Calgary Stampede: 100 years of thrill

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July 5, 2012 – The Royal Canadian Mint commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, immortalized in five-ounce pure gold and silver coins, as well as colourful 25-cent cupronickel coin and stamp set.

Calgary, Alberta Program for 1912 Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, front cover. Source: Glenbow Museum / Wikipedia.

In 1912, working cowboy and trick roper Guy Weadick, inspired by the traveling wild-west shows that enjoyed world-wide popularity in the early 1900s, convinced four local ranchers to help him produce the first “Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest”, soon to be christened the Calgary Stampede. After 100 years, Calgary, Alberta remains home to “the greatest outdoor show on earth”, which has welcomed millions of visitors and dignitaries from all over Canada and the world in a unique celebration of the romance and culture of the old west.

5oz Gold coin.

The action and excitement which made the Stampede famous is captured in stunning new 5 ounce, 99.99% pure gold and silver coins which celebrate the most iconic imagery of western culture: the bucking bronco; the rodeo rider and the intricate scrolling embellishments of classic leather saddle design. All these elements combine to immortalize a legendary horse named Grated Coconut, a current star of the Stampede with six Bareback Horse of the Year awards to its name. The trademark “CS” of the Stampede and the key date of 1912 complete this tribute to 100 thrilling years of Calgary Stampede history.

5oz silver coin.

Designed by Calgary-based western artist Michelle Grant, these beautiful proof coins will appeal to serious rodeo enthusiasts and coin collectors alike, who can also look forward to one more new coin as the 100th Calgary Stampede approaches.

Bull riding at the Calgary Stampede. Photo: Chuck Szmurlo / Wikipedia.

Millions in Canada and around the world prize souvenirs of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and in 2012, few things remember the Stampede better than a vividly painted Royal Canadian Mint collector coin combined with a pair of Canada Post commemorative stamps featured in a folder celebrating the colourful 100-year history of the Calgary Stampede.

25-cent cupronickel coin.

Echoing the style of an old-time rodeo poster, the reverse design of the Mint’s oversized 25-cent cupronickel coin features a dauntless cowboy riding for rodeo glory on the back of a bucking bronco. The skyline of Calgary and the Canadian Rockies framed in this scene created by artist Tony Bianco capture the picturesque home of the 100 year-old Calgary Stampede.

Straws Milan Steer wrestling at the Calgary Stampede. Photo: Traveler100 / Wikipedia.

Canada Post’s domestic and US mail rate stamps respectively feature classic western riding gear and the silver belt buckle awarded to Stampede champions. These are also Canada Post Corporation’s first augmented reality stamp. Customers eager to collect a colourful and affordable memento of the 100th Calgary Stampede should hurry to corral this 2012 25-cent Coloured Coin and Stamp Set, as limited quantities are available. Canada Post outlets in Calgary and across Canada are carrying this exciting collectible, in addition to a national and international network of official Royal Canadian Mint distributors.

The coins and further information are available from the website of the Royal Canadian Mint.

If you are curious to learn more about this centennial event, visit the website of the Calgary Stampede.

You may also wish to follow the Calgary Stampede on its twitter account.

To get a clearer idea of what happens there, look at video clips of the Working Cow Horse Competition, the Wild Pony Race, or one overview showing also the great parade.

In 2011 the most prominent guest certainly were Kate and William (the royals, of course …).