Gateway Gazette

Stampede and Northlands going home to Culture and Tourism

Two of Alberta’s major tourism generators, the Calgary Stampede and Edmonton Northlands, are back under the Culture and Tourism umbrella.

As top provincial employers and community-based, nonprofit organizations, Edmonton Northlands and the Calgary Stampede are a strategic fit with the ministry.

Edmonton Northlands hosts more than 500 events, including K-Days and the Canadian Finals Rodeo, each year at its various venues—including Rexall Place, Edmonton Expo Centre and Northlands Park Racetrack and Casino. Stampede Park is home to more than 1,800 events within various facilities including the Agrium Western Event Centre, BMO Centre and more.

Together, Edmonton Northlands and the Calgary Stampede employ thousands of Alberta workers, generate more than $700 million in economic benefit and attract millions of tourists to Alberta each year. Both organizations produce and facilitate numerous events that have strong community and cultural connections, powered by thousands of volunteers.

“I am pleased to welcome these major fairs back to Culture and Tourism. The Calgary Stampede and Northlands bring Alberta’s communities together and attract visitors to the province, providing important economic benefits. This change recognizes our shared goals of building strong communities and a robust, diversified economy.”

~ David Eggen, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Events like the Calgary Stampede, K-Days and the Canadian Finals Rodeo provide Albertans with cultural experiences that have direct historic roots in the province. Many of these community exhibitions represent Alberta’s agricultural roots and are part of the province’s cultural heritage.

“The Calgary Stampede is excited to return to Culture and Tourism, this ministry is a great fit for all of our cultural touch points in the province. Agriculture continues to be a part of our cultural DNA and remains fundamental in advancing the urban and rural connections we create through gathering spaces for celebration, entertainment and world-class experiences.”

~ Warren Connell, CEO Calgary Stampede

“We’re a major entertainment destination for northern Alberta, and our business fits best with Culture and Tourism. As a community service organization with a long, strong history of bringing economically sound events to life, we’re happy to work with the ministry again and to keep building Alberta.”

~ Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands

Agriculture and Rural Development (now Agriculture and Forestry) had assumed responsibility for the Major Fairs Program from Culture and Tourism in 2011. The Major Fairs Program provides annual operating grants of $7.67 million each to Edmonton Northlands and the Calgary Stampede through funds generated by the Alberta Lottery Fund.


Calgary Stampede

  • A volunteer-supported, nonprofit community organization with 132 years of history
  • Generates more than $400 million in economic impact
  • 1,300 year-round employees; an additional 4,000 people hired for each Stampede
  • More than 2,300 year-round volunteers support events and community programs
  • More than 1,800 events annually outside of the main 10-day exhibition, attracting 2.8 million guests
  • Agrium Western Event Centre, BMO Centre, ENMAX Park, Calgary Arts Academy, SAM Western Heritage Centre, Aggie Days, Calgary Expo, 4-H On Parade and many other community, corporate and consumer events and organizations call Stampede Park home

Edmonton Northlands

  • A volunteer-supported, nonprofit community organization with 137 years of history
  • Generates more than $355 million in direct spending
  • 1,700 employees
  • Nearly 1,200 active volunteers
  • More than 500 annual events that attract more than three million visitors per year
  • The Edmonton Expo Centre, Northlands Park Racetrack and Casino, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Canadian Derby, Farmfair International, K-Days and countless other attractions and events take place on Northlands’ grounds

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