As a community organization, the Calgary Stampede has been asking itself for more than 100 years: How do we make our community better? How can we contribute in the most meaningful way? For more than 40 years, supporting the next generation through performing arts programs and unique educational experiences has been an important part of the way they answer those questions.
The Calgary Stampede Foundation performing arts programs—The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts and the Calgary Stampede Showband—equip youth with the tools to grow up and become the contributors, the patrons, and leaders of the future. Accessible to all youth, these programs are geared toward getting young people to think about what it means to be a contributing citizen and how to pursue their passions with professionalism.
The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts
The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts gives 136 dedicated youth, ages 7-18, the opportunity to train in dance, voice, and performance in a professional setting. The diverse team of specialists foster technical development, artistic creation, and performance excellence. “Being a member of the Stampede youth programs has taught me hard work and life skills I can take to any career I pursue: the opportunity to work with other people and focus on being a part of a team; how to be dedicated and go above and beyond; what it means to be passionate about something you love; and the value of creativity,” says Sarah Thurbur, a 17-years-old member of Stampede Showband and The Young Canadian School of Performing Arts.
The five-time world champion Stampede Showband, 130 members strong, makes more than 200 appearances during the year, throughout Calgary and the surrounding communities—everything from the Calgary Marathon to the Juno Awards’ red carpet to local rodeos and parades. The program is dedicated to helping each member achieve musical, performance and personal excellence. “Stampede Showband was a window into our community and a window to the world. It was an incredible experience as a youngster to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. In my adult life, I’m still community oriented and I have to credit the Stampede for that,” says Chris Herrard, Showband alumni.
Stampede youth campus construction project
Thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters and donors, the Stampede and the Stampede Foundation are building a unique campus dedicated to education, western heritage, and the arts. The campus will create much needed rehearsal space for Stampede performing arts and education programs, as well as invite the community to participate. The campus will house a local charter arts school, the TransAlta Performing Arts Studios, the outdoor BMO Ampitheatre, a western interpretive centre and more.