Taking a quick glance around the room, one might not realize they were surrounded by some of the most talented youth in Calgary.

But in about two months’ time, these youngsters will be performing in front of about 20,000 people every night at the Calgary Stampede TransAlta Grandstand Show.

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede got their first look at Grand Spectacular, the 2016 edition of the Grandstand Show.

When it was revealed May 5, The Young Canadians celebrated the start of a new show and big journey ahead. The very next day, they would already be hard at work and ready to learn the production numbers.

Brian Foley addresses The Young Canadians
Show director Brian Foley addresses The Young Canadians at the official kick off night.

Physical mockups of a few costumes the performers will wear drew crowds, as did the other costume renderings that were posted on a large board at the back of the room.

When show director Brian Foley grabbed the microphone and asked the cast members to have a seat, the volume dropped and everyone sat down. Entering his 20th year as director for the Grandstand Show, Foley has a lot of respect from this young crowd.

After building even more excitement, Foley passed the microphone over to the show’s creative producer, Dave Pierce, who addressed the group, sharing highlights of the show.

  • The history behind Grand Spectacular and the vision Guy Weadick had of the Stampede more than 100 years ago;
  • Costumes for the different scenes, including bumper car suits and cotton candy dresses;
  • Jade Kindar-Martin, stunt double from The Walk, who will perform a walk across a tightrope lit on fire;
  • A water and fire combination that will provide a breathtaking visual;
  • A choreographed act to be performed on hoverboards by The Young Canadians;
  • Ukrainian Tatiana Kundyk, a gifted wire-balancer.

As different elements of the show were revealed, the Young Canadians leaned onto the edges of their chairs for a better look.

More than half the room will be participating in their first TransAlta Grandstand show this summer
More than half the room will be participating in their first TransAlta Grandstand show this summer.

When the first bit of music was shown to the group, the rhythm of the room picked up, as some started dancing and others sang along.

Unique to the show is the poster, which features a Young Canadian in gold makeup. All cast members were able to send in photos in hopes of being the cover model, and Pierce said he was thrilled to see how many applied.

For the next two months, these uber-skilled youth will work to put on the iconic TransAlta Grandstand Show, making it a ‘Grand Spectacular’.

Auditions to join The Young Canadians begin late May. More information can be found here: http://cs.calgarystampede.com/fun-food/youth/the-young-canadians/audition-form