Happy Trails!

Hey y’all, Princess Chelsey here again, back at it for the New Year! As per usual, we’ve been keeping quite busy, but realizing that this is to be our slow time before all of the extra excitement of spring time hits, we’ve been enjoying our down time while we can! I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about one event that we get to attend each and every month, and will continue to all through the rest of the year…Happy Trails! If you think that was me bursting into song…you’re mistaken. Happy Trails is a monthly event put on by the Calgary Stampede Promotions Committee where we tag along to various retirement homes for an evening of singing, line-dancing, and spending time with the residents. Chelsey 1

We love the Calgary song!

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Doors Open YYC is returning to the Calgary Stampede Grandstand!

On September 26 and 27, come get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the Calgary Stampede’s most unique areas. The Stampede tour was among Doors Open YYC’s most popular last year, and we are thrilled to be participating once again. This year, check out the Young Canadians’ costumes, enjoy the view from the Eye in the Sky, get an up-close look at the chutes, and new this year, tour the Infield suites.

Photo Credit: Shaun Robinson / Calgary Stampede

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Lucky Stampede Lotteries Winners announced!



Prizes for the 2015 Stampede charity lotteries were valued at $1.3 million! Tonight, a lucky group of people became Stampede Champions. Notable prizes up for grabs were a $864,000 dream home, almost a quarter of a million dollars cash, as well as a pickup truck with a boat.


This year's Stampede Champions are Paul Allred (Rotary Dream Home), Mike Burnyeat (Truck & Fifth Wheel), Ken Pierson (Truck & Boat), Mike Moore (Truck & Toys), Kevin Willerton (Corvette Stingray), Lal Perera (GMC Yukon), Andrew Pike (Harley-Davidson), Frances Henrickson (Split’em 50/50 - $242,055 Cash), Marty & Gloria Jurgens (Early Bird Winner - 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1LT) and Linda & Paul Thomas (VIP Prize Winner - $10,599)

This year’s Stampede Champions are Paul Allred (Rotary Dream Home), Mike Burnyeat (Truck & Fifth Wheel), Ken Pierson (Truck & Boat), Mike Moore (Truck & Toys), Kevin Willerton (Corvette Stingray), Lal Perera (GMC Yukon), Andrew Pike (Harley-Davidson), Frances Henrickson (Split’em 50/50 – $242,055 Cash), Marty & Gloria Jurgens (Early Bird Winner – 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1LT) and Linda & Paul Thomas (VIP Prize Winner – $10,599)

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Stampede Queen and Princesses, true friends for life

Well hello!

It’s hard to believe that April is almost over and soon it will be May! The last month has been full of events and from our sneak preview of May’s schedule, we will only be getting busier from now until Stampede time! All I can say is that I’m so glad Princess Kimberly, Princess Haley and I get along so well because we sure do spend a lot of time together.

Just this past week we were interviewed by Branded Magazine, which is a local magazine geared toward the “young, bold, and thriving in YYC” (as their facebook page says). The interview was for the upcoming summer issue which will feature a few stories on the lesser known facts of the Calgary Stampede. It was a great opportunity for all three of us to sit down and share some of our experiences so far. One of the questions that came up during the interview was a common one; “how do all three of you get along?”

Well, we all looked at each other for a moment and then Princess Haley answered by saying;

“We all get along because we are just nice, easy going ladies.”


It was during this moment that I thought back to the start of the competition and to how nervous I was to meet all the other ladies who were entering as well. I had never entered a competition like this one, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping to meet some nice girls and make a few new friends, but to be completely honest, I was afraid that I was going to be thrown into the mix with a few Miss Congeniality/Rodeo Girls and really wasn’t sure how I’d cope with that. Luckily for me, all of the ladies who competed were very nice and personable. Not only did I make some new friends, I also ended up being crowned alongside two of the smartest, most dynamic young women I have ever met.  Continue reading

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

Each year, the Queens’ Alumni committee and Agriculture Education committee team up to host Giddy Up Aggie Days, a free event for special needs children and their families.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

The 2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days breakfast kicked off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. in the Stampede Corral — past Calgary Stampede queens and volunteers from Maxim Power Corp. worked hard to feed more than 700 registered families and their caregivers.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days volunteers from Maxium Power Corp.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days volunteers from Maxium Power Corp. busy serving up pancakes to our guests.

We saw a lot of happy faces munching on pancakes as notable guests, such as the Stampede Queen and Princesses, past Indian Princesses and several rodeo queens, mixed and mingled through the crowds.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

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Stampede Queen’s top three memories of 2015 so far

Well hello again! I hope the winter hasn’t been too rough on you and that you are looking forward to the spring and upcoming rodeo season as much as I am!

These past few months have been packed full of fun adventures and it is hard to believe that the Princesses and I are almost at the halfway point in our reign. There are already countless stories that I could tell you about what has happened, but I will narrow it down to the top three.

The first very memorable incident took place a few months ago while I was on a family trip in Mexico. We all went out for dinner one evening to a small restaurant that had a picturesque patio overlooking the beach. I am sure you can imagine my surprise when I noticed three Calgary Stampede posters hanging on the wall, so out of curiosity I had to ask the waiter (who was also the restaurant owner) if he was a fan of the Calgary Stampede. He replied that yes, he was a big fan and that one day he and his wife would love to make the trip to Calgary to go to the Stampede. Well, he was just as surprised to find out that I was the 2015 Stampede Queen as I was to see the CS posters hanging in his restaurant. So naturally, we needed to have our picture taken together. I think this moment stuck with me the most because I have always known of the international fame of the Calgary Stampede, but had never directly experienced it until one evening on a family trip.


Mick Plemel with restaurant owner and waiter in Mexico

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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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The Calgary Stampede’s Mobile Stages are a great addition to any event

Cowboys started serving pancakes out of their chuckwagons in the nineteenth century. Calgarians took up the tradition in 1923 when Jack Morton began serving breakfasts of out of his chuckwagon in the downtown core. The only thing better than a free breakfast is one with live entertainment. That’s why the Calgary Stampede has three mobile stages and a volunteer subcommittee to manage them.


Community events use the stages in a variety of ways including hosting performances, award shows and bands. The stages are used year-round and travel outside of Calgary, giving a western theme to any event. In fact, this past February, the group took its newest stage to Banff, for the opening ceremonies of the Alberta Winter Games.

This wasn’t the first winter sporting event for the stages. The Winter Olympics used two stages for the cross-Canada torch relay in 1988. Two years later, the Stampede took possession of them. And the Calgary Stampede still has these original stages. In 2007 a clamshell unit with a 32 feet wide performance area was added to the fleet. They have continued to host many more celebrities and entertainers such as George Fox, Jewel, Gord Bamford, Tim Hus and Carolyn Dawn Johnson.


The Mobile Stage group loves hosting performers but most of all enjoys giving back to the community. The Stampede supplies stages free-of-charge to community events. This allows these events to hang onto funds that would otherwise be used for staging. For example, the Aspen Crossing Music Festival this summer reallocated stage money to the STARS charity. Similarly, other participants, such as 4H and the Lions Club were able to keep funds they raised at the same event.


As the mobile stages have become known across Alberta, more and more events are requesting them. As a result, and part of succession planning the group has begun replacing the 1988 vintage units. In 2013 the group took delivery of a new 53 foot semi trailer type stage. The Mobile Stage group also provide sound equipment to events needing sound but no stage. One example is the Happy Trails events that the Promotion committee has started. Happy Trails brings western hospitality to seniors who cannot come to Stampede Park.

Make sure to be on the lookout for the Calgary Stampede mobile stages throughout the year. When you see the stages, you’ll find our Mobile Stage subcommittee, a subgroup of the Promotion committee, in action. Don’t forget, the stages also help out the Caravan committee pancake breakfasts during Stampede time. So join the more than 100,000 people to receive a free breakfast and enjoy some western entertainment.

Stampede volunteer Rick Smith honoured with Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award

At 26 years old, Rick Smith stumbled across a small job ad in a paper for assistant manager of Heritage Park. After a year in the oil business, Smith thought he would try his hand as a landman, but something about the Heritage Park ad piqued his interest. He applied. The interviewers told him they were looking for someone with a history background, but Smith convinced them that what they needed was someone with a management background—him.

After 33 years with Heritage Park and as many as a community philanthropist and volunteer, Stampede volunteer Rick Smith was honoured with a Mount Royal Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award on October 2, 2014.

Rick studied Business Administration at Mount Royal before going on Eastern Washington State University. Although initially he followed in his family’s footsteps into the oil business, his interest in western history made him follow up on the Heritage Park opportunity. In eight years, Smith would be general manager.

Smith was a perfect fit for the vision-oriented, compassionate work environment. “Rick is a natural connector of people,” said Nancy Smith, friend and former colleague. “He genuinely cares about everyone around him.”

Around the time that Smith began working at Heritage Park, he met Randy Avery, the founder of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Avery had been contracted to put on a show commemorating the founding of the RCMP.

Western Legacy Award for Sustained Contribution Individual on Vimeo

“When you met Randy,” Smith remembers, “You couldn’t help but become enthusiastic. He elevated everybody to another level.” Avery’s show was one of Smith’s first projects at Heritage Park.

That began a long relationship between Heritage Park and the Stampede. Heritage Park would frequently supply vehicles and other historic items for the Grandstand Show.

In 1984, Smith initiated an effort to sponsor a chuckwagon tarp, establishing an even deeper relationship between the two organizations. Soon after, Smith joined the Historical committee as a volunteer.

Past Stampede president Rob Matthews remembered Smith’s centennial fundraising efforts. Smith brought 189 Stampede volunteers and leaders together to purchase a tarp and raised more than $60,000 for charity in the process. They called themselves the 10-day Tarmac Babies.

“Rick is a tremendous fan of chuckwagon racing and he brought everyone together around that passion to do good for the community,” said Matthews. “He’s an amazing guy and the Stampede has been so fortunate to have him as a volunteer and supporter.”

Smith has also been involved with Tourism Calgary, Rising Sun Extended Care Centre, Bar U Ranch National Historic Site and the Longview Music and Arts Festival. His dedication to the community and contagious enthusiasm for all things western heritage won him a Western Legacy Award for Sustained Contribution last year. Smith is also the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), Alberta’s Tourism Ambassador Award (2005) and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). His true love for the work, it seems, brings people together to do great things.

“The joy of working with both Heritage Park and the Stampede is the people and their love and belief in what they are doing,” said Smith. “Heritage Park and Stampede are both visions of the citizens that emerged from our pioneering western spirit.”

Rick has been married to his wife Erika for 36 years had has two children, Mike (34) and Christine (31).

Stampede Family, Thank You

The Calgary Stampede has always been an important part of my life. From Parade Day until Showdown Sunday I was enthralled by everything Stampede.

One of the Stampede's most recognized Volunteers: Harry T. Horse

One of the Stampede’s most recognized Volunteers: Harry T. Horse

Whether it was participation in the Breed Demonstration at the old Ag tent, or being a spectator down by the rail at the Rangeland Derby, I spent the majority of Ten-Day down on the grounds. This passion for the Stampede was a major motivator in trying out for the Royal Trio. However, before this year, I had no idea of the magnitude of the corporation: there are over 3500 volunteers and employees who invest countless hours both over Ten-Day, and year round into this unbelievable organization. They all share a common passion: The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. While we had the privilege of meeting countless volunteers involved with numerous committees, there are a few that stood out in our amazing year, and really showed us what it means to be part of the Stampede Family.


To the Promotion Committee, thank you for the line dancing and singing lessons (both of which were desperately needed), and for the genuine western spirit you shared with us, and that you share around the entire city year round.  It was a privilege to work with such enthusiastic volunteers that demonstrate the core values of the Calgary Stampede at each event you participate in.


Happy Trails with the Promotion Committee!

Happy Trails with the Promotion Committee!


The Courtesy Car Committee was there for us during the highlight of our year: Stampede 2014.  This is an amazing group of gentlemen who, among other more important duties, take care of us and make sure we get where we need to be during an incredibly hectic ten days.  We were lucky enough to have 22 fantastic drivers with us for Stampede.  From car paint (sorry not sorry, Harry!), to milkshakes, Starbucks runs, Sillabub, and laughing / rapping to our “special song”, this committee made an already incredible Stampede even more special.


With Dave, one of our trusty Courtesy Car Drivers on the Eve of Stampede 2014!

With Dave, one of our trusty Courtesy Car Drivers on the Eve of Stampede 2014!


Finally, to the Royalty Committee, there are no words to describe how grateful all three of us are for this once in a lifetime opportunity. This year not only did we get to experience a vast number of special and unique events but we grew as individuals, and as a team.  The life skills we’ve learned this year are invaluable, and most certainly be taken with us wherever we go in life. Thank you for all you have done behind the scenes to make this year so special. You run a phenomenal program, and we are so honoured to be able to say we were part of it.   Thank you for introducing us to what is sure to be a lifetime as part of the Stampede Family.


With Jenna Wood, extremely hard working Chair of the Royalty Committee and 5 Year Stampede Volunteer.

With Jenna Wood, extremely hard working Chair of the Royalty Committee and 5 Year Stampede Volunteer.


As bittersweet as passing our crowns on will be, I speak for Shannon, Stephanie, and myself when I say the Stampede will not be getting rid of us that easily. Once you’re accepted as part of this remarkable family, you’re here for a lifetime. Thank you to this incredible organization that has given us so much.

Queen Danica


Meet the Calgary Stampede’s two new Honorary Life Directors: Wynne Chisholm and Glenn Street

The Calgary Stampede is pleased to welcome two new Honorary Life Directors, Wynne Chisholm and Glenn Street.

Since its earliest days, the Stampede has recognized the leaders who have elevated Alberta’s stature nationally and internationally through their vision, hard work and tireless commitment to western values. Honorary Life Director is one of the most prestigious accolades awarded by the Stampede, and in April, the board of directors inducted two long-time Stampede volunteers and past directors into this prestigious grouping.

Please meet our new Honorary Life Directors:

Wynne Chisholm 

Wynne Chisholm

Wynne Chisholm began her four-decade long association with the Calgary Stampede in 1976, when she was crowned Stampede Princess. For the next three years she served on the Queens’ Alumni Association Executive and led the initiative to have the Queens’ Alumni recognized as a formal Stampede committee, which they achieved in 1980. She then served as its first chair. During her time with Queens’ Alumni, Wynne was integral in building the relationship between the Stampede and special needs children—a relationship that remains strong to this day. Wynne continued to volunteer each year with the Stampede and quickly became known for her energy, enthusiasm and strategic thinking. In 2008, she was elected to the board of directors. As chair of the board’s Strategy committee, Wynne oversaw the development of our current Strategic Plan.

Outside of her time spent at the Stampede, Wynne is the president and CEO of W.A Ranches and a leader in modern ranching operations. Her ranch prioritizes self-sufficiency and environmentalism, quality assurance as well as community partnerships. W.A. Ranches sponsors 4-H awards, scholarships at Olds College, is a major donor to the Agrium Western Event Centre and works with the University of Calgary veterinary school to give students hand-on experiences at a ranch. In 2011, Wynne was awarded the Farm Credit Canada’s Rosemary Davis Award, which honours female leaders in Canadian agriculture. In all of her efforts, Wynne epitomizes western hospitality, and demonstrates an enduring pride of place in Calgary and Alberta making her well deserving of the special privilege of becoming Honorary Life Director.

Quote from Wynne: Volunteering at the Calgary Stampede has been a great way to give back to the community. I’ve made lifelong friends and enjoyed building the capability and capacity of the board and volunteer committees. I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed an Honorary Life Director and look forward to staying connected. 

Glenn Street

Glenn Street

Glenn Street joined the Calgary Stampede Promotion committee in 1984. As the president of Calgary’s Street Characters, he helped the Stampede bring to life Harry the Horse, who has been a symbol of the Stampede’s western hospitality ever since. In 1990, Glenn joined the Downtown Attractions committee and he was elected to the board of directors in 2004. While on the board, Glenn served as director liaison to numerous committees including Lotteries, Corporate Relations, Grandstand Show, Western Legacy Awards, Strategic and Steer Classic committees, to name just a few. Glenn is an out-of-the-box and entrepreneurial thinker who has inspired and invigorated the Stampede through his efforts, as he does in all walks of life.

For example, under Glenn’s leadership, Street Characters has become well-known for its high performance business culture, and is regularly visited by representatives from other companies to learn its techniques. In 2007, Glenn received an FMC Pinnacle Award for Business Excellence. At Street Characters and the Stampede alike, Glenn is an enduring proponent of measuring the success of the organization. Glenn has always striven to ensure that the Stampede stays true to its western values, which he has exemplified in his own extraordinary contributions to the community and is why he truly deserves the special recognition of becoming Honorary Life Director.

Quote from Glenn: I’ve been fortunate enough to have some pretty amazing experiences in my life. I’ve been able to do a lot of things that most people would not have the opportunity to do, and by far being a director of the Stampede is one of the highlights of my life.

Calgary Stampede Lotteries – 2014 Loyalty and Early Bird Prize Draws

Purchasing the Stampede Lotteries Ticket Package before April 20, 2014 gave Brenda Burton a very pleasant surprise. On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, the Loyalty Prize Package draw took place and her name was drawn! After a few days of back and forth messages, Brenda was able to connect with the Lotteries Committee.

When asked what her first reaction was when she got the message, Brenda said, “I thought there was a problem with my payment! I honestly had no idea there was a loyalty draw winner.”

Brenda looks forward to being able to give her kids the opportunity to enjoy even more of the Stampede: “The Stampede Bucks will buy a lot of corn dogs!”

…and she’s still eligible for the 2 Early Bird trips and the Dream Home and Wheels prizes!” exclaims Calgary Stampede Lotteries chair Rick Kuzyk.

Brenda Loyalty Winner

Rick Kuzyk, Stampede Lotteries Chair; Winner – Brenda Burton; Theresa Howland, Director, Consumer Sales & Sponsorship; Mike Leu, Lotteries Manager

Here is what Brenda won, her prize valued at over $5400!

  • 4 infield seats to Stampede Rodeo
  • 4 Lazy S tickets to TransAlta Grandstand Show
  • 4 tickets to Shania Twain on July 10
  • 4 tickets to Keith Urban on July 12
  • $500 in gift certificates to the Stampede Store
  • and much more!

There are still two early bird prize draws coming up! Don’t wait, the first early bird deadline may have also passed but there is still plenty of time to get in the second early bird and be included in the draws for the rest of the prizes available.

Prize 1 – European Cruise

Stampede Lotteries Ticket Packages purchased on or before Friday, May 16, 2014 are entered to win this incredible Early Bird prize experience valued at $16,700! Cruise the legendary Rhine & Moselle Rivers for 12 days, south from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. Featuring an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds, this romantic trip for two includes high-season air fare from Calgary, with sightseeing in Amsterdam, Cologne, Koblenz, and other historic cities, as well as cruising through the Rhine River Gorge, a guided visit of Heidelberg castle, and much more.

The first Early Bird draw date is Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Prize 2 – Western Caribbean Disney Cruise

Stampede Lotteries Ticket Packages purchased on or before Friday, June 6, 2014 are entered to win this luxurious getaway Early Bird prize valued at $9,950! Take the family on a magical Western Caribbean cruise for five nights aboard the Disney Wonder. Soak up the sun on this tropical getaway with this fun-filled package for two adults and two children at high-season rates from Calgary to Miami, then Cozumel and Castaway Cay, and return back to Miami. Have a family vacation you’ll never forget!

The final Early Bird draw date is Monday, June 23, 2014.




All told, there’s over $1.2 million in prizes to be WON including -

  • The Rotary Dream Home is valued at $820,125
  • Kinsmen Wheels including a 2014 GMC Sierra 3500 HD 4X4
  • 2014 Prime Time Crusader Fifth-Wheel Trailer
  • 2014 Regal 2100RX Sport Boat