It’s the night before the gates open to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and Rebecca Shuttleworth takes Bruce, her five-year-old Quarter Horse for one last ride through the rolling hills on her family farm, before she embarks on the experience of a lifetime.

“The Calgary Stampede’s Poster Competition has opened so many doors for me in ways I never thought possible,” shares Shuttleworth.

Rebecca, who was selected as the winner of the 2019 Calgary Stampede Poster Competition winner was the first-ever winner of the competition, which included a $10,000 scholarship and the prestige of designing the artwork for the 2019 Calgary Stampede poster. But perhaps the more significant aspect is that 2019 marks the first time the poster has ever been designed by a youth artist.

“The experience has been nothing short of incredible, from the speaking engagements to riding in the Parade and being asked to ride in the Grand Entry; it’s gone beyond my wildest expectations,” she shares.

The inspiration for her piece came from a photograph captured by Samantha Callioux, a talented photographer.

“It captured the essence of women in western culture and the life I live on my family’s farm and my roots,” she adds.

The 2019 Poster Competition saw young artists from across Alberta submit their artwork and vision for the 2019 Poster. From there, the top 30 were chosen to participate in a Masterclass and receive mentorship from local artists.

“The Masterclass was helpful, because not only did you receive critiques from a talented artist, but you got the chance to learn about all the things that are considered from a branding perspective when the poster is chosen and printed,” says Shuttleworth.

The scholarship money that Shuttleworth received has also helped pave the way to her dreams. Most recently, she graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, where she began a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. However, after one semester she decided to switch over to the Agronomy program, where she followed her passion for agriculture.

“I will still continue with my art, but agriculture is also a passion of mine and one that I’ve grown up with on my family farm,” she says.

When asked what her favourite part of the whole experience has been, she said “The people I’ve got to meet along this journey have been incredible. I love the Calgary Stampede, so getting to become such a huge part of Stampede 2019 was a true honour. It’s also really neat to see all the items the poster appears on, from the President’s GMC truck, to pins and blankets, it’s surpassed what I ever thought possible.”

The original poster artwork is currently on display in the Western Oasis in BMO Centre and will be there throughout the duration of Stampede 2019.

“I’m so thrilled to have been part of this great program and I think it’s incredible that it will continue in the future,” says Shuttleworth.

The Calgary Stampede Poster Competition continues in 2020 and 2021. The 2020 poster artist and poster will be unveiled in the fall of 2019.

If you, or someone you know is a talented artist between the ages of 15-24, please encourage them to submit their vision for the 2021 Stampede Poster. Applications will open this fall. For more information, please visit Calgarystampede.com/postercompetition.