 50,000 square foot Opera Centre, which will include public space, a 300-seat rehearsal and performance space, classrooms, practice halls, administrative offices and much more. Youth Campus will also house the Young Canadian School of Performing Arts, the Stampede School and the Calgary Stampede Showband.

Pictured: Stampede Princess Haley Peckham, Jose David Londono (YC), Stampede Princess Kimberley Stewart, Kastin Stewart (YC), Stampede Queen Mick Plemel, Thomas Glen (Calgary Opera), Stampede Indian Princess Maya Many Grey Horses, Ali Byford (YC) and Lindsay Kelle (YC)

Pictured: (L to R) Stampede Princess Haley Peckham, Jose David Londono (YC), Stampede Princess Kimberley Stewart, Kastin Stewart (YC), Stampede Queen Mick Plemel, Thomas Glen (Calgary Opera), Stampede Indian Princess Maya Many Grey Horses, Ali Byford (YC) and Lindsay Kelle (YC)

At the celebration in the Rotary House on Tuesday, March 10, this deal was sealed with an exchange of a white cowboy hat for a Brunhilda helmet with horns. The two Bobs were eager to tell the audience about how the Youth Campus will allow for aspiring youths and industry professionals, several opportunities to pool resources, both the facilities and years of expertise, in order to create Calgary’s newest art and cultural hub.

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Ring in the holidays with the Calgary Stampede Showband!

If you enjoy music and holiday cheer, join the Calgary Stampede Showband at its last two performances of the year!

Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade

Break out your mittens and toques! The Showband will trade in its iconic Smithbilt cowboy hats for some holiday themed headgear at the 33rd Annual Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade! The parade takes place Saturday, November 29, 2014 and begins at 11:00 AM. Other festivities taking place that day include a pancake breakfast (our fave!), pictures with Santa, and a free family movie. More information is available on the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade Facebook page.

Fort Macleod Parade 2013 2

 

Optimist Club of Calgary Festive Showcase

The Optimist Club of Calgary’s annual Festive Showcase at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium features some of Calgary’s most talented youth music ensembles including the world renowned Calgary Stampede Showband, Calgary Stetson Show Band, and Calgary Round-Up Band, joined by the always entertaining Band of Outriders and Heebee-jeebees. Special guests this year include the John G. Diefenbaker High School Choir and the Holy Trinity Academy Concert Band from Okotoks.

Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Time: 7:30 PM

Cost: $23.50

Tickets available via Ticketmaster