We’ve seen some really good online discussion on local products at the Calgary Stampede, and wanted to provide some context about the nature of local at the annual Stampede and some of the local initiatives we have running year round…

With our origins as a fair, festival and exhibition it’s always been a mix of showcasing our community to the world by highlighting local talent, businesses, farmers, producers, artists and artisans and bringing entertainment, products and services from outside of Calgary to our community.

We’re thrilled that the Stampede is more than just what happens at Stampede Park. It’s the Amber Approved breakfast at Hotel Arts, it’s the Citadel community barbecue, and it’s the Calgary Ismaili community’s sunset breakfast. Stampede is the sum of all the different celebrations, barbecues, concerts, customs, pancake breakfasts and community connections that make Calgary extra awesome in July.

Back at Stampede Park, when we organize the annual Stampede we are always balancing things: old and new, tradition and modern, local and global.

Pictured: downtown Calgary

As a not-for-profit, we also need to be able to fulfil the mission of our organization (to preserve and promote our western heritage, cultures and community spirit) while looking after the financial elements that allow us to provide all the programming we do at a reasonable gate price, deliver year round community and youth programming and remain financially viable for years to come.

The Calgary Stampede relies on sponsorship investments to support many of the programs on Stampede Park and the organization as a whole. With more than 350 corporate sponsors of the Calgary Stampede (most based in Calgary and Alberta), each program is carefully selected based on the objectives of the sponsor and of the Calgary Stampede to create long lasting, beneficial partnerships. Without the continued support of sponsors, the Calgary Stampede would not be able to provide the experiences that guests have come to expect.

Guests were invited to submit questions and write about their thoughts on agriculture in Alberta
At Aggie Days 2015 guests were invited to submit questions and write about their thoughts on agriculture in Alberta

Labatt, a Stampede Champion level sponsor, ensures that the majority of beer served on Stampede Park is brewed locally in Edmonton, Alberta. Labatt has a variety of top selling, premium and newly featured brands, including (but not limited to) Alexander Keith’s, Hoegaarden, Rolling Rock, Lowenbrau and Stella Artois— 85% of the beer sold at Stampede is brewed in Alberta.

Pictured: farm to table dishes prepped by Calgary Stampede employees
Pictured: farm to table dishes prepped by Calgary Stampede employees

When it comes to food, the Calgary Stampede takes great pride in the quality of food delivered to guests during Stampede and at year-round events. As part of our goal to educate people about Calgary’s agricultural roots and the importance of livestock and food in the development of Western Canada, the Stampede supports 18 local growers and agriculture producers in this province through the Grown Right. Here program—this focus extends to our vendors and sponsors on Stampede Park year-round and during Stampede time.

Pictured: charcuterie from Valbella Meats and Canadian Cheese our chefs served during the 2015 Nashville North announcement
Pictured: charcuterie from Valbella Meats and Canadian Cheese our chefs served during the 2015 Nashville North announcement

In the merchandise area, this year  we have partnered with Etsy, an online market place for handmade and vintage goods. Guests can look forward to what some of our Calgary artisans have to offer, like ImPaper, Fairgoods and Salt Water Tea. But that’s not all that we have for artisan goods! At Indian Village, you can purchase locally made handicrafts like mitts, beaded moccasins and decorative items that help sustain First Nations’ families.

Each year, the Stampede is proud to partner with BMO Bank of Montreal to recognize hardworking farm families in southern Alberta with the BMO Farm Family award. The Stampede’s values are rooted in agriculture and family. As our city increasingly urbanizes, the Stampede serves to educate our community and draw connections back to our rural surroundings and western roots. The BMO Farm Family award is just one of the many ways we recognize the people who cultivate the land and put food on our tables.

Pictured: calving season at OH Ranch
Pictured: calving season at OH Ranch

During Stampede time, you can visit Cattle Trail, where livestock from eight family farms within a few hours of Calgary are showcased. We profile each family with a stall sign showing the family that has provided the display cattle and we give them the opportunity to promote their beef production operation. Further, we support local farmers and producers through:

  • Alberta Milk, representing more than 550 local dairy farms
  • Alberta Pork, representing more than 380 Alberta hog producers
  • Alberta Chicken Producers, representing 240 certified and licensed members who produce 128 million kg live weight of chicken annually
  • Egg Farmers of Alberta , representing 160 registered egg farmers who provide fresh, locally produced eggs for their fellow Albertans

On Stampede Park, local businesses have the opportunity to showcase their unique products through the Stampede Market, Grandstand Market and Independent Midway. You can look forward to sampling the Midway goods of 71 Albertan vendors—57 of which are Calgarian!

Pictured: Stampede Park main gate
Pictured: Stampede Park Main Entry

The Stampede acts as an anchor for important activity in our city—bringing together locals and people from all around the world to create a vibrant gathering space where Calgary’s significant historical past converges with the energy and diversity of its people.

We appreciate the support of our community.