A new event is coming to the Calgary Stampede this year.
The Calgary Stampede Powwow will be one of Canada’s largest competitive powwows. Running July 12-14, the powwow will feature competitive dancing, drumming, singing, and showcase other Indigenous performances.
“The Calgary Stampede features some of the best competitors in western events, including rodeo and chuckwagon racing, so it only makes sense that we are now bringing the best competitors in powwow to this year’s Calgary Stampede,” said Shannon Murray, manager of Indigenous engagement .
“The Stampede Powwow joins other world-class competitions held annually at the Stampede and offers guests another opportunity to experience Indigenous programming.”
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The new celebration of culture is being produced in collaboration with Powwow Times.
“When we were looking at the history of the Calgary Stampede, we recognized that the Stampede has always made space to honor Indigenous peoples, and it’s been an incredible opportunity to work with the organization and bring this historic event to The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and share the spirit of powwow with so many people,” said Patrick Mitsuing, producer with Powwow Times.
Patrick and Marrisa Mitsuing are the duo behind Powwow Times. Champion dancers themselves, they have been producing events throughout Alberta for over 15 years.
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“It has always been a dream for Marrisa and I to reach such a large audience. Through traumas and residential schools, a lot of our people’s connection with their culture has been lost or broken, but through events like the Stampede Powwow, we are able to share the tradition of powwow, and help reconnect Indigenous peoples to their own culture, while introducing and sharing it with non-Indigenous peoples as well.”
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The event will run at the Saddledome for three days. Indigenous talent from Canada and the United States will compete in a variety of dance styles for $175,000 in prize money.
“We hope this powwow will open people’s eyes to the richness and diversity of Indigenous culture and the Indigenous tourism experiences that are available all over the province. Indigenous tourism is a fantastic way for people to connect and learn from Indigenous people themselves, and have fun while doing so,” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta.
“We’re proud to be part of this inaugural event and encourage all Stampede visitors to enjoy the music, dance and culture of the powwow, and use the opportunity to find more ways to connect to Alberta’s amazing Indigenous cultures.”
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The competition is free for people to watch with their admission to the 2022 Calgary Stampede.
More information on powwow can be found on the Calgary Stampede’s website.
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