“Cowtown” turns up the party this year in honour of the 100th anniversary of the `Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the Calgary Stampede. Every July, more than a million people visit during the ten-day event, known the world over for its chuck wagon races, agricultural exhibits, events and top-name, action-packed entertainment. The rodeo tournament attracts competitors and spectators from all over the globe. With its centennial this year, the Stampede is expected to draw even greater worldwide media attention and bring increased tourism to Calgary, Alberta.
The Calgary Stampede imbues an irresistible pioneer spirit to the city, one that is embraced by residents and tourists alike. The streets and midways teem with people in shiny—or sometimes dusty—boots, belt buckles and cowboy hats donned for the occasion. They stand in line for hearty pancake breakfasts that spring up in schools and community centres before they head off for another day at the Stampede. The excitement never stops—after the ropin’ and ridin’ is done for the day, visitors take to the streets for Stampede parties and barbecues.
Joining the centennial celebration, Canada Post will issue two stamps that will evoke the Wild West and pioneer new digital technology such as our first augmented reality stamps.
Sinewy-strong and beautiful, a powerful rodeo horse stands saddled on the domestic-rate PERMANENT™ stamp. Featured prominently on the U.S.-rate stamp is the Stampede’s limited-issue, silver-and-gold anniversary belt-buckle, one hundred of which are being produced as much-prized event trophies this year. A souvenir sheet, bearing one of each stamp, brings out the human element with a cowboy readying for the rodeo.
An archival photograph of the late Guy Weadick, the cowboy who was the driving force behind the establishment of the stampede, appears on the U.S. booklet cover. Weadick was a Wild West performer on the vaudeville circuit across North America at the turn of the 20th century. He travelled to Calgary where, together with several wealthy cattlemen who became known as the `Big Four,’ he founded the Stampede in 1912.
“To have been chosen to work on the stamps for the Calgary Stampede Centennial is the honour of a lifetime,” says designer Xerxes Irani, who has been creating print materials, logos and other physical objects for the Stampede for more than 13 years. “Having grown up in Calgary in a home full of western art, this feels like a further extension of my roots and heritage.”
The Calgary Stampede is a great source of Western and Canadian pride. We hope you’ll agree that these stamps are a fitting nod to the 100th anniversary of this world-famous, outstanding rodeo and exhibition.
Title: 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede
Date of Issue: 17 May 2012
Denominations: permanent, $1.05