This is Princess Janelle Mackenzie reporting in! I am excited to introduce myself and my two counterparts, 2020 Calgary Stampede Queen, Kelcey Moore and 2020 Calgary Stampede Princess, Madeline Kerkovius as your brand new Royal Trio for 2020! We are all so thrilled to be joining the Calgary Stampede and we all agree that this has been a long-time goal and dream for each of us. All of us were so excited to meet Falon Manywounds, the 2020 First Nations Princess, and I can tell you, she is a wonderful, kind-hearted, inspirational young lady and an absolutely top notch representative! Check out her blog to find out more about her.
All four of us are looking forward to getting to know each other more, meeting many new friends and creating wonderful memories during our year as Calgary Stampede Royalty. We are proud to be ambassadors of the Stampede and our home city of Calgary. We have been having the time of our lives so far and cannot wait for all that is around the corner! We would now like to introduce ourselves and share a couple facts you may not know, so you can get to know us better too.
Like the characteristics listed off in one of my favourite songs, “Unbelievable” by Diamond Rio, my new friends all have amazing and unique qualities! I am so proud to share this journey alongside each of them.
Kelcey Moore, 2020 Calgary Stampede Queen
I grew up in Calgary for the majority of my life. My dad is in the hockey business and his job had us moving around a little, but Calgary has always been home! Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my cousins and we would play Little House on the Prairie, or watch Disney movies day in and day out. Most of our time as kids was spent either outside playing, or at our respective sport, training. My sister and I both were involved in sports growing up; she is a hockey player and I was a competitive dancer. My days would consist of school, dance and riding. It made for a busy schedule in our household, especially with both our parents having full-time jobs that required them to work late nights and travel periodically. My family is my biggest support system and they’ve helped me pursue my dreams at every stage in my life so far, and will continue to be my inspiration in the future.
I graduated from The Edge School in 2015 and pursued a professional dance career right out of high school. I was part of two hip hop companies and trained with a contemporary company as well. Dance has taken me around the world, training and competing in Austria, France, Italy, Mexico, the United States and, of course, around Canada. After having a dance career, I went to school and graduated as an Equine Sports Therapist. Between that and being a dance teacher, work is pretty busy. Both are jobs I love and enjoy, and that I find very rewarding. One of my favourite things about teaching is seeing when a student finally understands a concept or technique they are learning. A lot of my job is about creativity, and watching a dance that I’ve put together performed on stage in front of an audience is amazing to see.
One of my favourite hobbies is working out! I train out of a private gym as often as I can. The group of people there are incredible. It’s nice to have a safe place where I can go and be around people who have that same drive and determination. I still dance professionally here and there, so if you ever want to know how to keep a rhythm, ask me.
The Calgary Stampede was an integral part of my childhood. I can remember going to the Stampede Parade every year with my sister and my cousins. As a young girl the trio were some of my role models. I want to be that for some little girl or boy. It’s important to remember how much we can have an impact on other people. I knew this was a job I would take on full-heartedly, and to have the opportunity to grow as an individual is one that will change my life. We are in a constant state of learning. I love the idea of forever being a student and having the opportunity to continue learning.
I am hoping to be remembered for the way I made people feel. Everyone loves feeling special and I think all four of us are excited to help others feel special. I can remember one little girl running up to us at an event and her dad said she waited all night to come over and say hi. When she was walking away she had the biggest smile on her face and you could tell we made her night. Even when we have gone to happy trails, all the seniors want to do is spend time with us and having the ability to hear their stories is always a great time.
Janelle Mackenzie, 2020 Calgary Stampede Princess
I grew up in Millarville, a small hamlet Southwest of Calgary. My parent’s ranch is close to the edge of Kananaskis and we enjoy some beautiful trails and spots for hiking! I worked for my families’ equine camp and lesson business from a very young age and helped take care of 27 horses, sheep, rabbits, dogs, you name it!
I achieved honors in high school and my love of working with my hands and welding led me to pursue my Heavy Equipment Technician Journeymen trade ticket at SAIT in Calgary. After four years of hard work, I completed my Red Seal designation for this trade and am now working on my Blue Seal part-time . I love working and getting things done, it brings me huge satisfaction.
My two sisters and I have taken riding lessons since the age of two at the Dewinton Riding Club and Millarville Pony Club. From the age of nine, until I was 21, I was a member of the Okotoks Outriders 4-H Club, and from 16 to 21, I was a member of the Millarville Stockland Beef Club. At age 10, I began training for the American Quarter Horse Association and showed all over the province and country. Sometimes we would ride for more than four hours! I loved this time with my family and grew up being incredibly close with my parents and two sisters.
I enjoy gardening and plants, so much that the entire front of my house in Calgary is covered in gorgeous flower arrangements and multiple gardens. My mom and I love doing this together; my sisters don’t quite have the stamina to keep up with us, so it’s my mom and I’s special past- time that we share! I also love yoga and weightlifting, and since trying Lagree, who sponsor the Royal Trio, I have found a new love! After breaking my pelvis when I was younger, I have found lifting weights balances my body and manages my pain, so I can do all the horseback riding I want, which of course is one of my favourite things to do.
To be honest, after being in school and working so much, I felt that I was being pulled away from my agriculture roots. I desperately missed riding, being around critters and the farming and ranching families that always inspired me. My family and I volunteered many hours with the Millarville Racing and Agriculture Society, Okotoks Agriculture Society, the Horse Safety committee, a subcommittee on the Stampede Parade committee and many more. I saw being part of the Royal Trio as a self -development opportunity, and grew up noticing the positive impact alumni ladies had on multiple groups, teams and communities all over. The Calgary Stampede has always been like a second home for me and our family has enjoyed countless hours on Stampede Park. I hope to give back as much as I can to the Stampede and to our community.
I am delighted to finally ride in the parade! I have volunteered on the Horse Safety committee for many years and before being old enough to help, we always came out to watch the parade with my Dad after attending his special Fire Department breakfast at the Palliser hotel. It was always such a special morning for me and I still get so excited for Parade Day! I would always pay special attention to the Royalty going by and loved seeing all the alumni we know! Those ladies always leave such a huge impression on young gals and I am so thrilled to join the team. I look forward to growing and learning alongside Falon, Kelcey and Madeline and I know there will be so many memories for us that we will cherish for a lifetime.
Madeline Kerkovius, 2020 Calgary Stampede Princess
I was born and raised in Calgary. Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my family’s ranch in Mountain View County. This is where I learned to ride and where I would spend time with my two horses, Tucker and Missy. Aside from spending time at the ranch, my family also spent a lot of time skiing – both downhill and cross country – and travelling.
I graduated this spring from Queen’s University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree. Both of my parents graduated from Queen’s University, so getting into this program was a dream come true for me! I remember the day I got my acceptance letter in the mail – it was one of the happiest days of my life. During my third year of university, I did an exchange program at Lund University in the School of Economics & Management. This was an amazing opportunity to live abroad in a new city and immerse myself in a new culture. While I was there, I had the opportunity to travel to nine countries and 16 cities in Europe, many of which I had never been to before.
Outside of riding horses, I love to cycle. I started cycling when I was 14, and my longest ride was 350 km from Jasper to Canmore, which I did twice. Over the past summer, I rode in a virtual Gran Fondo, which is a 100 km cycling race. I like to cycle during the winter with indoor spin classes, but I’m always looking forward to the first warm weekend of the year when I can pull my road bike out of storage!
The Calgary Stampede has always been a huge part of my life. It was a tradition in my family to watch the Stampede Parade every year and I always remember looking forward to the night every summer when my parents would let me and my brother stay up until midnight to watch the chuckwagon races and Grandstand Show. Then in high school, I became a member of the Stampede Showriders. This experience really solidified my dream of becoming Stampede Royalty. As a member of the Showriders, I had the opportunity to represent the Calgary Stampede on a global stage, which was a great way for me to experience what it would be like to be a member of the Royal Trio.
As a trio, I am hoping that we are remembered for our enthusiasm, positivity and friendliness as we fulfil our roles as ambassadors of the Calgary Stampede and the Royalty program. We are so lucky to be in a position that allows us to meet so many people from many different backgrounds. I love hearing everyone’s stories and being able to share some of my own.
I am really looking forward to travelling and promoting the Calgary Stampede throughout the city and globally this year. While, I can’t wait to share these things with the local community of Calgary, I am really excited to share our unique culture and western heritage with people who may not know as much about the organization. It is so fun meeting people who visit the Stampede from all over the world. It is also such a treat when we get to travel to them and to see the recognition of the CS brand worldwide. My favourite part of the year so far has been getting to know Janelle, Kelcey and Falon. We connected instantly and I am so excited to be working with them this year!