Thank you to all of you for an outstanding 2017, a year where we challenged conventional Stampede thinking and welcomed the community to celebrate with us in ways that we have never done before. The Vision 2017 platform of offers and promotions afforded new and extended ways for our community to enjoy the annual Stampede festival, while our year-round developments opened the doors to new spaces where we can continue to grow our connections to the community.
This year, the Calgary Stampede embarks on the final year of its 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, a plan that reflects a theme of community spirit, both in the pursuit of strengthened relationships with our community partners and guests as well as in the efforts we are making to support a culture of enhanced collaboration for the Stampede team. Our strategic focuses over the past two years have resulted in new Stampede-hosted community events and programming, both on Stampede Park and off, and in broader support of our community partners through participation and contributions at events across the city.
We should be very proud of our accomplishments with the Youth Campus development in partnership with the Calgary Stampede Foundation, which saw three milestones achieved in 2017 with the opening of the TransAlta Performing Arts Studios, the Calgary Arts Academy, and the BMO Amphitheatre. In 2018, we will continue to move forward with the Youth Campus development aspirations, which aim to celebrate western heritage and culture through the advancement of public education and the arts in support of youth achievement in our community.
When we embarked on the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, the city of Calgary was facing and continues to face challenging new economic realities. Our strategic efforts to build the Stampede’s vision and advance the organization’s Master Plan over the past two years have positioned the Stampede as a community leader in the pursuit of prosperity for our great city in the context of what we now recognize to be a new economic normal. Our BMO Centre Expansion proposal, which will transform Calgary into a Tier 1 convention city, offers a bold vision of economic diversity for our community. The project is close to our heart and, throughout 2017, we have been working extensively with all three levels of government and city stakeholders to collaboratively move the proposal forward for the benefit of our community. We encourage our partners and readers to learn more about the project and the larger economic benefits that will be realized through the development.
Over the past two years, we have been building a foundation of collaboration and extended relationships, both in our year-round activities as well as during Stampede time. These efforts will position the Stampede for great accomplishments in 2018, and we are now focusing on readying the organization to move forward with the BMO Centre Expansion as well as the developments of the Rivers District Master Plan that will include, in the near term, the 17th Avenue Crossing.
At the halfway mark of fulfilling the Stampede’s Master Plan, our vision of creating a world-class, year-round gathering place for the community has become a reality and we are now at a turning point. We look forward to meeting the challenges of managing for change over the next year and to sharing with the Stampede team and our partners how Stampede 2018 will continue to reach out to our community and welcome the world to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!
Thank you again to our friends, neighbours, sponsors, government partners, community partners, volunteers and employees – we couldn’t do what we do without your support.
We’re Greatest Together,
David Sibbald, President & Chairman of the Board
Warren Connell, Chief Executive Officer