In July, we welcomed 1,263,428 people through the gates, the second-highest attendance in our history. Guests enjoyed 10 hot and sunny days on Stampede Park, which saw a number of exciting changes this past year.
The Kids’ Midway moved next to the Agriculture Barns, creating an integrated family zone. This will connect to the future ENMAX Park, which is set to open in 2016. By moving Nashville North to the north end of Stampede Park and closer to Cowboys Casino, we purposefully created a consolidated party zone.
To satisfy the hunger of our guests, it’s only fitting that The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth created Calgary’s largest pop-up patio. “Triple B – Barbeque, Bulls and Beer” featured the World’s Largest Grill and became the place to enjoy top-notch grilled specialties, ride a mechanical bull and sip a cold one.
New creative producer David Pierce and his talented team brought a celebration of chuckwagon racing to the Grandstand Stage with the TransAlta Grandstand Show, Barnburner.
Thanks to our annual curation of new experiences alongside old favourites, friends and families came together to create poignant and vibrant memories. We thank our incredible volunteers, employees and guests for yet another unforgettable year at the Calgary Stampede and for making Calgary a better place.
With our trademark western hospitality, fabulous facilities and prime location, Stampede Park hosted more than 600 events - from the FIVB Volleyball World League final and the Scotiabank Marathon, to Monster Jam, Screamfest and Beakerhead’s Little Big Street. Approximately 25,000 people attended 25 graduation celebrations and well over 35,000 guests celebrated the holidays at one of the 60 holiday celebrations we hosted at Stampede Park. In total, our event business saw some 1,035,000 guests converge on Stampede Park over the course of 2014.
Our energetic volunteers were also creating and contributing to community events and engaging Calgarians in their backyards and at Stampede Park. We were proud to see longtime community connections upheld and new relationships and offerings bloom. These community connections will drive the continued relevance of the Calgary Stampede. We know that Calgarians will recognize and appreciate the Calgary Stampede people and programs as contributing to the betterment of our community. Please see the report for more information on our community impact.
We are thrilled about the success of the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Stampede Foundation’s We’re Greatest Together capital campaign. Philanthropists, corporate Calgary, Stampede volunteers and so many more have come forward to make our vision a reality. Thanks to many generous donors, ENMAX Park will give Calgarians a new 16-acre park along the Elbow River, and the new Youth Campus will become a vital hub for youth development, western heritage and education.
As we wrap up our We’re Greatest Together capital campaign, we are humbled and inspired by the faith our supporters have put into these exciting development projects. The Calgary Stampede will have the opportunity to strengthen and build urban and rural connections, celebrate western heritage and bring people of all ages and backgrounds together for generations to come.
ENVIRONMENTAL RECLAMATION AND FLOOD MITIGATIONS
The 2013 flood caused serious damage to the riverbanks, residential properties and businesses all along the Elbow River. The Calgary Stampede sustained more than $60 million in damage. Over the course of 2014, we worked hard to complete the restoration of the riverbank in an environmentally sensitive manner and have carefully installed protections against future flooding. All riverbank reclamation and flood mitigation work was completed with the required regulatory approvals.
Our riverbank restoration work included the removal of debris from the Elbow River and the replacement of vegetation important to the river valley ecosystem. We also completed installing the final phase of a flood protection system that has been under construction since 2000 and will protect the southern portion of Stampede Park from overland flow waters associated with a future major flood event. The flood protection system is located outside of the floodway and is designed to avoid impacting communities upstream or downstream of Stampede Park.
Construction of a new, single span steel arch bridge to replace the pedestrian “blue bridge” began in 2014. Slated to open in June 2015, the bridge will be an important connection into ENMAX Park.
With virtually every one of Stampede Park’s buildings undergoing updates and repairs as part of the flood response, our renewed facilities are ready to host future exceptional events. We thank all the employees and contractors who worked tenaciously in 2014 to rebuild Stampede Park to its current tip-top shape.