Last year’s Stampede ran at half capacity due to public health measures from COVID-19, leading to a $8.3 million operating loss for 2021
The Calgary Stampede has received more than $10 million from the federal government to help it bounce back after last year’s event was scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year’s Stampede ran at half capacity due to public health measures from COVID-19, leading to an operating loss of $8.3 million for 2021.
The Stampede suffered a loss of $26.5 million last year when, just four months after the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition was canceled for the first time in the event’s then 108-year history.
Daniel Vandal, the federal minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada, said the funding announced Thursday is to support a large-scale Stampede to deliver the “authentic western experience” this year.
He said it will also help revitalize Alberta’s visitor economy.
The federal government provided $13.4 million to the Stampede last year.
The 2022 Stampede will run from July 8-17.
“Festivals large and small were hit hard during the pandemic,” Vandal said in a press release on Thursday.
“The tourism industry is making a strong comeback, offering quality jobs across the country, beautiful scenery and exciting experiences here in Alberta.”
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The federal government also gave $1.8 million to four other tourism projects in southern Alberta: Charmed Resorts, Cochrane Tourism Association, Heritage Park and Tourism Calgary.
An additional $150,000 from the Regional Emergency and Recovery Fund will support adjustments to the MET center and training for staff on health and safety protocols.
Stampede President Steve McDonough said Thursday’s funding announcement recognizes the Stampede’s cultural and economic importance to the region.
“As we have had two challenging years of getting back together, Stampede 2022 will contribute to the economic recovery by creating jobs and filling restaurants, hotel rooms, taxis and rideshares,” he said in the release.
Stampede’s attendance last year was 528,998 – 41.5 percent of the 2019 crowd of 1.27 million, the second largest ever.