Awards & Recognition

Whether it’s creating experiences, communications, broadcast production, building our youth programs or our outstanding bucking stock, the Calgary Stampede strives for greatness in all that we do. Our industry peers recognized us with the following 2016 awards.


2016 Awards & Recognition

Canadian Special Events: Spirit of the Industry Award

Industry Award

This national industry award program recognizes outstanding achievements in Canadian special events, meetings management, conference planning and exhibition management. Calgary Stampede was peer nominated for Outstanding Logistical Achievement Award and Best Event Produced by an In-House Team or Planner Award.

Tara Sweeney, certified special events professional, was presented the Canadian Special Events Spirit of the Industry Award, which recognizes a person who exemplifies strong business ethics and professional integrity, recognizes and supports the need for collaborations, and is a champion of furthering professional development and the continued growth of our industry.

ILEA Esprit Award: Nominated for Best Event Solution

Industry Award

The ILEA (International Live Event Association) Esprit Awards program is a globally recognized awards competition that honours the exceptional professional achievements of individuals and organizations from across the ILEA membership, representing all facets of the event. The Stampede, along with Production Canada, was peer-nominated for A Night at Calgary Stampede, a high-profile gala that involved a rodeo and full-service, sit-down dinner.

Global Event Summit

Industry Recognition

Tara Sweeney, senior event manager of the Calgary Stampede Sales & Event Management team, was invited to attend the ISES Global Event Summit 2016 in Scotland, which took place April 18-23, 2016. This is an invite-only event, where invitations are extended to only 25 of the top event professionals from North America, Europe and Asia.

Alberta Country Music Association Award for Talent Buyer of the Year

Programming and Broadcast Award

In a two-way tie, Lindsay Weryshko (née Ell) on behalf of the Calgary Stampede, alongside Panhandle Productions, accepted the 2015 Alberta Country Music Association: Talent Buyer of the Year award. The Talent Buyer of the Year category honours the behind-the-scenes industry professionals and venues who contribute so much to the artistry, success and longevity of country music.

Canadian Country Music Association: Best Country Festival, Fair or Exhibition of the Year (nomination)

Programming and Broadcast Award

The Calgary Stampede was nominated for the annual Canadian Country Music Association award for best in the fair or exhibition of the year category. We share this honourable nomination with notable names such as Big Valley Jamboree, Boots and Hearts Music Festival, Cavendish Beach Music Festival and Dauphin’s Countryfest.

Canadian Country Music Association: Ron Sakamoto Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year (nomination)

Lindsay Weryshko (née Ell) and Rod Tate received an admirable nomination for the Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. This award recognizes talent buyers or promoters who present and promote Canadian country artists in Canada.

IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions): Brass Ring Live Entertainment Excellence (nomination)

The IAAPA “is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide.” Calgary Stampede’s Dog Bowl featuring Canine Stars was nominated by a panel for the Most Creative Show Featuring Animals.

Calgary’s Child Magazine: Best Family Festival

Programming and Broadcast Award

The Parents’ Choice Awards were developed in 1996 to recognize local businesses and organizations that provide exceptional support, services and fun for families. The Calgary Stampede was chosen by Calgarians for the Best Family Festival.

New York Festivals: Bronze World Medal – Entertainment Program – Open & Titles

Programming and Broadcast Award

This award honours the world’s best TV and films from more than 50 countries, and categories mirror today’s global trends. Calgary Stampede productions continue to gain recognition and stand up with other award winners, inclusive of major networks and production companies (ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, Sports Illustrated/Time Inc.) as well as projects done for professional sports teams (LA Kings, San Francisco 49ers). The Calgary Stampede won the Bronze World Medal—Entertainment Program—Open & Titles for their production “Everything Stampede.”

Alberta Film and Television Awards (AMPIA) – Best Promotional Production

Programming and Broadcast Award

Presented in May, these awards honour the best in production in the province of Alberta, celebrating excellence and outstanding achievement in the industry. The Calgary Stampede had a total of three nominations and won in the category of Best Promotional Production for “Everything Stampede.”

Telly Awards

Programming and Broadcast Award

Based in New York City, the Telly Awards honour the very best in film and video productions, groundbreaking online content, and outstanding commercials and programs. They are judged against the highest standard of excellence, with more than 12,000 entries from 50 states and five continents. The Calgary Stampede’s Telly Award wins demonstrate our organization’s track record and speaks to our credibility in the industry. As recipients, we are in the same company as HBO, ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network and major professional sports teams (Minnesota Wild, New York Yankees).

Calgary Stampede was recognized with two awards:

  1. Bronze for Live Event Segments and Promotional Pieces – Sports - “Richard Cosgrave Aggregate Award” The “Richard Cosgrave Aggregate Award” was produced to accompany the winning presentation on stage during the GMC Rangeland Derby.
  2. Silver – the highest honour – TV Programs, Segments or Promotional Pieces – Live Events for “Everything Stampede” “Everything Stampede” was created to open the parade broadcast, and essentially the entire Stampede, on CBC. It was then used as programming content throughout the Stampede, distributed via our social media channels, and used in presentations throughout the year. We will continue to use it as part of our programming content in 2017.
Viking Land Band Festival

Youth Education Program Award

More than 20 different performing bands attend the Vikingland Band Festival and the Minnesota Drum Corps Premier annually. The Calgary Stampede Showband was recognized with the following honours:

  • Fan Favourite Drum Feature
  • Best Horn Soloist
  • Best Colour Guard
  • Best Flag or Prop Design
  • Best Cardinal Spirit Award
Mid-American Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA)

Youth Education Program Award

The Mid-American Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA) is one of the annual summer marching band competition circuits in the United States where more than 30 bands compete across multiple shows in the summer months. This year, the Calgary Stampede Showband swept all competitive captions at Flags of Freedom and Fort Atkinson Invitational shows in Wisconsin. The Showband remains undefeated in competition at all MACBDA shows since 2010. Their honours include:

  • Best Music Performance
  • Best Visual Performance
  • Best Music General Effect
  • Best Percussion
  • Best Colour Guard/Auxiliary
  • Overall Grand Champion
Cheyenne Frontier Days: Most Outstanding Mounted Riding Group

Youth Education Program Award

Celebrating old western roots, the Cheyenne Frontier Days is known as the granddaddy of them all. This year, the Calgary Stampede Showriders were awarded the Most Outstanding Mounted Riding Group in the annual Frontier Days Parade. The award celebrates their high level of pageantry, showmanship and professionalism.

Canadian Agriculture Marketing Awards (CAMA): Certificate of Merit

Agriculture Award

The Canadian Agriculture Marketing Awards, or CAMA, represent the best of agri-marketing at a national level. UFA Cattle Trail won a CAMA Certificate of Merit in the category “Exhibits or Displays.”

International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (IAFE)

Agriculture Awards

The International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions serves agricultural fairs and exhibitions. IAFE awards recognize outstanding members of their association. The IFAE recognized the Calgary Stampede with three awards:

  • 2nd place, Innovative use of technology to benefit an agriculture program, Ear Buds. The ear buds, used at Stampede Cutting Horse competitions, allow guests to hear expert commentary that explains what is happening and what the judges are looking for. Because of the need for quiet during competition, this is the only way to give those in the seats this kind of experience.
  • 2nd place, Technique, procedure or policy developed to correct an issue or challenge related to an agricultural program, Chuckwagon Safety Improvements. Part of our ongoing Fitness to Compete initiative, changes in 2016 focused on the drivers, track and wagons.
  • 3rd place, Non-fair-related agriculture event/program, Farm Safety Day. This brand new program, supported by AltaLink, welcomed nearly 700 students in the spring of 2016 to a fun day of interesting and interactive learning opportunities.
MarCom Awards

Communication Awards

MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals and is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand creative professionals. The Community Engagement & Communications department was recognized in two categories:

  • Gold – E-Annual Report for the 2015 Report to the Community
  • Honourable Mention – E-Newsletter for the Stampede Daily News
Metro Calgary Community Choice Awards

Tourism Awards

The Community Choice asks Metro readers to identify local businesses that make Calgary great. Metro readers voted the Calgary Stampede:

  • Best Local Tourist Attraction – Winner
  • Best Festival - Favourite
White Hat Awards

Tourism Awards

The White Hat Awards recognize the amazing ambassadors of Calgary. These are the people who go above and beyond to make their guests’ experiences a memorable one. This year, the Calgary Stampede was proud to have 34 nominees. Among those, we had three winners, including the first two Stampede volunteers to win White Hat Awards!

Best Bartender/Wine Steward – Jenny Slanisky
Best Volunteer – Keith Rutherford, Chuckwagon committee
Mayor’s White Hat Award – Suelin Richards, Indian Events committee

Pro Rodeo Canada: Canadian Stock Contracting Firm of the Year

Rodeo Award

The Stampede Ranch has again been named as the Canadian Stock Contracting Firm of the Year for 2016 in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA). This award is voted on by the entire competing membership of Pro Rodeo Canada. It is always an honour to be recognized by the rodeo community for our commitment to the sport.

National Finals Rodeo (NFR)

Rodeo Award

Thirteen bucking horses and two bulls from the Stampede Ranch were invited to represent the Calgary Stampede at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, December 1-10. Xplosive Skies was recognized as the Bareback Horse of the NFR, an incredible honour. She was also selected the Rank Horse of the Night on night five of competition. Wranglers Extreme earned a go-round buckle with the top score in Bull Riding on night four.

Calgary Stampede Rodeo: Champion Saddle Bronc and Bareback Horses

Rodeo Award

These awards are voted on by the six pro rodeo officials and are awarded to the animals with the best overall performance during the Stampede Rodeo. Tiger Warrior won the Saddle Bronc championship bronze while Special Delivery took top honours in the Bareback.

Ponoka Stampede: Top Saddle Bronc Horse

Rodeo Award

On July 1, 2016, Stampede Warrior was selected as the top Saddle Bronc Horse of the Ponoka Stampede.

Pendleton Round-Up: Top Bareback Horse

Rodeo Award

Shadow Warrior was selected as the top Bareback Horse of the Pendleton Round-Up on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

Canadian Finals Rodeo: Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR and 8 Go-Round Buckles

Rodeo Award

Forty-one Stampede Ranch bucking horses and bulls were selected by the professional cowboys of the CPRA to compete at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta, November 9-13, 2016. Wild Cherry won Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR, while eight animals were recognized with a go-round buckle as the top horse or bull of a performance:
Weekend Departure – Saddle Bronc
Outlaw – Bull Riding
Stampede Warrior – Saddle Bronc
Night Moves – Bull Riding
XRated Dancer – Bareback
Mad Money – Saddle Bronc
Reckless Margie – Bareback
Wild Cherry – Saddle Bronc