Calgary Stampede Parade Committee led by David Swanson openly discriminates against Christians

Official Points of Protest

We officially protest against the following:

  1. Against the exempting of Christian Community representation in the parade
    • There are 170 entries in the parade and not one represents the Christian community or the Christian faith
  2. Against government funding of any and all private parades and marches
    • Let the private organizations and the communities they attract pay for their own events
  3. Against biased media coverage
    • The media has intentionally opted not to cover both Christian events and Christian entries in non-Christian events
    • Christian exclusion from local, national and international coverage in the Calgary Stampede Parade and other events
  4. Against the Stampede’s use of entrapment tactics to exclude Christian participation in the Calgary Stampede Parade
  5. We are opposing the power of a very few private individuals (content committee) without accountability, controlling such a large public and publicly funded event
    • Such large publicly funded events should have to answer to an independent watchdog that ensures that public funds are spent in a representative fashion without bias
  6. Against the rewriting of Western Heritage and values to opt out Christianity
    • Canada was built on Judeo-Christian values and this open hostility toward what our forefathers built, is unacceptable

Due to all of these points, we as a Christian community are boycotting the Calgary Stampede refusing to spend any money at their venues until they change and bring back fairness to the Calgary Stampede parade.

Please join us in spreading the word around. We as Canadians that value our Christian heritage should join our efforts to send a clear message that we will not tolerate any sort of anti-Christian bigotry.

Key points:

  • The Calgary Stampede is not a private organization but a not-for-profit government funded organization (See reference materials below)
  • The Calgary Stampede has received millions of dollars from all three levels of government  (See reference materials below)
  • The Calgary Stampede was created to draw people to Calgary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Stampede)
    • The Calgary and District Agricultural Society was formed in 1884 to promote the town and encourage farmers and ranchers from eastern Canada to move west. The society held its first fair two years later, attracting a quarter of the town’s 2,000 residents.
  • At least some, if not all of the buildings on the Stampede grounds were paid for by the government (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Stampede)
    • The exhibition grew annually, and in 1908, the Government of Canada announced that Calgary would host the federally funded Dominion Exhibition that year. Seeking to take advantage of the opportunity to promote itself, the city spent C$145,000 to build six new pavilions and a racetrack,[6] held a lavish parade and rodeo, horse racing and trick roping competitions as part of the event.[3] The exhibition was a success, drawing 100,000 people to the fairgrounds over seven days despite an economic recession that afflicted the city of 25,000.[6]
    • Guy Weadick, an American trick roper who participated in the Dominion Exhibition as part of the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show, was drawn back to Calgary in 1912 in the hopes of establishing an event that more closely represented the "wild west" than the shows he was a part of.[7] With the assistance of local livestock agent H.C. McMullen, Weadick convinced businessmen Pat Burns, George Lane, A.J. MacLean, and A.E. Cross to put up $100,000 to guarantee funding for the event.[3] The Big Four, as they came to be known, viewed the Stampede as a final celebration their life as cattlemen.[8] The city built a rodeo arena on the fairgrounds and over 100,000 people attended the six-day event in September 1912 to watch hundreds of cowboys from Western Canada, the United States and Mexico compete for $20,000 in prizes.[9]
  • The Calgary Stampede operates on a special one hundred year lease that was especially granted to it by the City of Calgary (See reference materials below)
  • With over $2 million in prizes, the Stampede is among the richest rodeos in the world and attracts top competitors from across North America. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Stampede)
  • The Calgary Stampede is widely recognized as a cultural impact and it is recognized that cultural events have a spiritual component (See reference materials below)
  • Due to the fact that the Calgary Stampede is a government funded non-profit organization that would not exists without the annual and injection income it receives from all three levels of government and due to the fact that those funds come from the full spectrum of tax payers and due to the nature of the event – "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".  It is important that the stampede fairly represent the supporters of the Stampede (namely the taxpayers) some of whom are Christians.
  • There is no distinct Christian representation in the Calgary Stampede parade which represents a bias when one considers that other ethnic, religious, and social groups are represented.
  • The Stampede Parade committee in the past has clearly stated that the name of Jesus offends people.
    • They have asked Street Church to lift the name of their church instead of their Lord (Jesus Christ) with the statement that they would be fine with the name of the church but not the name of Jesus
    • They have asked Street Church to get rid of the music which is so "aggressive", "with all of that Jesus… Jesus… Jesus…"
    • They have asked Street Church to play down the name of Jesus in many ways
  • This constitutes a direct violation of freedom of religion
  • The Calgary Stampede Parade is not a private venue, but a public venue
  • The Calgary Stampede Parade is clearly heavily publicly funded
  • The Calgary Stampede Parade is clearly multi-cultural
  • The Calgary Stampede Parade is clearly broad reaching promoting world religions and ethnic diversity to millions of people locally and abroad

The Calgary Stampede is not merely a private organization.  They receive a tremendous amount of government funding.

From: http://www.leerichardson.ca/EN/3774/113060 (Federal MP website)

May 09, 2010

Calgary, Alberta — On behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, Lee Richardson, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, today celebrated the Government of Canada’s investment of $1,001,625 to support the Calgary Stampede as part of the Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP).

From: http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/Federal+funding+program+soft+spot+rodeos/3066893/story.html (Vancouver Sun website)

May 25, 2010

Last year, the Stampede got $2 million from the same fund (known as the Marquee Tourism Events Program). This is on top of a $10-million annual subsidy the Stampede receives from the Alberta government. And in 2007, the federal government gave the Stampede $25 million to spruce up its grounds. It’s all listed on the Stampede’s website.

Animal advocates naturally might be expected to object to public funding for rodeos, but wouldn’t any taxpayer wonder if this is money well spent?

After all, the Stampede is already supported by a long list of rich corporate sponsors.

From: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2009/04/27/festivals-fed-funding-arts.html?ref=rss (CBC website)

April 27, 2009

The Toronto International Film Festival, the Calgary Stampede and the Quebec City Summer Festival are among the large Canadian cultural events getting a boost in their marketing and publicity budgets as part of a new $100-million federal tourism support program.

Summer 2009 MTEP recipients include:

Calgary Stampede (nearly $2 million)

"This is a tremendous affirmation of something that far too often goes unacknowledged: the importance of the cultural and tourism industries to the economy of our country. Those industries not only enrich people’s lives spiritually, emotionally and intellectually, they generate an enormous economic return that benefits us in tangible, material ways as well," Cimolino said in a statement.

It turns out that the Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit organization not a private company.

From: http://calgarystampede.com/about/supporters/government-supporters.html (Calgary Stampede website)

Government supporters

The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit organization that reinvests all revenue back into our facilities and programs. In addition to this, the tremendous support of our key partners is vital to our future redevelopment plans. They share our vision of making Stampede Park a gathering place for all Calgarians and visitors from around the world as we continue to provide valuable contributions to our community.

The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary has been a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede,  providing our 100-year lease and financial support for our credit facilities. In 2009 we recieved a contribution of $150,000 towards a project that will place matching sculptures in Quebec City and Calgary to honour our status as sister cities and celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.

Government of Alberta

The Government of Alberta, through the Alberta Lottery Fund, provides funding for a number of the Stampede’s programs and facilities. In 2009 we recieved a $10 million operating grant as well as $250,000  which was used to upgrade the sound system in the Grandstand. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provided an annual operating grant of $100,000 to support agriculture activities and $45,000 towards a project to improve Barn H. The Department of Culture and Community Spirit granted $419,840 for a new mobile stage.

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