Calgary – In an incredible show of community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, bidding reached a total of $3,238,000 at the 2018 Calgary Stampede Canvas Auction, presented by GMC. Kurt Bensmiller received the top bid of the night, $130,000 from Versatile Energy Services. Overall, tonight’s auction proceeds are up a remarkable $817,500 from 2017.

“Tonight’s result tells a great story,” said Paul Kavanagh, Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair. ”This demonstrates just how passionate Calgary is about the sport of chuckwagon racing, and the value both local and national businesses place on this unique advertising opportunity.”

In total, more than 190 groups and companies registered to bid for the chance to advertise with the 36 drivers who have been invited to compete in the 2018 Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby, July 6-15. The proceeds of tonight’s auction support those drivers with the care of their horses at the Calgary Stampede and throughout the entire racing season.

The successful bidders in tonight’s auction now have the opportunity to gain valuable exposure for their brand on their driver’s chuckwagon canvas, as well as hosting their family and friends in an exclusive area of the chuckwagon barns. 

“The sport has deep roots in our community, yet is still one of Calgary’s best kept secrets,” says Kavanagh. “We are excited to introduce more people to the amazing families and animals behind this high-adrenalin, iconic event.”  

For interested parties, a select few opportunities may still be available post-auction by teaming up with successful bidders. More information is available at






Total Auction Proceeds  



Average Bid



Top bid driver

Kurt Bensmiller

  Kelly Sutherland

Top bid



About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

For more information, please contact:

Kristina Barnes

Communications Manager, Western Events and Agriculture

Community Engagement and Communications

T. 403.261.0382

C. 403.585.4706