Almost 110 years after hymns were first sung in the historic Westbourne Baptist Church, a new generation of voice, song, music and dance will fill the repurposed building on Stampede Park under the banner of Walton Hall.

Today, the Walton Group of Companies announced a $1.5 million gift to the Calgary Stampede Foundation, to help revitalize and relocate Walton Hall to the new Youth Campus. The building will provide much-needed performance, rehearsal and classroom space for arts organizations across Calgary.

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The media announcement was made Thursday, May 15, by (from left) Calgary Stampede President Bob Thompson, Walton Group of Companies founding family member Siobhan Doherty, Walton Executive Vice-President of Law Leslie Fryers and Calgary Stampede Foundation Board Chair, Ann McCaig.

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Walton Hall will be in the very heart of Youth Campus on the northeast corner of Stampede Park. Walton Hall will attract community arts organizations  for rehearsals and performances, helping to support youth development and the flourishing of the arts in Calgary.

“Youth Campus is an important development to Walton as it promotes Calgary as a great place to live, work and play,” says Leslie Fryers, Executive Vice President of Law at Walton. “Walton Hall will celebrate the past and build a strong, vibrant and exciting future.”

Siobhan adds that her family has always been involved with the Calgary Stampede, and they feel honoured to be involved with how the organization is evolving into the future.

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One million dollars of the Walton gift will be allocated to create Walton Hall, which will bring much needed arts rehearsal and performance space in Calgary, when it opens, which is expected to be in 2016.  This facility will feature a classroom and a 60 seat recital hall, to be used by The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Stampede Showband as well as other performing arts groups from across Calgary. The remaining $500,000 of Walton’s generous donation will support the overall development of Youth Campus.

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Ann McCaig says that with the $1.5 million Walton donation, the Foundation has reached the $93 million mark of its $100 million We’re Greatest Together capital campaign goal.  The campaign and Youth Campus is part of the Calgary Stampede’s vision to become a world-class, year-round gathering place.