The cowboy boots are off; the jean jackets are hung up and the bedazzled belts are gone marking the end of another Stampede. The excitement of the Calgary Stampede keeps the entire city buzzing throughout the 10-day celebration of our city’s western roots. The event kicked off with families marching down to the annual Stampede Parade and then heading to the grounds. Attendees went to binge on rides, fried foods and the energy of the Calgary Stampede despite the less than agreeable weather.

Here at the YWCA, we kicked our Stampede week off with our Children’s Stampede Breakfast hosted by YWCA Parent Link Corridor. We served up some delicious pancakes, despite the weather not cooperating, and were visited by members of the Calgary Police Service. On the Stampede Parade day, we were thrilled to have three of our Parent Link Corridor families featured in the parade thanks to Entuitive! The night before the families went to sneak-a-peek to meet the horses and wagon driver that were going to lead them through the parade.

Throughout the week, our staff were out at different events taking in the western festivities while discussing the important changes coming to our organization in the next few years. Some of the staff attended the Suncor Stampede Lunch in support of the CUPS and enjoyed a Stampede classic of beef and beans!

This year’s event marked the first time the Calgary Stampede got behind the #SafeStampede campaign. The #SafeStampede campaign addressed the serious issue of sexual harassment, raise awareness of sexual harassment during the Stampede and to encourage positive and respectful behaviour. It also provided a platform for people to share their experiences with sexual harassment and educate others on consent and respect.

We noticed a remarkably different and positive trend online with the promotion of #SafeStampede from the community. We were proud to see the Calgary Stampede promoting this campaign and advocating for attendees to elevate their behaviour. On social media, we saw influencers in our city promoting #SafeStampede including politicians, restaurants and businesses. We participated in speaking out against sexual harassment in advertising from some establishments and saw others join the conversation. The Calgary community came together to remind everyone that we all play a role in standing up against sexual harassment and creating safe spaces for all.

As we wrap this Stampede up, we are hopeful that next year’s celebration and all celebrations in our city will promote safe and respectful behaviour and continue to grow Calgary’s reputation as a safe and welcoming city.