Aaron is a passionate educator and enthusiastic community builder. As Manager of Youth Education Programs with the Calgary Stampede Foundation, Aaron is responsible for overseeing the educational program direction, innovative programming, curriculum design, long term sustainability, and the strategic development of educational teams. His work includes community engagement initiatives alongside the development of the Stampede Foundation’s new Community Campus.
Previously, Aaron was the Stampede Foundation’s Director of Bands, responsible for overseeing three major programs; the Calgary Stampede Showband, Showriders, and Band of Outriders. In 2017 he collaborated with First Nations leaders to develop a joint production for Showband students and Indigenous Youth Performers. This production, titled “Mosaic”, shared a story of reconciliation and a celebration of diversity and inclusion, and was presented at the World Music Contest. Under his leadership the Showband has experienced immense success, awards, and world championships. In his role Aaron has expanded the international reach of the program, collaborating and connecting with top international youth pageantry organizations.
Aaron also provides student leadership consulting for various organizations, including student workshop design and facilitation. In 2010 he developed the Showband’s innovative student leadership program which continues to be a staple of the Showband program. It is unique in its team centered approach and immediate cycle of classroom discussion, practical experience, and reflection. In 2017 Aaron was invited to speak about this program and philosophy through the Walrus Talks’ Next Generation Series.
Aaron is a proud three time graduate of the University of Calgary, earning a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, a Bachelor of Education, and a continuing education certificate in leadership development. While a student at the University of Calgary Aaron performed and studied music with several University of Calgary ensembles. In 2017 Aaron was recognized as a University of Calgary Alumni of Distinction.
Aaron continues to expand and share his passion for education and youth development, teaching as a sessional instructor with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. He is an active volunteer in the community, serving on the Alberta International Band Festival Committee, the University of Calgary Senate, and as a mentor for university student emerging leaders and scholars. Through his various roles, Aaron seeks to make an impact on youth development, fostering citizenship and building community through education.