‘It was mandatory’
The Calgary Stampede will not go forward this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Thursday.
This year’s event was scheduled for July 3-12, but was deemed unworkable given the ban on large gatherings and the need for physical distancing.
“This is very, very tough. Stampede is such an important part of who we are as a community, and it’s hard for me to even imagine what a July without a Stampede will look like,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said. “But this year, with this risk, we simply cannot continue to do that.”
Tom Sampson, chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said these types of decisions are mandatory given the state of the pandemic in Alberta.
“I think I’ve been in denial. But there was no choice here,” Sampson said. “It was mandatory. It was a decision that needed to take place.”
The cancellation is a major blow to a city and province already reeling from the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns coupled with the collapse of energy prices.
The Int’l Fund for Horses have been after the corporate sponsors for years to stop funding these unnecessary and archaic rodeo events — all of it, not just the chuckwagon races.
Now is the time for Calgary to come up with something to replace Stampede rodeo events with, something that doesn’t rely on animal brutality, suffering and death.
There already is something — a superb something — as mentioned in a related CBC Stampede news item:
The Stampede is Calgary’s largest arts and music festival
While a few Calgarians and a few more Canadians will be happy to see the Stampede cancelled this year — and hope that it will never resume — what they don’t realize is that the Stampede is not just a rodeo, and it’s not just a huge money generator for the city of Calgary . . . what a lot of people don’t realize is that one of Canada’s largest and most diverse arts festivals has also just been cancelled.
It is also a huge music festival. The Stampede has four music venues and anywhere from 80 to 100 bands performing, creating what is essentially a 10-day music festival. Read more »
Manitoba Stampede also cancelled
Canada’s Global News service reports that the Manitoba Stampede scheduled to take place July 16-19, 2020, has also been cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Featured Image: The Globe and Mail: Cowboy turfed from Calgary Stampede for whipping horse during event, 10 Jul 2015.