Why colour guard is the unexpected sport your child should try this year

When you’re wondering what sport or activity your child should try this year, colour guard usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind – but it should be! Colour guard is what we call the group of athletes/performers/dancers that twirl flags and toss (fake) rifles in front of marching bands. They’re extremely impressive but no one really knows how to join a colour guard, how you learn those skills, or what the colour guard does when they aren’t leading a parade. To answer these questions and more, the Escalade Winter Guard Association is hosting a colour guard Youth Development Camp this month, providing beginner instruction in dance, flag, and rifle skills – perfect for youth of all ages! Plus, if your tween/teen likes it, they can sign up to join the Calgary Round Up Band or Calgary Stetson Show Band this season. Still not convinced? We’ve got 8 reasons your kid should give colour guard a try this summer:

1. They don’t call it the “sport of the arts” for nothing! Colour guard is called the “sport of the arts” because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Performers demonstrate skill, agility, strength and endurance through choreographed movement, dance and use of props set to music to tell a story. Every season, colour guards rehearse several times a week to prepare for competitions. They make it look easy, but it takes a huge amount of skill to gracefully spin and toss colour guard equipment.

The Stampede Showband is an auditioned group for youth ages 16-21. Taylor Fraser, pictured here, is preparing to toss her "rifle" into the air, so it'll spin six times, and then catch it. Photo: End Credits

The Stampede Showband is an auditioned group for youth ages 16-21. Taylor Fraser, pictured here, is preparing to toss her “rifle”. It’ll spin in the air, and she’ll catch it without missing a beat. Photo: End Credits.

The coaches and instructors are seasoned veterans who have performed and competed at the highest levels. Many of the instructors with Calgary’s colour guard ensembles performed with the Calgary Stampede Showband and Drum Corps International (DCI) ensembles, and continue to compete in local elite ensembles like Escalade. Continue reading

Meet Noran Calf Robe, Indian Village Tipi Owner from Siksika Nation

This year, Indian Village moves to ENMAX Park. The 26 tipis represent the five nations of Treaty 7: Kainai, Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda, Siksika and Piikani. Each tipi has a unique design on the outside. Approximately 500 people will live in Indian Village during the 10 days, with daily performances adding another 1,000 people per day. More than 40 competitions and events take place in Indian Village during the July Stampede.

We caught up with tipi owner Noran Calf Robe whose family has been attending the Calgary Stampede for more than 100 years.

Visitors to Indian Village may recognize recurring tipis and owners year-after-year. The tipi painted with a buffalo belongs to the Calf Robes and has been a part of the Calgary Stampede from the beginning. Continue reading

A year in review: Calgary Stampede 2015 Report to the Community

We invite you to tour our new interactive, online Calgary Stampede Annual Report to the Community. Be sure to check out the many videos and infographic statistics for a comprehensive and entertaining view of the Stampede and its year-round initiatives.

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A tradition of community service has long been the hallmark of the Stampede’s culture. Looking back over this past year, the Stampede continued to deliver exceptional Stampede time experiences and diverse year-round programming. As you review the highlights of our 103rd year, we hope that you will agree that the Stampede is a world-class, year-round gathering place for the community, in ways which we can all be incredibly proud. To read our report, click here.

To see past reports, visit the Calgary Stampede Annual Report Archives.

Chef Roger Breton shapes a sugar palace for Ronald McDonald House

Chef Roger Breton is known across Stampede Park for his enthusiasm, bright smile and trademark, “GIDDY UP!” greeting. His kitchen colleagues and Wild West Chef interns are familiar with his big heart and impressive sculpting abilities but it wasn’t until a chance glance at the Calgary Stampede blog that gave chef Breton the chance to share his sweet skills with the community.

Pictured: Chef Breton hand delivered his sugar masterpiece to Ronald McDonald House on Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pictured: Chef Breton hand delivered his sugar masterpiece to Ronald McDonald House on Sunday, December 20, 2015

Once a month, employees from the Stampede Food & Beverage department round up their teams to rustle up brunch for Ronald McDonald House Charities Southern Alberta families. Chef Breton, who signed up for the December shift, wanted his first House visit to be a super sweet one. Continue reading

Introducing Jeff de Boer

I know that all you culture cravers and urban art aficionados are eagerly awaiting the opening of ENMAX Park in July 2016—since we announced that local artist, Jeff de Boer was selected to create a new sculpture to grace the MacDonald Bridge entrance earlier this year, the community has been abuzz with excitement!

Photo credit: Jeff de Boer website

Photo credit: Jeff de Boer website

I got the opportunity to tour de Boer’s studio and learn more about his work, as well as what inspires him to create.

de Boer is a multimedia artist, best-known for his whimsical metal sculptures—you may have seen his work at the Calgary International Airport (Tin Toy) or Cyclone, at the Glenbow Museum. He’s also received a Board of Governors Award of Excellence for his work instructing at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). An ACAD graduate, who majored in jewelry design, de Boer now works with various mediums to create pieces that surprise, delight and make memories. Continue reading

Calgary Stampede hosts 10 Chinese chefs for kitchen tour

Cowboy culture and a deep appreciation for Stampede time drew 10 Chinese chefs from Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing out to tour our Food & Beverage facilities late last month.

These international guests traveled to our fair province to learn more about Alberta Beef, our culinary scene and world-famous hospitality industries; they traveled with Cargill representatives to tour various locations during their week-long stay.

Pictured: (in white jackets) Chef Dale and Chef Kwong making memories with the Chinese tour group and Cargill representatives. Our guests not only got a tour of Stampede facilities, they also got a chance to check out the public art pieces on Stampede Park, like the Roundup, featured behind the group

Pictured: (in white jackets) Chef Dale and Chef Kwong making memories with the Chinese tour group and Cargill representatives. Our guests not only got a tour of Stampede facilities, they also got a chance to check out the public art pieces on Stampede Park, like the Roundup, featured behind the group

Continue reading

2016 Calgary Stampede poster and the poster artwork legacy

The Calgary Stampede unveiled our 2016 poster in the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery of the Calgary Public Library’s central branch on October 5, 2015. Community members and Stampede volunteers and employees were thrilled when the curtain pulled back to reveal the priceless piece by award-winning local artist, Michelle Grant: Born to Buck, pictured below.

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“When you visit the Stampede Ranch in Hanna [Alberta], you witness many scenes of horses running freely in the fields together,” said Bill Gray, president & chairman of the Calgary Stampede board of directors, “and that was the inspiration for the poster.” Continue reading

Stampede recognizes community builders with Western Legacy Awards

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Pictured: 2015 Western Legacy Awards recipients (L to R) Chuck Groenveld, Quinn Clark, Marilyn Dyck and Brad Fisher

On November 12 we honoured three outstanding individuals and one incredible group—as well as two inspiring Chairman’s Award recipients—at the 11th Annual Western Legacy Awards.

These awards were established in 2005 to recognize unsung heroes in Southern Alberta who exemplify the Calgary Stampede’s values of commitment to community, pride of place, integrity and western hospitality.

Continue reading

October is Disability Employment Awareness month

Disability Employment Awareness month (DEAM) was established to spotlight the positive outcomes of hiring persons with disabilities in Canada.

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Pictured: In A DEAM World

Five employees from the Calgary Stampede Food & Beverage team helped to bring attention to this great cause on Monday, October 26, 2015. Twelve local organizations were invited to join Mike Montgomery, from the Prospect House placement agency, as well as representatives from Studio C, to help create an inspiring 15 foot by five foot canvas mural, entitled In A DEAM World. Continue reading

Win a Special Date Night!

kevin hart pic

We’re thrilled to be giving away 2 tickets to the Kevin Hart “What Now Tour” show at the Saddledome coming up on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 7:00PM, as well as a $75.00 gift certificate to Melrose Café & Bar.  Everything you need for a perfect night out!

All you have to do is tweet something that really made you laugh to @cs_ngc and you’re entered to win.

The contest commences at 5:00PM (MDT) on October 27, 2015 and concludes at 11:59PM (MDT) on November 8, 2015.  You can find the official rules here:  Stampede Date Night Contest Rules.

Good luck!  We can’t wait to hear what makes you laugh!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter so that we can message you if you win, and keep an eye on our account all year round for fun contests and other Calgary Stampede information.

*Please note that due to the 10:00PM show being cancelled, the contest winner will now receive tickets to the 7:00PM show. Our apologies for any inconvenience. 

Stampede Employees in Action: Calgary Corporate Challenge 2015

Pictured: Team Calgary Stampede participating in the 2015 Torch Relay. Yahoo!

Pictured: Team Calgary Stampede participating in the 2015 Torch Relay. Yahoo!

The Calgary Stampede is proud to be part of Calgary Corporate Challenge (CCC) for the fifth year in a row! From volleyball to trivia, the Stampede RANGERS are ready for the challenge and eager to raise money to help support KidSport Calgary, the Calgary Food Bank, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Blood Services. Continue reading

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

Continue reading

George Lane’s legacy continues to grow

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 –  September 24, 1925)

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 – September 24, 1925)

George Lane was a successful rancher in southern Alberta around the turn of the 20th century. He was also one of the “Big Four” ranchers who bankrolled Guy Weadick in 1912 to create the first Stampede, The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! For all of his successes, he will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City at a ceremony held April 15 – 16, 2016.

CES1912 tn stp Continue reading