Not My First Rodeo: Wendy Tynan

Tips from longtime Calgarians who have been going to the Stampede since they were kids.

Name: Wendy Tynan.

Occupation: Stakeholder Relations Manager, Centrica Energy.

I’ve lived in Calgary since: Born-and-raised, third-generation Calgarian.

I’ve been going to the Stampede since: Before I can even remember, but the pictures begin at 17 months!

My favourite Stampede memory is: I have so many! I was a member of the Young Canadians for five years and when I was 16 years old I got to stand on the Grandstand stage every night, in front of 20,000 people, and welcome everyone to the Calgary Stampede. My Dad (Honourary Life Director) and Gramps (Stampede Life Member) instilled in my sisters and me such pride in being associated with the Calgary Stampede. I still feel so honoured every time I put on my Stampede nametag.

These days, my typical Stampede includes: I have been a Stampede volunteer for 22 years and take vacation during Stampede to volunteer. I have two volunteer committees, Grandstand Show and Nominating & Shareholder Relations, so I have meetings in the afternoon, and then, starting at 6 p.m., I tour VIP guests attending the Grandstand Show, watch a few heats of the Chuckwagon Races and then our show begins at 10 p.m. and we host guests after the show. The only typical part of my Stampede day is a very late bedtime.

My favourite Stampede attraction is: The Evening Show. I love the action of the GMC Rangeland Derby – hearing the thundering of hooves as they race to the finish is a sound that you can actually feel. Then the races end and an entire Grandstand Show spectacle emerges on stage that, year after year, still makes my heart so proud. And then fireworks! How much better can it get?

My favourite Stampede outfit is: I do love my Stampede wardrobe. My current favourite outfit is a Pink Tartan taffeta dress with an added crinoline, knee-high grey studded boots, a vintage turquoise watch that was my Gramps’, loads of necklaces, my over-sized Calgary Stampede belt buckle that was presented to me after my term as Chairman of the Grandstand Show and my custom-made Smithbilt cowboy hat.

Three things I recommend doing at the Stampede are: The Parade (still go every single year), Ag-tivity in the City (fantastic way to teach kids about our western heritage as they get to touch, feel and see) and the Evening Show.

One thing you should definitely avoid is: Saying “Yee-haw.” It is “Yahoo!!”

Last words of advice: Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint! Have fun, and when you put on your cowboy hat, place it on your forehead first and then tip it back. Front to back. Not back to front. We don’t need to see your bangs or forehead.

The Calgary Stampede runs July 3 to 12, 2015. For information visit; follow on Twitter@calgarystampede

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