The Calgary Stampede has celebrated, supported and honoured the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for more than 100 years, creating a partnership that has grown through two World Wars, wars in Korea and Afghanistan, and a great number of peacekeeping operations. Beginning with the  the First World War in 1914, the Stampede has been a proud supporter of the CAF; the organizations precursor, the Calgary Industrial Exhibition, played a significant role on the homefront during the war years of 1914 to 1918 (read all about it here and about the 1919 Victory Stampede here!).

Members of The Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) Mounted Troop rehearse for their Afternoon Rodeo performance

The Stampede continues to grow this relationship in a number of ways and is always looking to incorporate the CAF as part of the Stampede tradition. Every year the CAF’s static Army, Navy and Air Force displays on the Midway is a popular destination for Stampede visitors, giving them the opportunity to learn about Canadian military operations at home and abroad, climb into a Leopard 2 Tank or sit in a CF-18 Cockpit, and, most importantly, to say a personal ‘thank you’ to the men and women who serve our country. To kick-off the Opening Day of Stampede at the Rodeo, guests enjoyed a CF-18 fly past following the singing of our national anthem.  Joining the special guests at the start of the Evening Show are the CAF Colour Party and Deserving Soldier. During the on stage ceremonies, a CAF Griffon Helicopter flies over the Grandstand, proudly towing the Canadian Flag.

A CAF tank taking part in the Stampede Parade

The Stampede also celebrates Homegrown Heroes Night during Stampede every year.  This is a night that honours all CAF members, Veterans and First Responders. In addition, we engage with the CAF on a year-round basis through Calgary Stampede representation at Change of Command Ceremonies and military events held throughout the community. During November, the Stampede also proudly supports the Veterans Food Bank, by collecting and sorting donations and building food hampers. The Veterans Food Bank provides support for Veterans and their dependents during the holiday season and throughout the year.

CAF members dressed in First World War uniforms ride in the 2018 Parade

Please join us in saluting our Veterans by donating non-perishable food items and Christmas treats like candy trays and boxes of chocolates. The drop-off bins are located at the Stampede Headquarters Building and Trailblazer Centre from now until Friday, December 21, 2018.

The Calgary Stampede is proud to be a supporter of the CAF and will forever honour the history, legacy and future of this great partnership.