Stampede cancelled for first time in over a century
The Calgary Stampede, the annual 10-day festival that has served as a deal-making venue and socializing tradition for Canada’s oil industry, has been canceled this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The July event will not be held this year, Calgary Stampede president Dana Peers told Bloomberg News at a news conference Thursday.
The Stampede, which was started in 1912 as a way to celebrate Calgary’s Old West heritage, in recent decades became a mainstay for Canada’s energy companies, almost all of whom are based the city. While many companies have scaled back or eliminated their Stampede parties since an oil price crash in 2014, for years executives have used the festival to make connections and strike deals in suites lining the rodeo arena where cowboys ride bucking bulls and rope calves.
The event is a major tourist attraction for Calgary and is estimated to contribute more than $540 million to Alberta’s economy. About 1.28 million people attended last year’s Stampede.
This year’s festival was set to include concerts by country stars Blake Shelton and Maren Morris.