To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, Continuing Education is launching a new course for local history buffs and fans of Calgary’s ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.’ The Calgary Stampede: Origins, Visions and Evolution will run over four weeks, starting April 28, and includes three Saturday morning classes and a day-long Saturday field trip to Stampede Park.
“I thought that a course on The Calgary Stampede would be a great way for Continuing Education to participate in the 100th Anniversary celebrations,” says Patsy Knutson, a program manager with Continuing Education. “We know there are thousands of fans of the Calgary Stampede in our community, and we’re betting that many of them would love to hear the story of how the annual festival has evolved, and what may be ahead in the future.”
Judy Bedford, a 12-year Stampede volunteer as well as a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Arts and an instructor of Canadian Studies undergraduate courses, will teach the course.
Bedford’s research on the history of the Indian Village, her participation in the Stampede organization, and her experience teaching the Canadian Studies 451 course, The Culture of the Calgary Stampede, provides her with a broad understanding of the development and evolution of both the event and the organization.
“We’ll go back to the very beginning, and we’ll talk about key personalities and developments along the way,” says Bedford. “We go right back to Guy Weadick—co-founder of the Stampede—who ran away from Rochester, New York at just 14 years of age, heading west in search of cowboys. We’ll talk about Ernie Richardson, the organization’s manager, who brought the Dominion Exhibition to Calgary in 1908, and who worked with Weadick for many years. We’ll look at the reasons why Weadick left the organization in 1932 and why Richardson stayed.”
“I’ve had great support from Stampede staff on this project,” says Bedford, “and as a result, our day at Stampede Park will include a special presentation from the Calgary Stampede’s own archivist, Amy Benoit and an exploration of displays and features in the park.”
Anyone interested in more information or enrolling in the course, The Calgary Stampede: Origins, Visions and Evolution, should go to conted.ucalgary.ca, or call 403-220-2866 to speak with a Continuing Education program information specialist.