Kids wow crowds as Young Canadians at Calgary Stampede

CBC takes a look at one of the young performers involved in the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show.
Cody Handy-Hart practices for the Young Canadians section of the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. (CBC)

He’s young, he’s Canadian and Calgarian Cody Handy-Hart is using everything he’s got to entertain thousands at the Calgary Stampede each night.

The 14-year-old is a performer in the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show as part of the Young Canadians act.

Cody has been a member of the Young Canadians since 2009. While he loves performing, he admits it is a lot of work.

"I have to hurry home, quickly eat some food and then go down and make sure I get there on time," he said.

Despite being involved in the show since he was 10, Cody has to audition every year for the role.

"Production staff are there watching you and seeing how you will perform on stage and how you will accept what you have to do," he said.

Cody’s mother, Jody Handy-Hart, said her son was destined for the Young Canadians from the first time he saw the show.

"He was in his little stroller saying, ‘Don't worry mom. I'm going to be up there and you're going to be able to watch me one day,’ and I was like, ‘Okay!’"

Show director and choreographer Brian Foley said he still demands an adult dose of professionalism from the young performers.

"As much as I understand all of their personal criteria and all of the things they have to do outside of being a Young Canadian and I respect that, they need to know that the most important thing to Brian Foley is the show," Foley said.

For Cody, he said doesn’t mind all the practices because he says it’s worth it when he’s on the stage.