The Calgary Stampede
By James Wiley
26 Apr 2013
This photo essay was shot for MVP Magazine in 1987. It ran as a six page spread.
You could say that The Calgary Stampede is to rodeo as The Indianapolis 500 is to Indycar racing. They are the highlights of their comparable circuits, which each include many events but none with the history and hype of these. The Calgary Stampede is a ten day event that attracts over a million visitors per year.
The event's roots go back to 1886 and became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.
The Stampede is one of Canada's largest festivals and a major tourist attraction to the city. However, there has been increasing international criticism by animal welfare groups and politicians concerned about particular events as well as animial rights organizations seeking to ban rodeo in general. To be fair, it is also worth mentioning that the SPCA is ever present at all rodeo events.