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

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.”


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

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


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.


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

We’re Greatest Together…Everywhere!

The Calgary Stampede is an organization that operates year-round, and not just 10 days out of the year.

Throughout the year, you can find a Stampede presence at a variety of community and private events, festivals and more, not just in Calgary, but within the province and even outside of it.  Our organization throws many events for the public on our own (for example, the 100 Day Launch Event last March 29 at Olympic Plaza and the Four Corners – presented by BURNCO events happening in the coming weeks in various quadrants of the city), but we also take requests from various groups in the community who would like a Stampede presence at their event to help enhance it.

Today, Stampede volunteers were at the Shaw Campus in NE Calgary helping them pull off their own Stampede breakfast helping their employees celebrate the end of their Fill the Food Banks campaign, a part of their nation-wide Together is Amazing initiative.  As of May 4, Shaw’s managed to collect 718,000 pounds of food and $339,000 to feed the hungry nation-wide.

To celebrate Calgary’s part in the success, employees were able to partake in an old-fashioned Stampede breakfast complete with pancakes and sausage with a small donation to their charity of choice, the Calgary Veteran’s Food Bank.

Here are some more pictures from the event:

If you’d like to request a Stampede presence at your event, it’s very easy.  Simply fill out this form with the details of your event (for example, date, location and description), and the Stampede assets you’d like to appear.  You can book appearances by the Stampede Queen and Princesses, Indian Princess or Harry the Horse, or you can request volunteers from committees like Downtown Attractions or Promotion to enhance your event with various resources.  While we do try to accommodate as many requests as we can, we also get a lot so the earlier you can get your request in, the better!

And if you’re looking for our next BIG Stampede public community event, you need to check out the Four Corners – presented by BURNCO event happening tomorrow (Saturday, May 12) at the South Fish Creek Recreation Complex at 100 333 Shawville Blvd S.E.  Running from 9 a.m. to noon, there’ll be pancake breakfasts, demonstrations, special activities and more.  With an old-time community fair and interactive games for the kids, it’s like a mini-Stampede festival in your backyard!

What’s Happening on Stampede Park June 28-July 3 2010.

By Killa Burkinshaw

Stampede is less than two weeks away so most of Stampede Park is in preparation mode for the 10-day festival.  I hope all you loyal blog readers are dusting off your boots and getting ready like I am.

To get you all in the Stampede mood, we have a couple contests that are going on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook- Looking for something to do on July 9th? We want to give you two Gold Rodeo tickets ($99 value)! Go to http://cs.calgarystampede.com/basics/contests/fans-and-followers-contest.html and write the following message in the comment box to be entered to win: “I became a fan of the Calgary Stampede Official Group and entered to win two Rodeo tickets for July 9 courtesy of Wrangler Jeans!”
Twitter-Introducing the Stampede Spirit Photo Wrangle contest! http://bit.ly/cLk6Bo

That’s all for this week. For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede and @HereAllYear, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

Spreading the Stampede Spirit to the World

By Killa Burkinshaw

It’s Saturday morning and I am up at the crack of dawn to go to the 50th Annual Daines Innisfail Parade with the Calgary Stampede Promotion Show Wagon and Harry the Horse. This is the first time I am going out with them so I am pretty excited!  We all met at Stampede Park and loaded up the show wagon trailer and truck, hit a Tim Horton’s because everyone runs better on Tim’s and headed out on the highway.

We pulled into Innisfail, piled out of the SUV and then started getting ready. First we had to get the horses ready by braiding and adding red and white ribbons, spraying the CS logo on, and preparing the show wagon.  Then, we went and joined the line of all the other people in the parade to wait our turn (the hardest part).

While we were waiting, we got to watch the Stampede Showriders practice some of their moves. The Wagon and the Showriders both received ribbons (awards) for coming to the parade (1st and 2nd). We then got on to the parade route and had Harry lead everyone in some Yahoo’s to get everyone pumped up. As we walked along the parade route we gave away Stampede and Harry the horse buttons and pins and huge high fives, which the kids that lined the route loved.

We finished the parade and got back to the truck and the trailer where we packed up the trailer and stopped for a quick lunch and then pulled out on to the highway and came back to Calgary, our home base, where we put everything away for our next trip to bring the Stampede Spirit to the rest of the world.