“I am happy to tell you that the organization is in a solid financial position—yes even after a very rainy Stampede,” Warren Connell, chief executive officer of the Calgary Stampede, shared at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Stampede Park, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Almost 1,000 shareholders were in attendance at the meeting and listened as Connell recapped highlights from 2016 and insight into 2017 and beyond.


Connell continued by sharing, “Calgary is in the midst of a transformation. Culturally, the city has changed tremendously over the past decade, so to remain relevant the Stampede’s brand values need to continue to align with the values of Calgarians and Albertans. We need to continue to be out in our community listening and reacting to what our community has to say,” he stated as he spoke to the Stampede’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan.

Connell pointed to how the Stampede tried something new during the 2016 Stampede by providing free admission on the final Sunday, as well as special $5 admission prices at pop-up events earlier in the week. Connell also alluded to similar surprises for Stampede 2017, to be announced to the public in the coming months.

Ending his speech, Connell bid a heartfelt farewell to Stampede president & chairman of the board, Bill Gray, who completed his two-year term at the completion of the AGM. During his time as president, Gray led the Stampede through a time of economic uncertainty and the wettest Stampede’s since 1927, and managed to keep the organization on top and well set up for the future. “Transparency, breaking down the barriers of traditional thinking and working together as a team were and are Bill’s greatest priorities,” said Connell.

Bill Gray and Warren Connell, Stampede 2016
Bill Gray and Warren Connell, Stampede 2016

David Sibbald was welcomed into his new position as president & chairman of the board during the AGM, Dana Peers moved into his new role as first vice-chairman and Steve McDonough joined the elected officers as second-vice chairman.

Sibbald is a fifth-generation rancher and partner of SSS Red Angus, is a current board member of the Canadian Angus Association and started his volunteer career with the Stampede in 1990. Dana Peers is president of Urbano Design and Development Ltd., specializing in large custom residential and commercial projects throughout North America and has been a Stampede volunteer since 1991. Steve McDonough is a lawyer who has served as a policy advisor to the federal government in Ottawa, built and sold an advertising agency, is involved in commercial property development and has built a franchise retail business. Steve has been a volunteer for 38 years.

The board of directors, as voted by the shareholders and consisting of those who are serving their second-year terms, are David Sibbald (president & chairman of the board), Dana Peers (first vice-chair), Steve McDonough (second vice-chair), Bill Gray (past-president), Dale Befus, Elizabeth Burke-Gaffney, Toni Dixon, Ted Haney, Garry Holbrook, Dave Lantz, Mike O’Connor, Stuart O’Connor, Tom O’Leary, Will Osler, Bob Park, Paul Polson, Maggie Schofield, Roc Spence, Bob Taylor, John Third and Kate Thrasher, and appointed members Marcel Coutu, Shane Doig, MLA Brian Malkinson and Councillors Andre Chabot and Joe Magliocca.

To read more about each person, click here.