Community, constancy and change were the themes of the night at the 2014 Calgary Stampede Annual General meeting held on Tuesday, March 18. Citing the flood, a dedication to western heritage and values and the Stampede Park development plan, Bob Thompson and Vern Kimball reflected on the past, present and future of the Calgary Stampede.

“The response to the flood uncovered new levels of spirit across our city and throughout our organization…an entire community came together to create a rallying point during very difficult circumstances,” said Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board.

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CS board of directors: Sitting L to R: Bill Gray, vice-chairman; Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board; Dave Sibbald, vice-chairman; Second Row L to R: Toni Dixon; Will Osler; Kate Thrasher; Mike O’Connor; MLA Yvonne Fritz; Garry Holbrook; MP Joan Crockatt; Bob Taylor; Jackie Engstrom; Steve McDonough; Back Row L to R: Tom O’Leary; Ted Haney; Councillor Andre Chabot; Roc Spence; Maggie Schofield; John Third; Byron Hussey; Mike Casey; Allen Hagerman; Paul Polson; Dana Peers; Teri McKinnon

The can-do attitude we saw throughout the Stampede and Calgary, he went on to say, is rooted in the very western culture and values that the Stampede was born of and continues to celebrate today.

Western values are the constant at the Calgary Stampede.

“In 2004, these were the values that were articulated by our volunteers and employees – and they resonated with, and were validated by Calgarians as values that were unique and important,” said chief executive officer, Vern Kimball. “Our surveys show that…almost 90% of Calgarians tell us they want the Stampede to invest in and promote the western values that make Calgary, Calgary.”

As the organization remains true to its western heritage, Kimball also emphasized that as the city evolves, so too must the Calgary Stampede. With the opening of the Agrium Western Event Centre at our doorstep and Riverfront Park and Youth Campus on the horizon, the organization evolves toward being a year-round gathering place for all Calgarians.

“The challenge of the plan was to build on the equity created by our ten days and create a year-round experience: a year-round experience that reflected where the Stampede and our community have come from, what we represent today and where we are going in the future,” said Kimball.

Seven hundred fifty-eight shareholders gathered at the AGM this year, along with 24 special guests [non-shareholders]. They voted in seven directors, five incumbents and two first time directors. Bob Thompson, Bill Gray and Dave Sibbald will remain in their roles as president and vice-chairmen respectively.

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L to R: Bill Gray, vice-chairman; Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board; Dave Sibbald, vice-chairman

Becoming a Calgary Stampede shareholder

After at least four years as an active volunteer, potential shareholders are nominated to be a shareholder by a committee chair. The board approves all shareholder nominations. After a volunteer is invited to become a shareholder, he or she purchases a share for $5, which permits him or her to vote at the annual general meeting. Shares do not grant dividends or appreciate, nor can they be sold. Shareholders who don’t attend the shareholder meeting by proxy or in person for three years in a row lose their shareholder status. The Calgary Stampede has 1,929 shareholders.