As a way of celebrating three decades of the High Performance Rodeo — the largest festival of its kind in Western Canada — organizers set out to find 30 local and iconic songs that capture the essence of Calgary.

Organizers are quick to point out it's not a 'best of' list, rather a playlist to honour the One Yellow Rabbit-produced festival now underway in Calgary.

Kenna Burima and Arif Ansari explained the process, and how the list of songs came to be, to CBC's David Gray of the Calgary Eyeopener Thursday.

Burima says the Calgary Songs Project created a lot of interest among music fans.

"Almost 300 submissions of people's opinions which for a project like this is a lot to consider," Burima explained.

Ansari added it was no easy task.

"The hardest part was whittling it down to 30 songs," Ansari said.

"There were some that were really obvious, like Jann Arden's Insensitive. It's a really recognizable song from the city but there is a lot of stuff in the indie rock vein, bands like Chixdiggit — who have been around forever — who have a really big catalogue to choose from and that's where things got tough."

Burima says some of the bands and artists were, to her, just obvious choices.

"For me, the obvious was anything that Tom Bagley was in, who is, I would say, the dad of garage rock here in Calgary," Burima said.

"Huevos Rancheros, the Von Zippers, [and] for me, Samantha Savage Smith was really important to have a part of it."

Ansari says the process was a real eyeopener.

"An electronic musician … gave me a list early on in the process with a bunch of bands that I had never heard of," Ansari said.

"It's a really diverse scene, there is a lot of stuff that happens that bubbles under the currents that you never really know about."

He says the list is by no means a "best of."

"It's not a 'best of' list, this is a playlist that is meant to celebrate the rabbits and 30 years of the High Performance Rodeo."