Feature News Stories

More than a million people attended the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth despite a week of bad weather

IMG 0292editsthumbThe sky grew darker by the minute, heavy clouds rolling in while families made their way through the entrance to the Calgary Stampede. One woman remarked, “Well, this certainly isn’t what I expected.” She wasn’t alone.

July is barely half over and Calgary has already almost doubled its normal rainfall for the entire month, recording 118.9 mm of precipitation as of July 18, when the monthly average is usually around just 65 mm.

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Storms left ENMAX Park’s new addition a muddy mess but people endured

SandbagsThumbOne of the biggest changes for the Calgary Stampede in 2016 was the unveiling of the new Indian Village in ENMAX Park.

The Calgary Journal caught up with people exploring the newly renovated space, as well Indian Village staff to hear their thoughts about the new location, its third since its inception in 1912. Set along the Elbow River, the new and large space promised a tranquil setting for visitors. However, with such a rainy Stampede, the area received mixed reviews.

One man, Patrice Conus, said he loves the village, no matter the location. In fact, Conus travels from his home — 60 miles from Geneva, Switzerland — to the Stampede just for the rodeo and Indian Village.

“It’s incredible,” he said of the rich cultural heritage.

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Understanding what it took to tame “The Beast”

FortMac3thumbnail“In six years, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually been scared before, on an emergency scene. But that night, I was.”

So says Lt. Trey Hale of the Beiseker Fire Department of the night of May 3, his first fighting the flames in Fort McMurray. At its height, the wildfire overtook more than 500,000 hectares of forest and municipal land — enough to make even the most experienced rescue workers anxious.

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His generosity was praised, but not all was well when the Wandering River Lodge opened its doors to people fleeing wildfires

GlenBrooksthumbnailGlen Brooks first learned of the disaster unfolding near Fort McMurray while driving south to Edson after a long shift at the Wandering River Lodge, where he is the acting construction manager.

At that point the lodge was just 200 km from wildfires that would eventually force more than 80,000 people to flee the city as flames ravaged over half a million hectares of land and ultimately destroyed 2,400 structures.

Wanting to pitch in with relief efforts the moment he heard of the devastation striking the Fort McMurray area, Brooks called his superiors and arranged for over 350 evacuees to be admitted to the Wandering River work camp, which sits near Highway 63 about halfway between Fort Mac and Edmonton. It was an act of kindness that eventually proved to be more troublesome than anyone could have imagined.

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