Gareth Davis produced this report on Alberta’s annual hoedown. Here are his top tips on making the most of a visit:
1. Dressing like a cowboy may seem going a bit too far but this is one festival where you want to fit in. So grab your hat, jeans, check shirt and of course, boots.
2. Having said that, make sure your boots are well broken in. Stampede involves a lot of walking, particularly around Stampede Park, and the last thing you want are new boots agonising your feet.
3. Even if you’re not a fan of things Western – and I’m not – you’d be silly not to take in a rodeo or chuckwagon race. These are high-octane events that really get the blood pumping. However, I found that half an hour was enough. You have to be a true aficionado to see through the whole ten days of competitions.
4. And if you’re really NOT a fan of things Western, then avoid Calgary during Stampede. This is a wonderfully friendly city, worth visiting at any time, but Stampede really does take over, so if in doubt, y’all come back another time!
The next Calgary Stampede takes place 6 - 15 July 2012. It’s just one of many festivals and events in Canada. Here are some of our other recommendations:
Quebec Summer Festival
5 - 15 July 2012
North America’s largest francophone festival is a cultural hit; the city swarms with entertainments.
For more info visit www.infofestival.com
Folk on the Rocks
19 - 22 July 2012
One of Canada’s top summertime music & cultural festivals draws musicians from across the globe promising fun and enjoyment for all ages under the midnight sun.
For more info visit folkontherocks.com
Toronto International Film Festival
6 - 16 September 2012
Ranked as one of the best film festivals in the world, this 30 year old movie fest attracts almost half a million visitors annually.
For more info visit tiff.net
Pacific Rim Whale Festival
16 - 24 March 2013
Each spring the entire North American population of Pacific Gray Whales migrates along the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC. This is your chance to join the crowds and view the spectacle.
For more info visit www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com
Gareth and team travelled to Calgary with Canada Affair.
Gareth has been with TRAVEL CHANNEL since its launch in 1994. He has produced and presented on TRAVEL LIVE and THE TRAVEL BUG, produced ESSENTIAL... and reports on TRAVEL TODAY. He is a regular contributor to the website. In 2010 he produced the hit series THE HOLIDAY SHOW which he also co-presented with Ginny Buckley. Garethís passions are history, culture, food & drink.