When I was a small child I remember Calgary being a very exciting place to live in 1988. It was the year of the Winter Olympic Games. Even though I was very young, I had a sense that Calgarians were unified in celebrating their city. Thousands of volunteers worked countless hours to show the world how awesome we are. Many thousands more were spectators to events that put us on the world map as a place to see and live in. We did this together and we were proud.
Twenty-four years later we are on the stage again as the cultural capital of Canada. It is not a self-appointed title and it has taken a great deal of work to achieve. Hundreds of individuals at hundreds of organizations have worked hard to win the bid. Thousands more will work together to showcase what makes Calgary an awesome place to live and visit. Over two hundred and fifty Cultural Ambassadors have volunteered to represent the many scenes in this city. Our culture runs deep into our communities from the downtown core to the city limits.
This is the centennial year for the Calgary Stampede. This past March, over nine thousand Calgarians flooded Olympic Plaza to share in the 100-day kickoff event. They came together even though the Calgary Stampede did not advertise. They rang thousands of cow bells, cheered, applauded, and danced. Attendees feasted on pancakes, a tradition that was begun in 1923.
Calgarians love to listen to great music together. Calgary Folk Fest, Sled Island and X-Fest continue to grow. In April, a Garth Brooks concert sold out in fifty-eight seconds. Thousands will pack the field in front of the Coca-Cola Stage in July to be entertained.
Our city will continue to grow. Culture will continue to expand. Great events will thrive. Calgary is awesome because we experience what this city has to offer together.