by Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede’s President and Chairman of the Board, Bob Thompson, joined Vern Kimball, CEO, in speaking to the media today to convey that this year’s Stampede is definitely a go and is an effort in resiliency.
Bob Thompson, President and Chairman of the Board:
Good morning and thank you for coming. In 11 days from now, on July 5th, we will proudly open the gates to Stampede 101.
Over the past 4 days we have experienced the strong hand of Mother Nature, and the very best of our resilient and spirited community. Home is where the heart is, and our hearts go out to so many of those who have been affected by the floods, including members of our own Stampede family.
Throughout our entire history, we have never cancelled a show despite two Wars and the Great Depression. 2013 will be no exception.
We have witnessed families coming together, neighbors coming together, and communities coming together. Even as we are challenged with the clean up, we are looking forward to hosting our guests with a place to pause, join with friends and families, and celebrate community pride.
Like so many Albertans, I am pleased to see our Stampede volunteers in action around the province. They have been present at the city's emergency centres and we also hosted a breakfast for hundreds of military personnel and first responders in Canmore.
Having toured the Park and facilities extensively, I have witnessed our team working around the clock to put on the very best show under these challenging circumstances. We have pumped millions of gallons of water from our facilities, scraped the mud from our tarmac, and commenced the clean up of our Park to welcome our guests from around the world.
Last year, the theme of our centennial was "we are greatest together". A year later, this motto could not be more true. We are greatest together, and we will be hosting The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, come hell or high water.
I will now turn it over to our CEO, Vern Kimball.
Vern Kimball, CEO:
Thanks Bob. Like many people in southern Alberta, we've been pumping out flooded basements. We've also been pumping out the track and infield. We've pumped millions and millions of gallons of water.
We want all of those affected by flooding in Southern Alberta to have an opportunity to take a break from these difficult circumstances.We're doing whatever it takes to prepare for July 5.
We're in the midst of draining and drying all the buildings, removing damaged materials and replacing and restoring everything we can. The job of cleaning and restoring our other buildings and facilities, including the racetrack and infield, remains absolutely monumental. There's a ton of work to be done. Then we are going to run a concentrated version of Stampede set-up and infrastructure installation.
Our employees and volunteers have been awesome - some of whom have worked 36 or more hours straight to prevent damage to key infrastructure.And we have been humbled and overwhelmed by the unbelievable number of offers of help from the community to assist us in getting ready for Stampede 101.
Partners and sponsors have been instrumental in providing access to expertise, equipment, material and people: TransAlta, ENMAX, BMO, Bell, Cenovus, ATCO, Tervita, Burnco, Heritage Park, U of C and too many others to mention have offered to help. The Government of Alberta and the City of Calgary have reached out to us to help coordinate planning and resources. And, we've had offers of help from Edmonton to Toronto - even from places as far as Missouri, California and Texas.
We were temporarily overwhelmed by the force of nature. Now we are overwhelmed by those asking us how they can help to put on Stampede. We are extremely grateful.
We're going to have a great rodeo, exciting chuckwagon races, amazing entertainment and a midway full of fun at Stampede Park. Young people will hang out on the midway, families will create some fun memories, and visitors will see the resiliency of Calgarians first hand.
Stampede 101 will be a testament to the desire of the community to rally and to come together in the face of adversity.