If you’ve lived in Calgary for more than a couple of years, the Calgary Stampede is a yearly exercise in driving frustration with a side of mediocre (but free) food in the mornings and afternoons, and no shortage of drunken partiers roaming the streets late at night.
It comes with annual concerns about animal endangerment, food poisoning (relatively rare), and the simple cost of the whole event—if you don’t take advantage of some of the free entrance days and bulk deals for the rides, the price of a stampede visit can quickly mount to rivalling your utility bills for a month. And that’s before you’ve entered the on-site casino.
That said, there is always more to do and see in a day on the grounds than a reasonable person can hope to complete, but, to my mind, you’re better off taking advantage of some of the off-ground events that come in concert with the Stampede itself.
However, in recent years, the board of the Stampede has made some seriously questionable decisions, with last year’s advertising campaign essentially suggesting that getting laid was the primary attraction of the event, and bars on-site leaning in hard to the idea of the event being a way to have a roll-in-the-hay with someone other than your partner.
They seemed to have learned a bit from the reaction to that, as the advertising I’ve seen this year hasn’t been nearly as blatant, but the board has still made some questionable decisions. Chief among them this year is bringing Kevin Costner as the parade marshal. No offense to Costner, but would no Canadians accept the offer? And given the disturbing discoveries of unmarked burials near the residential schools, if an actor needs to be chosen, why not choose one of the many fabulous indigenous actors we have in Canada. Lorne Cardinal for instance might have been a good choice, or shake things up with Tilo Horn of Letterkenny fame (among others).
Now, in fairness, over the years the board of the Stampede, although comprised of primarily old, white men, has, in fact, had a number of indigenous peoples from Canada serve as parade marshal, usually groups of chiefs, but given efforts toward reconciliation, it might have been nice if they’d have made the Canadian event lead by a Canadian.
Meanwhile, in this issue, we’re shaking up our featured student interview with some new questions so you can get to know these students better. Also, we’ve got the second part of the Fly on the Wall’s consideration of how the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade can reflect on our own academic studies. Plus, the issue of book banning and replacements has a Shakespearean angle that Aleksander Golijanin wants to take a look at.
Of course, we’ve also got recipes, reviews, advice, scholarships, events, and more. Including Xine Wang’s look at one of the meal delivery services that have proliferated recently, Hello Fresh. As someone who’s also made use of this service, her review is pretty spot on, though it missed one of the key benefits we found – no wasted food left to die in the crisper.