Pop-up Stampede events welcome new Canadians to Calgary with mascots, horses and royalty

The Calgary Stampede is welcoming new Canadians to the city and introducing them to the Stampede spirit with travelling pop-up events.

Firework displays and modified pancake breakfasts also a go for Stampede this year

The Durazo family, who moved to Calgary from Mexico, are on the left. They're pictured with Stampede royalty, a mascot and volunteers in southeast Calgary. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

The Calgary Stampede is welcoming new Canadians to the city and introducing them to the Stampede spirit with travelling pop-up events.

Twenty-four newcomer families are being visited and white-hatted around Calgary by Stampede royalty, mascots, horses and volunteers until Wednesday.

The initiative began last year, and is co-ordinated by the Calgary Stampede's community projects and development committee. It's a partnership with Immigrant Services Calgary.

"We choose those families that are new to Calgary and are not aware of the spirit," said Darlene McLeod, a facility lead with early learning across cultures with Immigrant Services Calgary.

"[And it] allows those families to get to know what the Calgary spirit is all about."

It's the second year that the pop-up Stampede has been used to get newcomers in the Stampede spirit. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Maggie Schofield, who is on the Stampede board, said many newcomers have heard about the Stampede already, but it's an exciting way to introduce the culture that surrounds it.

"I think once you bring a bunch of cowboy hats, some music and some horses, you're almost there. [And then] you talk about the inclusivity of it, you talk about the fun that people can have and you talk about the community piece," Schofield said.

"It's really about connecting with the community and people that are coming here from other countries."

Fireworks, modified pancake breakfasts a go for Stampede

Meanwhile, the Stampede has announced its fireworks display will go ahead — and for the first time in the event's history, it will take place in other Alberta cities, too.

Four identical firework displays will occur simultaneously in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge starting at 11 p.m. on Friday. 

It is set to be the largest fireworks event produced in Canada this year, Stampede officials say.

"This is our way of lighting up the Alberta skies and providing the opportunity to celebrate together," Steve McDonough, the president and chairman of the Stampede board, said in a statement.

"Thousands of Albertans will be able to view this amazing firework show from their own neighbourhood at the same time, with the same soundtrack."

Some annual Stampede breakfasts at Calgary malls will be returning, too, but they will be altered.

CF Market Mall will host an in-person Stampede breakfast in the east parking lot on July 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, but physical distancing will be required and enforced.

At CF Chinook Centre, take-home breakfast kits containing pancake mix and syrup will be provided at a drive-thru Stampede breakfast at the east parking lot on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The breakfast kits are to be assembled at home. To receive one, guests will be required to enter the drive-thru in their vehicles.


  • A previous version of this story stated that CF Chinook Centre would host a pancake drive-thru breakfast on Tuesday, July 13, from 9 a.m. to noon. It is, in fact, only hosting a drive-thru breakfast on Saturday, July 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
    Jul 06, 2021 12:38 PM MT

With files from Dan McGarvey


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