Calgary Stampede

The world’s biggest rodeo celebrates its centennial with a party no cowboy should miss.

By Flávia Berredo de Menezes / Calgary

From July 6th to 15th, the gates of the city of Calgary in Alberta will open to welcome more than 1.3 million visitors to the Calgary Stampede, the province’s most awaited rodeo festival of the year. It reminds Brazilian tourists of events such as the “Festa do Peão de Boiadeiro” in Barretos, São Paulo.

More than $2 million in cash are paid to the winning cowboys and cowgirls at the world richest competition in this category and style.  

In terms of economic impact, the Stampede is the biggest festival in Canada, ahead of Winterlude in Ottawa, Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. In the clothing, hotel and food sectors, it generates revenue for the city in the gross amount of US$172.4 million during the period of shows and exhibitions, and a total working capital amount of US$226.7 million, for the whole province.

The Calgary Stampede gathers more than 400 cowboys from different countries for horsemanship and roping competitions. Competitors participate in six categories: bareback riding, saddle bronco riding, and bull riding; tie-down roping, steer wrestling and female barrel racing, divided into two groups with ten competitors each. The four winners from the teams move on to the next phase of the show on Sunday. The six remaining competitors from the other groups compete in Wild Card on Saturday. The first two from each event move on to the big show on Sunday, the richest afternoon of the rodeo with prizes of more than US$1 million.

Lots of partying, Westerns style, cheering, beer for all tastes and happy people! Rodeos have been part of Calgarian culture since 1886 when the agricultural society of Calgary held its first fair, without much notoriety at the time.

 1912 was the year in which four cowboys organized a rodeo which they called Calgary Stampede. This event has become the biggest outdoors show on Earth over the last one hundred years! 

The Stampede is much more than just a riding and roping rodeo show. It offers musical attractions, western art parades, powwow native dance competitions and a series of shows for people of all ages, all over the city.

Known as one of the biggest festivals in Canada and an important tourist attraction for the city, the Calgary Stampede is organized by thousands of volunteers and non-profit community organizations which preserve and promote the western heritage and its values.

This year’s theme is: “We’re greatest together” since for the last 100 years, the Calgary Stampede has brought people from all over the world to enjoy the old western culture. Event organizers believe that by launching the festival Centennial, they are inviting guests to enjoy the party and honour all those who have participated in it before.

The city has a party atmosphere during the Stampede: office buildings and shops are painted with cowboys themes, residents walk on the streets dressed in costumes, in addition to several events held all over Calgary including hundreds of lunches served with the famous Alberta barbecues and pancakes.

Tickets for the event vary from free (kids between 0 and 6) to $16 for the general public between 13 and 64, and the elderly over 65 and kids between 7 and 12 pay $8. The ticket allows people to enjoy hundreds of exhibitions, activities and entertainment options, including Superdogs – pets owned by North American trainers’ of all breeds and sizes; Show Corral ENMAX – which this year will bring to life the tale of three hero horses, as well as free concerts at the Coca-Cola Stage and some extra fun at the Stampede Casino.

For more information please visit the website: or call 403-269-9822.

Main musical attractions at Stampede:

  • Beach Boys – Wednesday, July 11th
  • Garth Brooks – Thursday, July 12th
  • Johnny Reid – July 13th