Positivity and progress were reoccurring themes at the Calgary Stampede’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Shareholders gathered at Stampede Park to vote for the board of directors, receive financial and shareholder updates, and hear from president & chairman of the board of directors, Bill Gray, and chief executive officer, Warren Connell.
Gray spoke of the milestones celebrated in 2015, including the Stampede’s new partnership with the Calgary Opera to create a new opera space on Stampede Park, and of the achievements of the Stampede’s many youth education and development programs. “When I started as the Stampede’s president & chairman of the board, I knew that our organization, on a year-round basis, was very committed to youth education. What I did not appreciate was the breadth and extent of our involvement in those programs,” he said.
Two of the stats Bill referenced included the following:
In 2015, a combined 260 youth participated in The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts and the Stampede Showband; members of these programs are extremely grateful for the scholarships the Stampede provides.
The Stampede Foundation’s programs, Stampede School and OH Ranch Education and the Stampede’s education program Journey 2050, also hosted thousands of students throughout 2015, promoting thought-provoking lessons related to the western way of life.
Connell then took the reins of the program and spoke to the Stampede’s exciting development plans and the importance of aligning with Calgary’s community.
In 2015, the Stampede broke ground for ENMAX Park, which will be a beautiful green space in the heart of Calgary open to the community year-round and the new home to Indian Village and Indian events programming.
Connell’s words about the future for Stampede Park development were nothing short of optimistic as he noted that Youth Campus is moving along right on schedule with the upcoming construction of the TransAlta Centre and Calgary Arts Academy. “We have existed for over a hundred years because our community desires to be a part of something greater than each of us individually. We will ensure that we are positioned to make this happen,” said Connell.
One of the exciting updates provided to shareholders was about the BMO Centre expansion project the Calgary Stampede is pursuing.
“Our vision is to be a significant part of evolving Calgary’s desire to diversify the economy and add to the prosperity of our community,” said Connell.
Connell explained that our city has almost all of the essential elements to successfully be a tier one facility for the international convention and tradeshow industry in addition to being the gateway to the Rockies. Calgary has a strong volunteer base, solid brand proposition, thriving cultural scene and a high capacity airport.
“What we are lacking is the facilities to accommodate the convention and trade industry both regionally and internationally,” he said. “Over the next year we will be working hard with all three levels of government, our community stakeholders and the industry stakeholders to put together a project to double the size of the BMO Centre.”
Connell explained that an expanded BMO Centre could bring estimated 1,800 direct full-time jobs during construction with an estimated 500 full-time positions for our community once the BMO Centre is open. In addition, conservative estimates are that the BMO Centre would generate an added $73 million a year to the economy in Alberta and $87 million to Canada’s GDP.
With financial, strategic and operations updates provided to shareholders, the AGM concluded with Gray sharing the election results of the board members voted in for a two-year term.
To read the bios of each board member, click here.
To learn more about the Calgary Stampede’s youth programs, click here.
To learn more about the Calgary Stampede’s education programs, click here.