Our great city of Calgary and surrounding communities faced another year of tough economic challenges throughout 2016. The Calgary Stampede, as a year-round organization, has equally experienced the challenges facing our community and, when we all came together to celebrate during Stampede 2016, it rained almost every day. In fact, this was the wettest Stampede since 1927!
But the bigger story about Stampede 2016 was the community spirit that prevailed as Stampede Park welcomed more guests who had never previously experienced the Stampede festival than ever before. And, the show went on with some of the biggest and best programming the Stampede has ever offered. The celebrations that took place over the 10 days are a testament to the resiliency and optimism that make our community great and remind us that we truly are Greatest Together.
At the beginning of 2016, we launched a new, three-year strategic plan that positioned the Stampede’s connection with the community as an overarching theme for all the objectives we will endeavour to fulfil. The Stampede’s vision to be a world-class, year-round gathering place for the community reflects the resolve of the organization to support the prosperity of Calgary through the creation of new gathering spaces, such as the recently opened ENMAX Park and the soon-to-be completed Youth Campus.
We move forward with great expectations for 2017 and bold aspirations that include expanding the Stampede’s BMO Convention Centre to position Calgary as a tier-one convention city and supporting economic diversity for the community. The Stampede’s 2,300 volunteers and 300 employees will continue to work passionately, along with our many community partners toward bringing value to the city of Calgary now and into the future.
For the Stampede, the story of 2016 was in many ways about looking forward and looking outward at the community to better understand how the organization’s foundation of western values supports a Stampede that is for everyone, both in our year-round activities as well as during the annual Stampede festival.
We are proud to share with you a number of the organization’s key accomplishments in 2016:
Our 2016-2018 Strategic Plan aims to achieve meaningful impacts through five strategic objectives. Here are those objectives and their respective outcomes:
We are pleased to say we’ve made great strides throughout 2016 toward all five of these objectives—and you’ll see many examples of that progress throughout this report.
We were thrilled to open our new ENMAX Park in June this year. The park brings together history, art, Indigenous culture and green space. During the year, ENMAX Park will be open to the public as a place to gather and be close to nature in the inner city.
We unveiled the Rainbow Trout public art instalment at Calgary Foundation Crossing near the MacDonald Avenue entrance to ENMAX Park, a tribute to the river’s ecology. Visitors can explore Cenovus Legacy Trail, which traces the history of the local area. The new Sweetgrass Lodge facility opened and was named by the Treaty 7 tipi owners of Indian Village—braided sweetgrass is sacred in Indigenous cultures and represents perseverance.
After years of planning, it was exciting to see Indian Village, presented by Penn West, in its new location in ENMAX Park.
We also hosted our first Community Fall Fair in the park in October, welcoming more than 1,500 guests for pumpkin spice pancakes, wagon rides, pumpkin decorating and many more fun fall activities.
We began working with city stakeholders on the proposed expansion of the BMO Centre, which will position Calgary as a tier-one convention city and will bring economic diversity to the community and southern Alberta. We are working with all three levels of government on funding models for the $500 million expansion, which will result in 535,500 square feet of total rentable space and 177,000 square feet of pre-function space for a total building footprint of just under one million square feet. The projected economic impacts of the expansion are as follows:
Annual economic impacts of the BMO Centre post expansion include:
We also partnered with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and look forward to working with them on advancing Calgary’s Culture and Entertainment District—comprised of Stampede Park, East Village and Beltline.
We made significant progress on the Youth Campus development on Stampede Park. The TransAlta Performing Arts Studios facility was completed in December 2016 and welcomed students in January 2017. This Youth Campus facility will provide much needed rehearsal space the Calgary Stampede Foundation’s youth performing arts programs, Stampede Showband and The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts.
Other Youth Campus developments that are underway include Calgary Arts Academy, which began construction in 2016, as well as the BMO Amphitheatre and Walton Hall, which will both be completed in 2017.
The past year we continued to support youth achievement in our community through the development of programs and events that offer youth immersive educational experiences outside the traditional classroom. We believe this type of hands-on learning will connect the next generation with our vibrant history and foster forward-thinking about sustainability in agriculture and the prosperity of our community.
In addition to the Stampede’s existing youth programs, we were pleased to launch the inaugural Farm Safety Day with the support of AltaLink. In May, more than 650 students from Calgary and southern Alberta’s agriculture communities participated in this event to learn about best practices in farm safety.
With the generous support of Agrium, Journey 2050 continues to receive high praise from educators regarding the impact of the program. Grades 7 to 12 students are challenged through the program to think about how we will sustainably feed the world in 2050, when there are nine billion people on the planet.
Now in its third year, the OH Ranch Education Program provides students the chance to learn about life on a working ranch along with environmental sustainability in the ranching industry and the history of ranching in southern Alberta.
Welcoming more than one million guests during the wettest Stampede we can remember—it’s a Stampede thing!
Yes, we had the rainiest Stampede since 1927, but it was a great one too. As a nod to the Year of Music in Calgary, we kicked off our celebrations with two great Calgarian musicians: Paul Brandt and Jann Arden, affectionately known as PB&J. Paul and Jann served as the official Parade Marshals of Stampede 2016.
Premier Rachel Notley and Mayor Naheed Nenshi joined the Parade Marshals, Stampede Royalty and the Calgary Stampede board of directors to lead the opening day Parade.
The historic official opening of Indian Village in ENMAX Park was attended by dignitaries from all three levels of government and enjoyed by guests from the community and around the world.
We had an outstanding visit from Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and the federal Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, who got to see first-hand the great work Stampede does toward strengthening urban and rural connections.
New programming popped up around Stampede Park, including the Dog Bowl, Adventure Park and the International Pavilion.
New promotions brought enthusiastic new audiences and a record attendance on our final Sunday. In light of the rainy weather, the many indoor activities and programs offered during Stampede were showcased this year and provided new experiences for many returning guests of the Stampede.
We are looking forward in 2017 to seeing and hearing from you—our community—who make the Calgary Stampede and everything we do possible. As we said: We’re Greatest Together.
Thank you for your support!
Bill Gray, president & chairman of the board
Warren Connell, chief executive officer