Today, Calgary is known as "Stampede City" around the world. During the 10-day festival and year round, reflections of its long-standing tradition can be seen throughout the city and its culture.
Throughout the year, Stampede Park, located on more than 200 acres near downtown Calgary, remains busy hosting a variety of concerts, conventions, competitions and events. Come July, the 10-day festival brings in a charge of over one million local, national, and international guests. Venues such as the Midway, Big Four Building, Weadickville, Indian Village, BMO Centre, Stampede Corral, Grandstand, Agriculture Building, Nashville North and the Saddledome host the majority of events and entertainment.
Every festival opens with the highly celebrated Calgary Stampede Parade, which includes hundreds of marching band members, floats and horses. Each year, First Nations dancers, bands, rodeo competitors and clowns, military representatives, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a multitude of politicians, business owners and other public figures take part in the parade.
The Agricultural exhibitions have sustained great importance since Calgary’s first exhibition in 1886. Today the Stampede offers agricultural programs to educate urban and rural audiences and youth, in particular. The Stampede’s agricultural department also offers livestock producers the opportunity to showcase their animals.
The rodeo has been an integral part of the Stampede since 1912 and today, has six signature areas of competition including Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing. It offers youth competition in Novice Bareback, Bronc, Steer Riding and Wild Pony Racing. It offers youth competition in Novice Bareback, Bronc, Steer Riding and Wild Pony Racing. The traditional chuckwagon races continue to be a favourite event every evening during the Stampede.
About 7,500 animals are involved in the Stampede each year, taking part in the parade, agricultural and rodeo events. While the Stampede’s animal care has fallen under scrutiny, the Stampede works with specialists, including an Animal Care Advisory Panel of independent experts, to refine its standards.
In addition to bringing in revenue to the city each year, the Stampede has held a lottery since the 1950s. Proceeds from ticket sales go to local charitable organizations. In the past decade, the Calgary Stampede Lottery has contributed more than $21 million to five not-for-profit organizations.
This slideshow outlines various Stampede Park venues used to host events and activities during the annual 10-day event. It includes contemporary images depicting the nine major venues and facilities.