Where in the world is the Showband headed next?

The Calgary Stampede Showband is thrilled to announce that they will be travelling to compete in the World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade, The Netherlands in summer 2017. WMC is the Olympics of music taking place over four weeks from Thursday, July 6 – Sunday, July 30, 2017. The event will feature more than 260 musical ensembles and 20,000 individual musicians. The Showband will be leaving right after Stampede to compete in the marching show band class on Sunday, July 30 against 60 other marching show bands from around the globe.

Photo credit: Kien Le

The Showband is a youth performance ensemble that rehearses and performs year round. Photo credit: Kien Le.

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An Ode to the Band of Outriders

The Calgary Stampede Band of Outriders was formed in 1991 and is known for sharing their musical version of western hospitality to local crowds and thousands of Calgary visitors every day during the 10-day Stampede. Andrea Khoury, an Outriders alumna and founding member of the band, wrote this poem to celebrate the Outriders’ 25th anniversary. Enjoy!

There are strange things done in the name of fun by the geeks who toil in the band.

The Stampede trails have the oddest tales that have traveled throughout the land.

The midway lights have seen great sights but the greatest they ever did see

Was the group that was formed, out of old drums and horns, by people like you and me.

The Band of Outriders have been entertaining audiences on Stampede park and in the community for 25 years! Yahoo!

The Band of Outriders have been entertaining audiences on Stampede park and in the community for 25 years! Yahoo!

 

Now old Bobby E was from Calgary, where the marching bands twirl and blow.

Why he left his room at the school to groom new musicians we’ll never know.

He started with Round-up, then moved on to Showband with Stetsons to follow in time

And by ninety-one, Mr. Eklund not done, it was time for a new band to shine.

 

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7 Things Musicians (and everyone else) Should Know About Being Around Horses

Since 1985, the Calgary Stampede Showriders have been accompanying the Stampede Showband in parades as a mounted colour guard made up of 12 young riders and their horses. This pairing of horses and marching musicians is unusual and a lot of prep work goes into making sure that the horses are comfortable with the band.

Every year, the Showband and Showriders rehearse together to help desensitize the horses to the craziness of parades, and teach the Showband how to act around horses. It’s a great opportunity for the mostly city-dwelling band members to learn more about agriculture and animal care, especially since the Showband spends a lot of time around animals during the 10-day Calgary Stampede. Here’s a peek at what they learned from the Showriders this year!

Showrider Hannah Braun, 15 years old, and her horse Tokahee teach a group of Showband members about performing around horses.

Showrider Hannah Braun and her horse Tokahee giving a group of Showband members tips for being around horses.

 1. Don’t run through the barns

You don’t want to turn a corner and run into or startle a horse. Don’t jump for the same reason.

2. Use your inside voice

Shouting and screaming can upset horses. Horses are reactive and pick up on the energy of other people an animals around them.

3. Stay a horse length away from a horse’s back-end

That way, even if the horse kicks out, you’ll avoid getting kicked.

Showband member Cassie Groves got to bond with Tohakee, petting the horse from the side so as not to startle the horse.

Showband member Cassie Groves pets Tokahee from the side so that she doesn’t startle the horse.

 4. Ask permission before approaching horses or offering them treats

Sometimes, like with the Showrider “Stand and Pat” events, it’s obvious that you’re welcome to approach a horse. If you’re walking through the barns or see a horse on its own, ask the owner if it’s okay to pet the horse. This is the best way to avoid getting bitten!

5. Approach horses from the side

Horses have blind spots directly in front and behind them. A horse can see you best if you approach from the side and pet their shoulders and back. Plus, if you approach a horse head-on and try to pet its face, it might think your fingers are treats – yikes!

6. Never play instruments while you’re walking through the barns

Sudden movements and unexpected loud noises can startle horses and they might react to the sight of shiny instruments and noise from musical instruments more than you’d expect.

 7. Ask questions

The Showriders love to answer questions about their horses. They spend a lot of time caring for their horses to keep them healthy and happy and are eager to share what they know with others, especially if it helps to keep their horses and others safe.

 

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 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 Spirit Surrounds Us

So…the Canvas Auction was last night.  Am I still a little bit jazzed this morning?  Maybe…  Ok, definitely.  That is one of those events that signals that Stampede is approaching rather quickly, and we are all super excited about it.  We’ve been up to our eyeballs with Stampede this week, from the AGM to the Canvas Auction, and it reminds me of what a phenomenal organization the Calgary Stampede is.  At the AGM on Monday, we met past royalty, long time volunteers, and people who were attending their first Stampede AGM.  It was amazing to see the array of people who all gathered under the Stampede umbrella, and it really made me proud to be a part of this organization.  They are people who dedicate countless hours all for the love of the Calgary Stampede.  It’s humbling, and reminds me that the worth of something cannot always be quantified.

Volunteering to teach us where to stand for the Canvas Auction

Volunteering to teach us where to stand for the Canvas Auction.

 

 

Continuing with the theme of volunteerism, we went to the second annual Marit Cup, a fundraiser put on by Calgary Christian School that was held in memory of Marit McKenzie, an amazing girl who passed away last year.  She was a student at CCS, and was actively involved with the David Foster Foundation during her final year of high school.  She continued to give after her passing, by donating all of her organs and tissues.  Seeing the legacy that was left by Marit made me realize that age has absolutely nothing to do with helping others.  At 18, she was able to do more than most people do in a lifetime.  She gave all that she could, and then some.

With Bruce McKenzie and a teacher from CCA at the Marit Cup

With Bruce McKenzie and a teacher from CCA at the Marit Cup

 

What I saw Wednesday should not only make her family proud, but her community as well.  Although she was not an official volunteer of the Stampede, what she left behind was the true embodiment of the Stampede spirit; generosity, hard work, and helping your neighbour. It just goes to show that the spirit of Calgary Stampede can be found everywhere, in everyone.  This city, and the people in it continue to amaze me with their depth of character and commitment to community.

The Princess Shootout at the Marit Cup

The Princess Shootout at the Marit Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am proud to be a Calgarian, and a part of the Calgary Stampede.

 

Happy (kind-of-belated) New Year!!

Well, after a nice long break for the holidays, we were back at it with a bunch of fun events to kick off 2014.  Even though we’re well into February now, Happy Belated New Year from your 2014 trio!

2014 Stampede Poster; I guess it isn’t just the Chinese Zodiac celebrating the horse this year!

2014 Stampede Poster; I guess it isn’t just the Chinese Zodiac celebrating the horse this year!

Though I’m over a month behind for our traditional New Year’s here in Canada, the Chinese New Year began on January 31 with celebrations continuing for 15 days after. I thought this was worth mentioning because there’s a little bit of Stampede spirit involved this year: it’s the year of the horse!

A simple google search brings up numerous explanations for what the year of the horse means.  One of my favourites was that this year is a time for unexpected adventure, and an excellent year for travel.  Additionally, the Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings good luck and good things.  Considering that the remainder of my reign as Stampede Queen will be occurring during this time, I can’t think of a better Chinese Zodiac sign to have this year!

Obviously I am a big fan of the western connection too. All three of us Royalty are counting down the days to Stampede; it just can’t come fast enough.

In an upcoming post, Princess Shannon will be introducing you to our own royal horses Hawk, Kansas, and Snoopy, who will be with us throughout our year.

 

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Princess Shannon and Harry the Horse; you could definitely say his year is off to a great start too.

 

Though we’re eagerly awaiting Stampede, it was great to get back into numerous events after the break.  It had been over a month since we last serenaded seniors at our last Happy Trails event, but a month wasn’t long enough to lose our terrific vocal skills (if you missed my last post about my lack of singing ability, you can find it here). We also had the opportunity to show off some newly acquired, or recently practised, dancing skills as well.  The Promotions Committee that we join with at Happy Trails gave us a lesson on two stepping and line dancing.  Finally, an actual skill we can show off at these events!

 

Princesses Shannon, Stephanie, and I with Harry the Horse and members of the Promotions Committee.  A big thanks to Janine of Janine's Custom Creations for our beautiful new shirts!

Princesses Shannon, Stephanie, and I with Harry the Horse and members of the Promotions Committee. A big thanks to Janine of Janine’s Custom Creations for our beautiful new shirts!

 

By the end of the night we were all having so much fun it was difficult to tell whether the seniors or ourselves enjoyed ourselves more! Harry the Horse was the star of the show, and had many of the residents in fits of laughter as he got up to his usual mischief.

Steph, Shannon, and I with 102 year old Grace at Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence. Grace was born the same year as the inaugural Calgary Exhibition and Stampede event.

Steph, Shannon, and I with 102 year old Grace at Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence. Grace was born the same year as the inaugural Calgary Exhibition and Stampede event.

One of the highlights of the night was meeting Grace, a resident at the home.   While we enjoy visiting with all of the residents on these nights, Grace had a special connection to Stampede which made her stand out: she’s 102 years old, the same age as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!  Her secret? Just to stay happy.

 

Though it technically occurred on February 1, I’m going to group in the Calgary Flames Western Night with my January events highlights.  The night began with thousands of Calgary Stampede white hats being distributed to fans coming into the dome; what better way to show off our city’s western spirit? As we stood preparing for the national anthems to begin, we were surprised (and ecstatic!) to see that it wasn’t the normal singer for the Flames; it was Paul Brandt!! But the excitement didn’t end there: after the first period, we got to meet him as well.  While we had a little bit of time for introductions and pictures before Paul had to rush off to his next event,  I wasn’t able to ask for singing lessons for the royal trio; maybe next time.

Photo-op with Paul Brandt!

Photo-op with Paul Brandt!

Other highlights of the night included seeing ourselves on the jumbotron, white hats gleaming, as we passed out prizes to the winners of different contests, and watching the 2014 Calgary Stampede Teaser.  It was just one more thing to get us more excited for July 4!  Unfortunately we weren’t able to watch much of the game as we were rushed from area to area, but that last overtime goal by Mikael Backlund was a terrific ending to Western Night.

 

As the only 90’s baby of the trio I wasn't around for Calgary’s Stanley Cup win, but here’s a shot of Steph reminiscing about that great time in her childhood (she’s so old I'm sure she can remember it like it was yesterday)

As the only 90’s baby of the trio I wasn’t around for Calgary’s Stanley Cup win, but here’s a shot of Steph reminiscing about that great time in her childhood (she’s so old I’m sure she can remember it like it was yesterday).

 

LIVING A DREAM!

Danit’ada / Tansi!

My name is Eva Meguinis and I am from the Tsuu T’ina Nation, and also from the Samson Cree Nation. I am your 2011 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and I would like to share with you what this title means to me and the journey I have been on so far.

When I was crowned Indian Princess, it was such an amazing experience and I was incredibly happy and excited. The ceremony was very beautiful and my fellow contestants were so supportive and unique. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to share this once in a lifetime experience with them.

I never really knew what I was getting myself into, or how big the moccasins were when I stepped into them. Anxiously, I came in ready to represent in such a positive way. It just makes me that much more appreciative and grateful to have been honored to carry this title and be the face of not only Treaty 7 but for natives in general to people from all over the world.

The crowns are more beautiful than I could have expected, and I have three very distinctive and wonderful women – Jenna, Stephanie and Whitney – who I get to share my reign and the four of us will proudly represent the Calgary Stampede.

The ladies of the Indian Princess Committee are so kind and words cannot express how grateful I am to have been given such loving and open-minded group who surround me with nothing but positive everything!

Last but not least, this is really a life changing step that I have made in my life and I am so happy – happy to share myself and my culture with the world. I have and will continue to meet very different people and I am very proud to carry on such a historic legacy not only for the Indian Princess and the Calgary Stampede, but also for my people as well.

Stay tuned!

Love,

Eva