Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It’s been 23 years since I’ve moved to Canada from the Philippines.  I remember that the first thing I looked for was a Filipino community paper so I can read some news about the community being new in Calgary.  I never found any Filipino community paper back in 1996. From them on I told myself that [...]

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Page added on August 28, 2013

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The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Must Go On

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Must Go On thumbnail

Less than two weeks before the 2013 Stampede, Alberta experienced the worst flooding in the province’s history. The downpour, which began on June 19 and lasted for a few days, was so heavy that areas along the Bow and Elbow rivers – 26 communities altogether, including the downtown core – had to be evacuated.

Everyone pitched in in the city’s cleanup and recovery efforts, from volunteering to making donations to assist individuals, families and communities as they rebuild their lives. Just from the sale of 150,000 “Hell or High Water” T-shirts alone, the Calgary Stampede raised $2.1 million which went to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Flood Fund.

Come hell or high water, the show went on as scheduled with the traditional Stampede Parade kicking off the festivities. This year’s Parade Marshal is the first Canadian Astronaut to walk in space and the first to command the International Space Station (ISS), Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield.

Clearly, it was not business as usual, but we made it work. Flood waters filled up to the 10th row of the lower seating bowl of the Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary’s largest indoor arena and part of the 200 acre Stampede Park. Because flood repairs could not be completed in time and no feasible venue alternatives were available, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kiss, The Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw’s concerts were cancelled, together with some other Stampede-related events. Performances at the Coca-Cola Stage were not affected though.

Ironically, one of the new attractions at the Stampede had something do with water, all 350,000 gallons of it. The H2X Extreme Water Show at the Bell Aqua Ranch featured freestyle jet ski riders performing flips, rolls, and dives in a 3-foot deep portable pool. Equally impressive was the Flyboard performer who flew Iron Man style 9 meters above the water and leapt headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin.

From July 5 to 14, a total of 1,186,636 people attended this year’s Stampede – not bad, considering that we had wet weather 5 days out of 10. Even compared to last year’s centennial edition which had a record-breaking 1,409,371 people in attendance, the 101st Stampede did relatively well.

Moneris Solutions Corporation, Canada’s largest credit and debit card processor, in a press release on July 18th stated, “Calgarians have shown enormous perseverance in the face of disaster – and this year’s Calgary Stampede is a true testament of their resilience and spirit. Despite major hurdles, Calgarians rallied to support the iconic annual event, and, while this year’s Stampede may have seen slightly lower spending compared to 2012, the decrease is not as great as many expected.”


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