Calgary Stampede 2015

July 3-12 2015

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Calgary Stampede

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CHAPTER FOUR

The Next Hundred Years

2012 - PRESENT

2012

STAMPEDE CENTENNIAL

The Stampede celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012 with a spectacular celebration. A record 1,409,371 people passed through the gates. On most nights of the Stampede, fireworks lit up all four corners of the city at the same time as those in the TransAlta Grandstand Show.    

  • Legendary cowboy and poet Ian Tyson was the 2012 Stampede Parade Marshal. 
  • The TransAlta Grandstand Show, Century, was headlined by Canadian country music superstar Paul Brandt. This was the first time ever that a star headlined each night of the Stampede.
  • The midway featured the longest temporary freestanding zip line in Canada. Thrill seekers could sail for 260 metres across Stampede Park, reaching speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. 

  • Garth Brooks gave a special performance during the Stampede concert series. 
  • Simultaneous fireworks were set off in all four quadrants of the city in the Light up the City event presented by TransAlta. It was the largest and most sophisticated fireworks show ever held in Canada.
  • Harry the Horse visited the Great Wall of China.
  • The Stampede was recognized as an event of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Boards of Canada.
  • Canada Post issued two commemorative stamps to mark the Centennial.
  • By the Banks of the Bow statue was unveiled on Stampede Park.
  • A Calgary Stampede Food truck took Stampede spirit to the streets of New York.

In 2012, the Stampede received a birthday gift from local philanthropist Bill Siebens: the historic OH ranch, one of the oldest and most storied ranches in Alberta's history.

OH RANCH

A 100th Birthday Gift

In 2012, on the occasion of the Stampede's 100th birthday, a momentous gift was made by Calgary oilman, rancher and philanthropist Bill Siebens:  the historic OH Ranch, one of the oldest and most storied ranches in Alberta’s history.  The gift also included the OH Brand and the ranch’s historic buildings, such as the 1885 ranch house, the old cookhouse and replica North West Mounted Police Cabin. 

The OH Ranch, also known as the Rio Alto Ranch, was founded in 1883 and, over the next hundred years, became an integral part of southern Alberta’s ranching heartland.  Sitting atop of some of the best fescue grass in the province, managers at the OH have been cowboys and land stewards.

Mr. Siebens purchased the OH Ranch from the estate of local oilman and philanthropist Daryl “Doc” Seaman in 2009 before making his transformational gift in 2012 to the Calgary Stampede Foundation.  At the time Mr. Siebens purchased the ranch, a conservation easement was in place that would ensure the preservation of the ranch’s traditional use as a working ranch and honour the ranch’s heritage that so many previous owners worked so hard to protect.   The Stampede will continue to work closely with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to properly manage and maintain the lands on which the OH ranch sits.

Stats

THE LAST 100 YEARS

  • Between 1912 and 2015, 67,729,617 people have attended the Stampede.
  • Stampede Park has grown from 95 acres to 208 acres. Plus, the Stampede owns two ranches in southern Alberta. 
  • Agriculture has remained at the heart of the Calgary Stampede since 1886.
  • The City of Calgary has widely embraced the Stampede; over 200,000 pancake breakfasts are served at community breakfasts each year.
  • The Stampede has remained a volunteer driven organization: in the 1920s the Exhibition had 130 volunteers; today, the Stampede has over 2500.

On June 21, 2013 - two weeks before the Stampede - southern Alberta suffered massive flooding, leaving nearly all of Stampede Park under water.

2013

HELL OR HIGH WATER

'Holding the Stampede “come hell or high water” became a rallying cry for the city. By Sneak-a-Peak on Thursday, July 4, the Infield and track had all been completely rebuilt and 63 buildings (or parts of buildings) had been remediated. The Stampede opened its gates on time to welcome 1.1 million guests over the next 10 days.

Areas flooded were:

  • 8 inches of water covered Stampede Trail
  • Entire Infield
  • Basement of the Big Four Building
  • Grandstand
  • People Centre
  • Agriculture Buildings
  • 1st ten rows of the Scotiabank Saddledome
  • The historic "Blue Bridge" was washed away

We're Greatest Together

A COMMUNITY UNITED

The magnitude of the flood damage to Stampede Park was overwhelming, but thanks to pre-planning and quick-thinking, cleanup had already begun. On Monday, June 24, contractors from all over North America arrived to help. Tandem trailers, dump trucks and other heavy machinery laboured in constant, 12-hour shifts. And while the furious cleanup effort raged behind the scenes, a press conference announced that Stampede 101 would proceed.

One of the most daunting recovery tasks involved dirt from the Infield and Track. It all had to be removed - then rebuilt with more than 25,000 cubic meters of clay, sand, and gravel. In addition, every building had to be power washed, sanitized and inspected...with power, communication, and safety systems restored. Many of our buildings continue to be recovered and remediated.


Thanks to the tremendous effort and support of volunteers, employees and the community, Stampede 101 went ahead with almost no visible signs of the disaster that occurred just days beforehand. It was proof that we are greatest together and a testament to the strength of our organization, our city and our province.

FLOOD TIMELINE
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