The Stampede is opening the doors to an ‘ag’ reunion. Agriculture 100 will bring together blacksmiths, vintage tractors, sheep shearers, stock dogs, light horses, heavy horses, dairy cows, auctioneers, beef cattle, penners, cutters, miniature donkeys, champions, memories… and a hardy rancher living in 1912?
This is a big invite to all who have been a part of the Stampede- while welcoming everyone to come out and take a visit to their past with a theatrical touch.
Agriculture 100 will be open daily from July 6 through 15, from Stampede Park opening until 8 p.m. This will welcome back former volunteers, exhibitors, participants, sponsors, and champions from a century’s worth of agricultural competitions and exhibitions. The celebration will be held in that grand old cathedral, the Victoria Pavilion, which served as the nerve centre of the Stampede’s agricultural activities for decades.
Lori Wheeler, the Stampede’s Agricultural Centennial Co-ordinator says, “Agriculture 100 will showcase Alberta to the world, but it will be here for the Stampede’s Centennial year only.”
Agriculture 100 will feature engaging displays representing all 22 of the Stampede’s agriculture programs — including the World Champion Blacksmiths’ Competition, the Heavy Horse Pull, the Cutting Horse Competition, Draft Horse Town, the World Stock Dog Championship presented by Sasol, and the North American Sheep Shearing Challenge, just to name a few. These agricultural exhibits will be showcased as part of a daily rotating spotlight.
Pulling it all together will be Rancher Jack Morton, the host of Agriculture 100 for all 10 days of the 2012 Stampede. Rancher Jack, who keeps cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs on his 1912 spread, will be shearing some of his sheep with vintage hand-cranked shears, and getting his riding horse shoed by a blacksmith, among other activities. And while Rancher Jack’s character is being brought to life by professional actor Gery Schubert, he’ll be the “real deal” in every other way as Agriculture 100’s ringmaster and bon vivant.
Agriculture 100 will provide a vibrant representation of the Stampede’s rich agricultural past, with live animal exhibits, beautifully restored farm equipment, volunteers dressed in period attire, and more. Some animal programs, such as heavy horses and dairy cattle, predate the Stampede, having been part of Calgary’s annual ag fair as far back as the Calgary and District Agricultural Society’s first go-round in 1886.
An Agriculture 100 video will be playing in the Victoria Pavilion throughout the 10-day Stampede, with priceless historic photos dating back a full century and reminiscences from longtime Stampede agriculture volunteers. Agriculture 100 will also cast an eye to the future, with architectural renderings of the Stampede’s future Agrium Western Event Centre.
Agriculture 100 will also be Homecoming Headquarters for all of the Stampede’s past agricultural champions. Additionally, agriculture will be in the spotlight on Sunday, July 8, as the Calgary Stampede honours its former agricultural champions with a Park-wide Homecoming Celebration initiative.
The Stampede will be webcasting all events being held in the Scotiabank Saddledome and the Big Top this year. Visit http://ag.calgarystampede.com/saddledome-ustream for live streaming of Saddledome action, and http://ag.calgarystampede.com/big-top-ustream for events under the Big Top.
Following the 2012 Stampede, groundbreaking will begin on the Agrium Western Event Centre, the largest project in Stampede history. For details and artistic renderings of this magnificent 150,000-square-foot agriculture showcase and competition venue, scheduled for completion in 2014, visit http://corporate.calgarystampede.com/about/park-development/agrium-western-event-centre/