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.


“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

Around the world in five pancakes

Flour, water, eggs–you can mix these simple ingredients, then flip em’, fry them or bake them to make a pancake. Pancakes are a universal food that can be eaten savory or sweet, at the Calgary Stampede, we like our pancakes hot and toasty, with a healthy serving of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Pictured: It's all in the wrists! Calgary Stampede volunteers and employees are passionate pancake flippers. We've trained year-round to be able to bring you the best in the west breakfast and a show.

Pictured: It’s all in the wrists! Calgary Stampede volunteers and employees are passionate pancake flippers. We’ve trained year-round to be able to bring you the best in the west breakfast and a show.

To kick off the Stampede season, we’ve decided to do things a little differently this year: partner with the SAIT Culinary Campus to celebrate the unique international offerings in Calgary!

Pictured: Chef Bruno Lesage with his custom Blintz, Kimchi Pancake, Potato Pancake and Arepa recipe creations!

Pictured: Chef Bruno Lesage with his custom blintz, kimchi pancake, raggmunk and cachapas recipe creations!

On Monday, June 8 we will be featuring pancakes from around the world, including Venezuelan Cachapas (corn based), Swedish Raggmunk (potato based), Eastern European Blinis (buckwheat flour based), Korean Kimchi pancakes (flour based), and of course, Calgary Stampede’s renowned western pancake.

We’ll be serving up FREE samples between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Stephen Avenue outside the SAIT Culinary Campus. Be sure to stop by and taste one (or several) international pancakes!

Continue reading

Fluor Rope Square is Ready to Entertain!

As Stampede 101 heads into its final days, don’t miss your last chance to pop over to Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for some great entertainment on Saturday, July 13th. 

Our incredible Downtown Attractions Committee has organized a number of fun things for all ages to see and do, right in the heart of our fine city.



Start the day off right with a free concert by Drew Gregory.  An Alberta boy, raised in the small farming community of Standard, Drew Gregory has maintained a successful musical career while still working on the family farm. More about Drew here.


Watch this year’s 6 finalists show off their hat stomping skills in three categories: Mash Factor, Originality and Style.  The most talented stomper will take home the grand prize of a championship silver buckle!


Watch Old Time rigs that date back as far as the late 1800′s parade through the city to Olympic Plaza.  There are around 15 rigs in the inventory, including: buckboards, coaches, doctors’ buggies, carriages, an old Red River cart, and a surrey with the fringe on top.


The Calgary Fiddlers are an incredibly talented group of young folks that are sure to get your toes tapping!  They perform a variety of music, ranging from traditional folk fiddling, to country, bluegrass, Celtic, and even big band.


A highlight of the Canadian country music scene, their music includes new and classic country as well as a mix of rock, R&B, and oldies.


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See members of the five tribes of Treaty 7 from Southern Alberta, in their traditional regalia, as they proudly share their heritage and culture through dance, music and commentary (weather permitting).

The tribes represented include Kainai or Blood (Fort MacLeod), Nakoda or Stoney consist of three bands: Goodstoney, Bearspaw and Chiniki (Morley from west of Calgary and Eden Valley west of Longview),  Peigan (Brocket), Siksika or Blackfoot (east of Calgary), and Tsuu T’ina or Sarcee (southwest of Calgary).


The Olde West Raiders Club provides unique western demonstrations and entertainment. The group combines cowboy skills of the day, western history, acting, improvisational elements and authentic period costumes to transport the audience back in time. They use real firearms, both antique and reproduction Cowboy Era guns in our shows and demonstrations using Cinematic Blanks to simulate gunfire. Their shows are intended to be fun while reliving some of the myths and legends from our past.

When the show is over it’s the perfect time to head down to the grounds and take in all that “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” has to offer!

Square dancing, Tequila shots, Chicken Poop Bingo & Old Time Rigs

On Tuesday, we were up bright and early to join a mini parade, blocking downtown with Old Time Rigs (which are antique horse drawn carriages). We were with the Downtown Attraction Committee (DTA), about to enjoy some downtown festivities in the hot sunshine. What’s the DTA’s background? This group started in 1947 with a group of square dancers, travelling downtown in the back of a rig, dancing. Sounds like a party and the DTA today reflects just that.


We hopped off the Old Time Rig and walked to Olympic Plaza. Here, we enjoyed a chuckwagon sandwich: pancakes & bacon.


Next up: square dancing on Stephen Ave. The excitement from the Fluor Square Dancing Team was contagious – I was quickly thrown into dancing. Either I was born to square dance, or Wilson is quite the coach. I found myself confidently square dancing a storm smack in the middle of Stephen Ave. I’ll never look at this street I walk down during my lunch break the same. (Note: the Fluor Square Dancing team is on the lookout for more young, male square dancers to keep the tradition alive. Guys: trust me on this one – women dig men who can dance.)


After quick recuperation from the heat with water and shade, it was time to meet the Hosting Committee at the Royal Canadian Legion Calgary #1. Steps in, we were greeted and offered drinks. Now when I am offered a free drink, I always suggest shots of tequila.  But the group did not know me well enough to realize I was kidding. Well… turns out the Hospitality Committee poured us double shots of tequila. Yuck. But we shot them; had some good laughs, a hilarious photo, and the end result wasn’t too bad either (like they say, it’s five o’clock somewhere).


A big source of excitement for the DTA is their pet chicken, Buffy. Chicken poop bingo (“which square will Buffy do her business on”) could quite possibly be a reason why they love Buffy so much. As soon as we realized what was happening, Jovita whispered to me: “I could get into this kind of gambling”.


While the crowd was cheering on Buffy, I looked and saw, to my horror: decapitated mascots. The DTA has 10 mascots, including: a pig, goose, beaver, cow, horse, bear, cowboy, moose, racoon, bull, Jack, and (a very promiscuous) Jackie. These mascots are a part of this community through and through, and took off their mascot heads to enjoy the fun (nonetheless scared me)! After some good laughs, I tried a mascot’s head on. It’s not as fun as you would think… I think claustrophobia was kicking in.


This team is full of energy and warmth. After finding out there are over 325 volunteers in this committee, I know there is a lot more happening behind the scenes. Thank you to the DTA team and DTA sponsor, Fluor Engineers Constructors, for creating such free excitement downtown. Your graciousness does not go unrecognized.

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Jodi Wilson

Jodi Wilson is the Chair of the Downtown Attractions Entertainment Sub Committee, whose full time job is Legal Counsel at ARC Resources Ltd.  Luckily, her company is very supportive of community minded volunteering, as are so many in Calgary.

They have a lot of fun events at Fluor Rope Square (AKA Olympic Plaza) every morning, but the two that stand out most for Jodi this year are the Lammle’s Hat Stomp on Wed, July 11th for tickets to the sold out Brad Paisley show, as well as the Deric Ruttan concert, which will be at Rope Square on the Friday, July 13th at noon.


1)  What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved? 

I became a volunteer in 2004.  I was given the opportunity to get involved through friends on the Rope Square committee and jumped at the chance!  I’m from small town Saskatchewan so grew up very community minded and loved the cowboy way of life!

2)  What are one or two of your favorite Stampede memories? 

Standing behind the chutes at the Rodeo, going to the barn parties after the Chuck wagon races and answering questions for visitors to our city about what to see and do during Stampede.

3)    What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year? 

Tails!  Garth Brooks!

4)    What’s your favorite midway food? 

Corn on the cob.

 5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede? 

Hydrate and pace yourself!


If you have any special memories of volunteering at the Calgary Stampede we’d love to hear them! The Next Generation Committee is collecting your best memories and moments to include in the #TimeCapsule Please email yours to: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com.


For more information on Calgary Stampede volunteer opportunities please click here.

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Esther Mitchell, Downtown Attractions Committee

The largest Calgary Stampede committee with over 325 year-round volunteers is the Downtown Attractions Committee (DTA). Their main goal is to make sure that all Stampede visitors have a hand clappin’, toe tappin’, and belly bustin’ good time!  Over Stampede these kind folks will feed you, entertain you, and have you dancing in the street (literally).

Downtown attractions include events and activities at Fluor Rope Square, and other locations in the downtown area.  All of their events and activities are coordinated by volunteers and all are FREE!

I had the pleasure of meeting Esther Mitchell, Committee Relations with Downtown Attractions, last year when I went on a tour with her.  We rode the old time rigs, had a chuckwagon breakfast at Fluor Rope Square, and did some square dancing on Stephen Avenue – thankfully I had a really good partner!  It was so much fun and one of the reasons I wanted to become a Stampede volunteer.

I was able to catch up with Esther again recently and ask her a few questions about her experience volunteering for the Stampede.


What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved?

In the early 80’s I worked for a company that had a Chuckwagon that raced in the Stampede. They would bring the Chuckwagon downtown to the Westin Hotel and we would cook and serve breakfast off the back of it. We met tourists from all over the world, even the Indian Parade would pass by each day. Then, I decided to get involved and become a volunteer with Downtown Attractions Committee. In 1992 I started volunteering as an Information Rover handing out Stampede information.

What are some of your favorite Stampede memories? 

Volunteering as an Information Rover, I have branded hundreds of kids, tourists and Calgarians with the Calgary Stampede Logo. The lingo that went along with branding was telling people; “hold still its red hot” (it was only red ink), ask them if they could “smell the hair burning,” and some of the good sports of the male gender we would tell them “it’s a good thing we aren’t going to make you into a steer!”  Then together there was always a big “YAHOO!”  We would end by saying to them “now you belong to the Calgary Stampede and you have to return every year”! After 10 days of Yahooing, it would take a couple of weeks for my voice to recover.


What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

I can honestly say that Stampede gets in your blood and the fun is infectious, my son has watched all the fun I have had through the years and he decided to become a volunteer with Downtown Attractions Committee in 2009. He is involved in the Square Dance Subcommittee and they have a small part in the show TAILS, which is at the Corral 3 times a day during Stampede. I am looking forward to this show and I am excited about all the people I am going to meet hosting them on a tour of Downtown Attractions while volunteering.


What’s your favorite midway food?

Fiddle Sticks


What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

Start your Stampede Day with Downtown Attractions at Flour Rope Square where there are Chuckwagon Breakfasts, all kinds of entertainment, First Nations parade, Clowns, Mascots, contests, a gun fight, Old Time Rig rides and Square Dancers (both Saturdays and Monday thru Friday). Continue the fun and head on down to the Stampede grounds, YAHOO!


If you have any special memories of volunteering at the Calgary Stampede we’d love to hear them! The Next Generation Committee is collecting your best memories and moments to include in the #TimeCapsule.  Please email yours to: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com.


For more information on Calgary Stampede volunteer opportunities please click here.

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Maggie Schofield, Reception Committee

I was lucky enough to wrangle up Maggie Schofield, Executive Director of the Calgary Downtown Association and a member (and past Chairman) of the Reception Committee to answer a couple of questions about her volunteer experience with the Calgary Stampede.

The Reception Committee looks after all of the Stampede volunteers and their friends and families, giving them a place to meet, relax, enjoy some entertainment and camaraderie, and makes sure they are fed and watered throughout the 10 days.

 1)  What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved?

I became involved with the Stampede in 1989.  I wanted to reconnect with the Stampede, as it is such a big part of our summer and that seemed the best way to do it.  It was also a great way of corporate networking.  I hadn’t been on Park for nearly 10 years.

2)  What is one of your favorite Stampede memories?

Watching the stock horses come in from the ranch into the Saddledome in 2000.  The freedom of the animals, and the power of them swirling in a circle was overwhelming.  Even the real, working cowboys and ranchers in the crowd had tears in their eyes.  It was one of those magic moments at the Stampede that was an unplanned, spontaneous event.  I was able to share it with a good friend who was in Calgary on business from Kansas City.

3)  What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

There will be so many great celebrations for the centennial that it is hard to imagine what will be the best, but I am looking forward to seeing Ian Tyson as Parade Marshall, and Paul Brant performing at the Grandstand.

4)  What’s your favorite midway food


5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

Comfortable shoes!  Try not to plan every moment, as many activities will pop up and there will be great opportunities to see great things and meet wonderful people from Calgary and around the world.  Know that the Stampede happens in a lot of areas of the city, not just Stampede Park, so make the effort to go to different locations.

For more Stampede Stories check out My Stampede where you can view personal stories and share your own for the chance to win some incredible prize packages!

Charlie Russell Exhibit Coming to the Glenbow Museum

If you’re interested in history, art, Stampede or all of these things, then you’ll want to check out the new installation coming soon to the Glenbow.  “Charlie Russell and the First Calgary Stampede” runs from June 2 – July 29, 2012.

It’s only fitting that there’s an exhibition of his paintings during the centennial celebration, as this “Famous Cowboy Artist’s” Special Exhibition of 20 paintings was a huge draw at the first ever Calgary Stampede.

The Glenbow has managed to almost fully recreate his 1912 exhibition and will have 18 out of the 20 paintings on display.

Russell, known for his stunning western landscapes and portrayals of First Nations, cowboys and outlaws, has provided us with an important visual history of what life was like in the west.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1864, he moved to Montana at the age of 16 where he spent most of his life until his passing in 1926.  It is said that he lived with the Blood Indians of the Blackfeet Nation for a period of time in the late 1880’s, which explains why he was able to portray them so authentically.

The Glenbow is also a hosting a number of other great events in the coming months that will celebrate our western heritage and values including “Weekend at the Museum: Go West!” on June 23 & 24, The “Walrus Glenbow Debate -  Calgary’s Cowboy Culture: Living Legacy or Just History?” on June 7, as well as “Cash and Conviction: The Big Four and the First Calgary Stampede” on Thursday, June 28, where their Senior Curator of Cultural history, Lorain Lounsberry, goes behind the scenes in Glenbow’s extensive cultural history collections to tell the tale of the four successful ranchers and business men that each guaranteed $25,000 so that Guy Weadick could produce the first Calgary Stampede in 1912.

More information can be found on their website at www.glenbow.org.