The inspiring accomplishments of 12 outstanding finalists were celebrated, and the recipients announced on Tuesday, October 29 at the 2019 Western Legacy Awards. The Western Legacy Awards were created to recognize the exceptional achievements of individuals and community groups in Calgary and southern Alberta, who exemplify western hospitality, pride of place, integrity and commitment to the community.

2019 Western Legacy Award Recipients, Stampede Royalty and Chair of the Western Legacy Awards committee

The Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards committee put the call out in early 2019, asking community members to nominate those in southern Alberta who are working to help change the lives of others in their communities. The committee received a number of nominations and narrowed down the impressive pool of candidates to 12 finalists, announcing the final four recipients at the award ceremony in late October. The four award categories were Youth, Innovation, Sustained Contribution (Individual) and Sustained Contribution (Group).

Congratulations to the 2019 Western Legacy Award recipients:

Youth – the Youth award is given to a youth, 18 years and under, who has demonstrated a commitment to making a difference and exhibited western values.

Congratulations Kayden Ruda!

Kayden is a kind-natured mentor to youth who attend the many programs offered at the Calgary Public Library. He always demonstrates patience and a positive attitude when working one-on-one with kids challenged by science and math. He provides great encouragement and helps them develop the skills they need to be successful not only in these subjects, but in school in general. Kayden believes, however, that providing mentorship is a two-way process; he gains leadership experience by tutoring his peers and is rewarded by helping future leaders gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

Innovation – the Innovation award is given to an individual or group who has created a single visionary project that reflects our western values.

Congratulations to The Balance Foundation!

The Balance Foundation turned a tragedy into a positive legacy. With its initial inspiration rooted in the creation of the Brett Wiese Memorial Scholarship, it soon became apparent that supporting youth development through mentorship and sports provides benefit to many within the community. The legacy project continues to create meaningful experiences, mentorship and equal opportunity for youth, through sport and education, to create positive outcomes and youth with balanced lives.

Sustained Contribution (Individual) – the Sustained Contribution (Individual) award is given to an individual who has exhibited extraordinary community support over time.

Congratulations Bruce Roy!

Bruce Roy has been a Calgary Stampede volunteer for 60 years. Over that time, he has brought international profile to the Draft and Heavy Horse community in southern Alberta. At 82 years old, he continues to make valuable contributions, sharing his knowledge and expertise locally and on the international stage, and is humbled when asked to speak on his many personal and professional achievements.

Sustained Contribution (Group) – the Sustained Contribution (Group) award is given to an organization or group that has exhibited extraordinary community support over time.

Congratulations Calgary Reads!

Calgary Reads was created in response to an alarming lack of literacy in school-aged children. Some 20 years later, the organization continues to grow, delivering programs to address low literacy rates and provide learning opportunities to future leaders in Calgary and beyond. Annually, thousands of children discover the magic and success that literacy brings, through the efforts of the organization and its amazing team of volunteers. The outcome? More lifelong readers and successful citizens.

Congratulations to all 2019 Western Legacy Award finalists. We are proud to be part of a community filled with inspirational leaders such as yourselves, who help to make a difference in the lives of others. Keep up the great work!

If you know someone in your community who deserves to be recognized for the positive impact they have on others and for sharing our western hospitality and heritage, nominations for next year’s Western Legacy Awards will be open in January 2020. Please visit calgarystampede.com/WLA to learn more.