In 1912, Calgary established one of Canada’s greatest ongoing traditions, the Calgary Stampede. From coast to coast, the Stampede has become synonymous with Alberta’s largest city. Since its creation 100 years ago, the Stampede has become a staple to the Calgary identity and tourism industry, welcoming over one million guests from around the globe during the 10-day festival each July.
The exhibition takes place at Stampede Park, but the entire city is a-buzz with live music, stage performances, cookouts, cultural and historic tours and other events.
Each year, the Stampede hosts traditional events such as the official opening Calgary Stampede Parade, world-famous rodeo, chuckwagon races, agricultural exhibitions and competitions, Indian Village entertainment, art shows, music and the midway carnival. The Stampede continues to add new educational programs and entertainment each year.
First Nations have been part of the Stampede since its inception. The five tribes of the Treaty 7 First Nations — Siksika, Tsuu T'ina, Stoney/Nakoda, Piikani and Kainai — take part in the Stampede each year and cultural awareness remains essential at Indian Village, their dedicated venue, and the opening parade.
While the Stampede is best known for its 10-day celebration, Stampede Park is a year-round facility located in the centre of Calgary, hosting events, conventions, competitions and entertainment. The Agricultural Education Committee’s Aggie Days program focuses on delivering interactive agriculture activities to families while venues like the Stampede Corral and the Big Four Building are well-known for hosting the World Figure Skating Championship and the NHL’s Calgary Flames’ home games. Conventions and trade shows are typically held in the BMO Centre year round.
The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization. Approximately 1,200 year-round employees work for the Stampede and an additional 3,500 people are on-board for the 10-day festival. At the very heart of the organization’s success are more than 2,000 volunteers who, through nearly 50 different committees, contribute to every aspect of the Stampede. Almost half of these volunteers have been involved for at least a decade bringing knowledge and expertise to everything from Western art and photography, to rodeo and chuckwagon events.
As the Stampede celebrates its Centennial in July 2012, new events and park developments are underway to honour this significant milestone in Canadian history.