While the Calgary Stampede occurs only over 10 days, Stampede Park remains busy year round. It is home to numerous annual agricultural competitions and events such as the Dairy Classic Championship Show and the Calgary Bull Sale. Many of these events are an important part of the city’s heritage and agricultural industries. For example, the bull sale has been a yearly occurrence since 1901, more than a decade before first Stampede, and the Dairy Classic recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Stampede Park, known as Victoria Park until 1975, has been the centre of Calgary’s livestock industry since 1889. The city and the Stampede grew around the park and the Victoria Pavilion was built in 1919, since then serving as the heart of the Stampede’s agricultural activities.
Park venues also host many programs and events that provide Alberta’s youth opportunities to develop strong roots in their culture and heritage. 4-H on Parade, the International Youth Livestock competition and the Calgary Stampede Novice Tour are among the programs supported by the Stampede year round. Each spring, the Aggie Days program delivers interactive agricultural activities to educate families and students about food production.
In addition to agricultural events, the rodeo is another outlet for the Stampede to celebrate Western heritage. In 1961, the Calgary Stampede Ranch was established to ensure quality bucking stock for the rodeo and continues to serve this function today through the “Born to Buck” program. The ranch spans over 22,000 acres of property, divided into 14 different pastures and includes over 500 bucking horses and breeding stock, approximately 70 bucking bulls and 45 saddle horses.
This video piece focuses on the Agricultural Education Committee’s Aggie Days program that reaches out to educate families and classrooms at the Calgary Stampede. It features a live action demonstration of sheep shearing.