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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Stampede supports the 2016 Immigrant of Distinction Awards

The 20th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards gala (IDA) is on Friday, March 11.

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Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) has hosted the gala since 1997 to recognize the achievements and life stories of some of Calgary’s most community-minded individuals. Twenty-five Immigrants and refugees in the Calgary community are finalists for the award and they will be acknowledged at IDA for their exceptional contributions and achievements in the following categories: Achievement Under 35; Arts and Culture; Community Service; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Hadassah Ksienski Lifetime Achievement; STEM; Organizational Diversity; and Youth Scholarships. Continue reading

Introducing the 2016 Calgary Stampede Royalty

Anticipation filled the air on Stampede Park throughout the months of September and October as the competitions for Calgary Stampede Queen & Princesses and Calgary Stampede Indian Princess were underway. To narrow down to the final three Stampede Queen and Princesses, 21 hopeful contestants took part in a four-week long contest with numerous competitions such as public speaking, equestrian, personal interviews and more. The Indian Princess pageant took place over two weeks, with five applicants and several events, including speech training, horsemanship and attending community events.

Excitement reached its highest peak with the crowning of Stampede Queen Maggie Shortt, Stampede Princess Chelsey Jacobson, Stampede Princess Baillee Billington and Stampede Indian Princess Vanessa Stiffarm. These four new Calgary Stampede ambassadors have already begun the journey of a lifetime; the Royalty have already attended events representing the Stampede and will make more than 400 appearances throughout the year. So just who are these four young women and what are they looking forward to this year?

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September is a Royal Month at the Calgary Stampede

The month of September has brought some major Royalty milestones throughout the Stampede’s 103-year history. Shannon Murray, historical specialist, walks us through this history as we eagerly prepare for the crowning of the 2016 Royalty Trio on Monday, September 28 at 7:30pm in the Agrium Western Event Centre on Stampede Park.

The first Stampede was held September 2-5, 1912. The event coincided with a visit from Their Royal Highnessess Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (Canada’s Governor General), Princess Louise Margaret and their daughter Princess Patricia. The family stayed with Senator James Lougheed and his wife Lady Isabella at their home on 13th Avenue SW and attended the first Stampede Parade as well as a few Rodeo events. Ever the showman, Guy Weadick had a special welcome arch set up for the royals in an effort to draw more spectators to his event.

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The Duke and Duchess of Connaught, riding in a carriage, pass under the “God Save the King” arch, specially built to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to Calgary.

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The special box seats created for the Duke and Duchess of Connaught as they attended the first Calgary Stampede Rodeo in 1912. Continue reading

Princess Haley’s June Update

Hey everyone! Can you believe that we’re less than 30 days away from the start of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth?! We thought that things were getting busy before with our big trips to Berlin and Kentucky, but towards the end of May and now into June, we’ve ramped up to events almost every day.

While the types of events that we get to do vary throughout the year, the next month is going to feature two very important Stampede staples. The first is one that we had was back at Grey Cup in November: PANCAKES! We had our first breakfast of this year out in Victoria after spending a day aboard the HMCS Calgary to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary. We were honoured to be invited out to sea and experience how the ship’s crew operates on a day-to-day basis, and were happy to share a little bit of our western hospitality with them at the breakfast the following day.

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Hanging out at the bow with the Sea King helicopter doing flybys. SO cool!

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With Sonar the Navy mascot at the HMCS breakfast.

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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.”

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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

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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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

 

Aggie Days Action

Over the past five months your Royal Trio (with an unbelievable amount of support and guidance from our equine sub-committee) has been working hard to get our royal steeds in tip-top shape.  We’ve been out at Heathercrest Ranch numerous times a week to exercise and to really get to know our “Princes” before we begin a summer full of rodeos and parades, including Stampede!

All of our hard work was put to the test not too long ago at Aggie Days, which is a five day agricultural fair for kids at Stampede Park.  Princesses Shannon and Stephanie and I participated in the beginning of the rodeo for the grand entry,  then returned after taking care of our horses to enjoy the remainder of the show and sign some postcards.

(l-r) Princess Stephanie and Snoopy, Hawk and myself, and Princess Shannon and Kansas

(l-r) Princess Stephanie and Snoopy, Hawk and myself, and Princess Shannon and Kansas

Even though I’ve been on horses my whole life and often feel more comfortable on them than on my own two feet, it was quite nerve-racking waiting behind the chutes to enter the arena.  I had been waiting for that moment since the day of the crowning back in September: my first grand entry.  I can’t really recall my name being announced, but I didn’t have to worry about missing my cue; the second the gate in front of us opened, my trusty steed Hawk was off like a shot.


[Video] Caption: Hawk and I; and one of our first grand entries!

Due to all my worrying and nerves beforehand I forgot one simple fact: while I was very new to this whole grand entry thing, my horse was an old pro.  After we galloped around the arena and made our way to our position for the national anthem (in front of 3000 screaming and cheering kids!) I had a little time to think and relax.  I realized that the past few months of riding practice (and likely the numerous horse cookies gifted to him by me) had created a bond between Hawk and I, and I knew that if I ever had a little panic attack again, my horse would take care of me.

 

                                   Hawk and I post grand entry

 

Aggie Days has been one of my (many) highlights for this year, and the mini celebration of farm life, in addition to our first grand entry, has gotten me so excited for Stampede.  I can’t believe it’s only two months and twelve days away… not that I’m counting or anything.

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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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Farewell and THANK YOU!

My reign as 2010 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess has been an unforgetable experience filled with adventure and excitment. The year has definitely had a positive impact on my personal growth and maturity. I am very happy with my contribution towards the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village. I am feeling very complete as my year comes to an end.

Twelve months ago, I was unsure what I was stepping into as Indian Princess but now that the year is over, I have gained a new understanding of my world. The royalty program prepared me with great leadership and public speaking training – I feel confident stepping into the world as a mature young lady.

It was such a wonderful and humbling experience to represent the Indian Village and the First Nation people of the Treaty 7 area. I have many more great friends as a result and I thank all the people who welcomed me into their lives and alowed me to share my Blackfoot culture with them. I walk away with great memories that I will hold dear to my heart.

In my year as Indian Princess I wanted to represent the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village with as much pride and enthusiasm as I could create. I believe I did this. I will continue to encourage all young cowgirls and young native girls to compete in the Royal Trio and the Indian Princess competition. It was such a great experience where you grow as a person, meet wonderful people, attend world class events and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

I want to send my gratitude to all my supporters, new friends, the Calgary Stampede, the Indian Princess Committee and Indian Events Committees and most importantly, my family. I wish each of you the very best.

I’m confident the next Indian Princess will have an equally rewarding year.

Farewell and THANK YOU!
Sahvanne Weasel Traveller
Calgary Stampede Indian Princess 2010