10 things to see and do at Stampede 2016

Axe throwing, deep fried tequila shots, a 45-foot tall spinning ride, an international pavilion, a fire-lit tight-rope walker and a beautiful, new, 16-acre park are just a few of the new offerings to check out this Stampede. What’s your Stampede thing?

1. Ride the Stampede’s new ride

A new ride means a new opportunity for challenging yourself and your friends; Spin Out is a 45-foot tall rotating claw that spins you in every way imaginable – including spinning while you’re hanging upside down! For information on our other rides and ride packages, check out: http://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/midway

Spin Out

Spin Out


2. Watch rescue dogs perform jaw-dropping tricks at the Dog Bowl

These rescue dogs and dogs adopted from shelters, of multiple sizes and breeds, prove that you can do anything you set your mind to, and overcome any obstacles in your way; watch as these dogs defy gravity through freestyle Frisbee disc, flyball racing and high jumping agility demonstrations. Be sure to stay until the end of the show for the exhilarating dock diving act. Canine Stars will motivate you to go home and train your pooch a new trick or two.

The Dog Bowl will feature six shows daily with room for more than 2,000 dog lovers per show. Daily shows are at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. In addition, on Suncor Family Day and BMO Kids’ Day, the first show will be at 10:30 a.m. Sneak-A-Peek on Thursday, July 7 will feature two shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Canine Stars

Canine Stars


3. Relax by the river in Indian Village’s new home in the brand new ENMAX Park

Stampede Park’s newest green space, a beautiful inner city public park and gathering space, is the new home to Indian Village presented by Penn West. Located by the MacDonald Entry, and across the bridge from Kids’ Midway, you can experience a number of activities at Indian Village including daily dance demonstrations and  tipi raising competitions, cooking demonstrations over a an open fire, and traditional arts and crafts created by Treaty 7 artisans. Don’t forget that the Bannok Booth has also moved with Indian Village to ENMAX Park so be sure to grab some doughy goodness and relax and enjoy it on the lush green grass.

Indian Village’s first event, the Opening Ceremonies and Camp Moving Ceremony on Friday, July 8, the first day of the 2016 Calgary Stampede.

Indian Village has moved to beautiful ENMAX Park!

Indian Village has moved to beautiful ENMAX Park!

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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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Calgary Stampede creates a little noise in Toronto with the Launch of the Nashville North lineup

The Calgary Stampede made a splash in Toronto this past week with an exclusive media event, hosted by members of our Stampede family!

Approximately 150 media and travel writers attended a Stampede event titled Get Amped in Toronto’s premier county bar – Boots and Burbon to experience a small taste of the Calgary Stampede, and share the experience with their audiences.

The crowd was energized with Stampede spirit and immersed in western hospitality. Upon arrive, each guest was personally greeted by the beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen, Princesses and Indian Princess, who provided them with the iconic white cowboy hat and a Stampede bandana.

Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses being interviewed by ETalk

Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses being interviewed by ETalk

The evening featured amazing food, a little mechanical bull riding and some great storytelling. Well known chuckwagon driver Mark Sutherland was on hand to chat everything GMC Rangeland Derby, Kynan Vine stepped up as the resident bull ride instructor and Treff Deerfoot impressed with his intricate traditional headdress and captivating First Nation story telling.

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The evening came to a peak with the much anticipated reveal of the Nashville North concert lineup, followed by a live performance by Nashville North headliner The Washboard Union.

The Washboard Union on the Canada AM Sound Stage

The Washboard Union on the Canada AM Sound Stage

Calgary Stampede Queen, Maggie Shortt, along with Princesses, Bailee Billington and Chelsey Jacobson and Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, Vanessa Stiffarm showed the crowd how a line dance was done as The Washboard Union got the whole party on their feet.

The party was a success with guest leaving with hats on their heads, smiles on their faces and loads of information about The Greatest Outdoor Show Earth! Looking to increase our National visitation is from Toronto, it is important that we showcase all the great things the Stampede has to offer and make a little more noise each time we head out there!

The trip to Toronto wasn’t simply a party, many of Stampede’s team met with media to bring awareness about this year’s Stampede. I few of the highlights include a couple appearances on CTV’s Canada AM. The first had Calgary Stampede Indian Princess talk about the new location for Indian Village and perform her traditional Jingle Dance to the magical drumming by Treff Deerfoot. The second Canada AM spot featured Nashville North Headliner The Washboard Union perform live on the Canada AM Sound Stage.

Other opportunities included a lengthy interview on SiriusXM’s “What She Said” with Vanessa about inspiring and empowering women; an hour long feature on the Calgary Stampede with The Chris Robinson Travel Show and a great segment on ETalk Canada directly from the event with The Calgary Stampede Queen & Princesses, the Indian Princess and The Washboard Union. Our lovely Stampede royalty, along with cowboy Kynan Vine were even spotted in the audience of The Social!

It was a busy yet fruitful few days for the Stampede contingent. In addition to the media coverage mentioned, we are expecting a number of great pieces still to come as well a few media to be at this year’s Calgary Stampede to witness The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in person.

For more information, and to check out the full lineup, click here.

Calgary Stampede promotion team having a blast in Toronto

Calgary Stampede promotion team having a blast in Toronto

Royalty Report (the ‘Old-Fashioned’ way)

After some discussion, we’ve decided to supplement our weekly vlogs with some good old-fashioned written blogs.  This way we can keep you guys even more updated on our crazy year. As a side note, our vlogging may be a little bit delayed: with two science degrees and a communications degree between the three of us, we didn’t come into this whole vlogging topic with much, i.e. ANY, experience.  Please bear with us for another week or so, and cross your fingers for a video soon; I know I will be.

We’ve had a busy last couple of weeks, so apologies for being a bit behind in our blogging. Since the end of October we’ve seen our new Stampede sister Carly Weasel-Child receive her crown, then we were whisked off to Banff following the ceremony.  Princess Shannon will be telling you all about our stay in the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Travel Alberta Conference in our next blog (or maybe vlog), which means I get to share our experience at Happy Trails! We also recently attended the Conservative Party Convention Rodeo, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo so stay tuned for more on those events!

For those of you that don’t know from previous years, Happy Trails consists of us going to a retirement home once a month, where we get to visit, mingle, and sing with any seniors who wish to attend.  Yes… sing. One of the first things you should know about me before I continue is that I cannot sing.  I took vocal lessons for a year or two when I was younger (I think I was about six), until my mom started pushing for me to start playing the piano instead.  Coincidence? I really doubt it. Throw that lack of singing talent in with a major head cold that left me with very little voice, and it is safe to say I was terrified en route to our Happy Trails event.

The Stampede Promotions Committee and a band complete with a bass and two guitars greeted us upon our arrival at Whitehorn Village.  This is when I grew even more nervous; we were told that not only were we expected to walk around and visit/sing with the seniors, but also were expected to perform in front of everyone! With microphones!  I tried to push this thought from my mind as I began to talk to people and sing quietly with members of the retirement home. As the night progressed, I realized that nobody in the room cared if I could actually carry a tune; they were all there to have fun.  By the time it was our turn to lead a song for everyone I was having so much fun myself that all my nerves had disappeared.  Stephanie, Shannon, Carly, and I led an entertaining, albeit off key, rendition of You are my Sunshine complete with all verses.  All of us were surprised to learn that it is not the cheery little jingle we learned as children; those last couple verses certainly bring a darker side to the song!

After our spectacular performance we continued to mingle, and even led a couple line dances, or two-steps in my case when I got too lost to continue.  Another highlight from the night was learning the Spanish names to some of the songs we were singing from one of the residents.  “Valle del Rio Rojo” (Red River Valley) is one of the ones I remember best, and Ricardo and I had a blast laughing at my horrible Spanish accent.

Off key Royalty singing aside, our evening at Whitehorn was a great success.  Happy Trails has been one of my favourite events this year and I can’t wait to attend our next one in a couple weeks time! Who knows, maybe we’ll see such improvements in our vocal talents over the year that we could include it in a vlog segment… no promises though.

Queenie D

The Stampede Showband heads to Japan!

This month, the Stampede Showband will bring Calgary’s unique brand of western hospitality to Japan to defend its title in the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) world championships. On August 11, the Showband will perform its 2013 field show, titled “Momentum”, in Chiba, Japan. This is the Showband’s 4th trip to Japan, with the last time being 15 years ago in 1997.

The mirrored yoga balls used in "Momentum" are each covered with over 5000 tiny shiny stickers!

The mirrored yoga balls used in “Momentum” are each covered with over 5000 tiny shiny stickers!

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Wanna Beat This Heat? It’s Time to Hit “The Beach”

Since I moved to Calgary the thing I miss the most (besides my family) is the ocean.  There’s nothing quite like hanging out at the beach, especially on these plus 30 days we’ve been having recently!  Fortunately, this summer the Stampede is bringing the beach to Calgary.

The Stampede Market (BMO Centre Hall A) will host a brand new entertainment and retail zone “The Beach,” that features real sand, palm trees, tiki huts and tropical island-themed shops. It will also be home to the exciting FlowRider Surfing Simulator, where you can go to watch professional surfing demos, or grab a board and catch a wave for yourself!

You can’t bring a beach to Calgary and not invite the Beach Boys, so you’ll be happy to know that the Virgin Mobile Stampede Concert Series will present the original Beach Boys at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wed, July 11th.

The hugely famous American group boasts the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits with 36. Come on down and see Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks, who have all reunited for the first time in 20 years for a 50th Anniversary Tour.  Calgary is one of only three lucky Canadian cities on the tour.

We’d love to hear your favourite Stampede concert memory, or any other special Stampede memories you might have!  Please email them to the Next Generation Committee at calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com and your submission may be included our Time Capsule.

The Sheepdogs Are Ready to Rock Stampede 2012

There are few things in life these days that are free, let alone free AND awesome, but the Calgary Stampede has hit the nail on the head with their 2012 Coca-Cola Stage. This year’s lineup includes a little bit of everything from rock to rap and the best part is that all of the concerts on this stage are included in your Stampede gate admission!

Last night at the Coca-Cola Covert Concert for the official launch of the Coca-Cola Stage lineup some serious talent rocked the stage at Flames Central.

New Cities got the crowd warmed up and then we were treated to a surprise performance by Saskatoon rock band The Sheepdogs.

The Sheepdogs became the first unsigned band ever to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in August of 2011 and if you’ve ever heard their music you know why.  They are unbelievable live performers!

The rest of the lineup is very impressive, as well as diverse.  We can look forward to Big Sugar, Our Lady Peace, Dragonette, George Canyon, Mother Mother, The Trews (last year’s headliner), Simple Plan, AWOLNATION, New Cities, Seether, Makeshift Innocence, Carly Rae Jepsen, Raghav, K’naan, Danny Fernandes, Victoria Duffield and Karl Wolf.  So get ready to rock Calgary!

More info available here.



A great big Western Welcome

As you likely know by now, the Calgary Stampede is in the business of sending a warm Western Welcome to everyone – near AND far.

In the days leading up to the Calgary Stampede, and during the 10 days of Stampede itself, Promotion Committee volunteers head out the the arrival gate at the Calgary Airport to greet tourists coming into the city for Stampede.

While there, we hand out information and answer questions. But we also like to have a little fun.

Gary and Larry

Longtime airport band members Gary and Larry play country music hits, pose for photos and get the tourists in the mood for some good times.

Before they hit the sliding doors leading out of customs, visitors will hear the musical stylings of Gary and Larry – two local musicians who have been greeting guests to Calgary for many years.

Of course, their music gets everyone in the mood to dance…

Dancing at the airport

Promotion committee volunteers Donna and Lance try a little two-step

Gary and Larry also make sure to take breaks to pose for photos, chat with the crowd and take requests. They love requests, actually. After playing for almost 12 hours everyday, sometimes they need a request or two to help them come up with new songs to play.

Family poses for a photo at the Calgary Airport

A family grabs some cowboy hats and pose with Gary and Larry for a photo.

In addition to country tunes, visitors are also greeted by volunteers wielding ‘branding irons’ and catch ropes.

Calgary Stampede volunteers waiting for tourists to come out of the arrival doors.

Promotion committee volunteers wait for tourists to come out of the arrival doors.

We get a big kick out of watching the visitors hesitantly walk by the roper. He swings that rope around, acting like he’s going to catch himself a critter. It’s usually not until they pass, thinking that they’re in the clear, that he’ll toss the rope over their head and reign them it. (Don’t worry, he’s gentle!)

Brad getting ready to rope someone

Volunteer roper, Brad, gets ready to make a catch

Getting roped

Expert skills, as I get roped for a photo op.

If you’re at the Calgary Airport, by all means come say ‘hi,’ get a ‘brand’ (stamp) and see if someone will rope you.

To those we’ve met this week, welcome to Calgary and we hope you’ll enjoy your stay!

Concert Recap: Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert

View from 2nd floor balcony during the Jason Aldean set.

Howdy everyone! Can you believe today is our last day to enjoy the 2010 version of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth? It’s quite a sad day for many; we look forward all year to partaking in this incredible event and it truly does pass by too quickly.

One of my highlights of this year’s Calgary Stampede (even though there are so many to choose from!) definitely has to be attending the Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert concert last night at the Saddledome. These are two of country music’s hottest young performers and they lived up to their reputations last night.

Hats off to the Calgary Stampede for working so hard to bring incredibly talented artists to the Saddledome for many fans to enjoy during the 10 day show. Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean brought down the house last night at the Saddledome.  Nearing the end of her set, Miranda took off her silver high heels to get even more into the music…finishing off by performing White Liar, a cover of I Love Rock and Roll and finally one of my personal favourites, Gunpowder and Lead.

Jason Aldean was playing loud and rowdy for his entire set. His energy couldn’t have been more contagious thru the ‘Dome. He even performed two Brian Adams songs, including Cuts Like a Knife, which really got the crowd dancing to a local Canadian Artists’ song! Jason was an incredible performer, sharing his love across both sides of the stage, bending down to shake hands with very lucky fans in the front row…just an awesome and talented musician!

Jason Aldean, what a performer!

I can’t wait to see what concerts are in store for us in 2011. It would be a very wise idea to sign up to be a Calgary Stampede Insider to be one of the first to know about next year’s lineup. See y’all next year!!

Visiting Bands of the Calgary Stampede – Don’t miss ‘em!

Well, yahoo everyone!!

This is the Visiting Bands first post, and we’re really excited to kick it off!

We’re getting so close to Day 1 of the 2010 Calgary Stampede – you can almost smell the pancakes on the griddle and sawdust in the air. If you’re a marching band fiend in Alberta, this is absolutely your favourite time of year.

We’ve got bands visiting from around the world in 2010 (including Australia and France) and some local favourites, too (the World Famous Calgary Stampede Marching Showband!!) – so don’t miss your chance to see all of them over the 10 days of Stampede. Keep an eye out for them at Stampede Park, at some of the downtown attractions like Rope Square, and at Caravan Breakfasts around the city. You’ll hear them before you see them…:)

And this is your place to get all the details of where and when the bands will be performing, what you can expect from their performances, and maybe even some ‘behind the scenes’ action!

Be sure to save the date for Showbands Live! Prelims will be Tuesday, July 13 in the afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. in the Pengrowth Saddledome. The slate is wiped clean and the afternoon finalists compete during the evening round starting at 6:00 p.m. It’s a must see marching extravaganza!

Keep an eye on this blog for all the deets!

The Stampede Music Festival

This week’s topic is something that I think we all love – music!  Did you know that the Calgary Stampede is one of Canada’s largest music festivals?  Pretty amazing considering that the 10-day event probably wouldn’t even pop to mind if I asked you to name major musical events across Canada.  I think that the rodeo and other western themes kind of overshadow the sheer amount of live music that’s being performed every day on Park.

However, in the interest of broadening your perception of everything that Stampede has to offer, consider this:

  • During the week there will be over 250 live musical performances on Park
  • The variety of styles performed is pretty extensive – pop, hip hop, country, folk, rock, alternative, childrens, world, Native American, musical theater, the list goes on and on
  • The Coke stage has 36 performances during the 10 days, Nashville North has 44
  • Our own Stampede Showband performs in a variety of different ensembles at least 13 times daily
  • The Stampede Talent Search, with almost daily performances, features youth from 6-21 years and has featured artists like Paul Brandt and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
  • There are also several daily performances on the Saddledome Plaza Stage and many different acts that make up the Grandstand show!

The best part is that with the exception of the concerts in the Pengrowth Saddledome and the evening Grandstand show, all of these other performances are INCLUDED in the price of gate admission!

Have I managed to convince you that music is a really big deal at Stampede?  If you’re looking for specifics on when and where your favorite artist is playing, or if you want to check out something entirely different, visit the Stampede website and learn more. You can plan out a pretty jam-packed 10 days of concert-going and maybe you’ll even expand your musical tastes.

Let us know what kind of bands you’re excited to see on Twitter at @calgarystampede or on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page.  Yahoo!