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Jann Arden joins Ron MacLean as special co-host for the live broadcast

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The white hats have been dusted off, the boots have been polished, and the world-famous Stampede Parade signals the official opening of the Calgary Stampede Centennial, Friday, July 6.

CBC is there live to share every moment with viewers across the country. The four-and-a-half kilometre Parade airs at 11 a.m. ET/9 a.m. MT on CBC-TV (for audiences in Southern Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge only), and on bold and streaming live online at cbcsports.ca for viewers across the country. A national encore presentation of the Parade is scheduled for Saturday, July 7 at 2 p.m. ET on CBC-TV and cbcsports.ca.

Nineteen-time Juno Award-nominee, and Alberta's own, JANN ARDEN (@jannarden) joins CBC's RON MACLEAN as co-host of the Stampede Parade, bringing viewers closer to the excitement and festivities. Heartland star and longtime horse enthusiast, AMBER MARSHALL (@Amber_Marshall) as well as CBC Calgary host and reporter DOUG DIRKS (@cbcDougDirks) round out the broadcast team.

MacLean, who grew up in Red Deer, Alta., is no stranger to the Calgary Stampede, having hosted several times in the past as well as covered rodeo events earlier in his broadcasting career. The nine-time Gemini Award winner and two-time George Gross Award recipient, honouring excellence in sports broadcasting, will also serve as host of special shows on the opening and closing Saturdays as well as a special Showdown Sunday broadcast on July 15.

Over the course of her impressive recording career, Arden has earned 19 top-10 hits, won eight Juno Awards, released a best-selling memoir, and has been honoured with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

A former veterinary assistant, Marshall is passionate about animals and has been around horses from a very young age. When filming Heartland, Marshall lives on a small ranch outside of Calgary where she is surrounded by her many animals, including horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys and peacocks.

CBC is taking the 2012 Calgary Stampede's motto we're greatest together to heart by making this year's centennial celebration more interactive than ever, connecting fans to all the action. Viewers across Canada can join the Stampede conversation online at cbcsports.ca/calgarystampede and tweeting #CalgaryStampede.   Canadian Olympian and Alberta native MELLISA HOLLINGSWORTH (@Mehollingsworth) hosts a blog and live chats from the site as well as the new daily online show, Rodeo Round-Up presented by TAQA, which runs throughout the 10-day Stampede. 

A two-time Skeleton World Cup champion and Olympic bronze-medalist, Hollingsworth grew up on a ranch in Eckville, Alta., and has been around horses her whole life. A naturally gifted rancher, the rodeo tradition is deeply engrained in Hollingsworth, who not only currently competes on the Canadian pro rodeo circuit but who's father also raises bucking horses that will be seen at the Calgary Stampede. 

In addition to watching the events live online, and through iPhone and iPad accessible streams, the website is home to bonus on-demand video highlights including Rodeo 101 presented by Tervita and Chuckwagon Trackside presented by Eco-Fuel Saver

The traditional Stampede Parade features floats, bands, riders, celebrities and cultural celebrations as it weaves its way through downtown Calgary. Leading this year's Parade is legendary country music recording artist Ian Tyson, who serves as Parade Marshal. To commemorate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede, Tyson will be joined by leaders from the Treaty Seven Nations as honorary Parade Marshals.

Don't miss a minute of the heart-stopping excitement from the Calgary Stampede.  A detailed daily broadcast schedule is available online at cbcsports.ca.


Check out all the coverage of the stampede at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/calgarystampede/ and behind the scenes actions with CBC LIVE http://www.cbc.ca/live/events/calgary-stampede/

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