Calgary Stampede announces Western Legacy Awards finalists

Calgary – The Calgary Stampede is proud to announce the finalists for the 2014 Western Legacy Awards. The 13 finalists are nominees in four categories: Youth, Innovation, Sustained Contribution (individual) and Sustained Contribution (group) who will be recognized at the 10th annual Western Legacy Awards on Monday, October 27.


The Youth category is open to young people under 25 years of age and recognizes youth who have demonstrated their commitment to making a difference. Innovation recognizes a person or group that has created a single visionary project that speaks to western values.  Winners of the Sustained Contribution category exhibit extraordinary community support over a number of years.


The finalists for the 2014 Western Legacy Awards are (full bios attached):

Youth – Matthew Carrington, has helped create events, invested time and fundraised for more than 16 different organizations; Wentao Li, holds more than 839 volunteer hours and Rebecca Yang, has made a lasting impression within the Calgary community through teaching, sharing, and passion for volunteering.

Innovation – Joel Looyis, focuses on youth through his position as project manager of the Calgary Diocese One Rock Festival or the coordinator of Jesus Youth Calgary; Janice McTighe, made her dream of building an innovative, educational facility where children with special needs could have all the support they needed to develop to their full potential, a reality in Renfrew Educational Services; Tom and Nola Snell, founders of Columbia College which provides education, primarily to non-traditional learners, who due to various barriers have faced language, poverty or learning challenges and Irene White & Roger Matas, creators of the Alberta Wish Ride, supporting the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.

Sustained Contribution (individual) – Rick Hanson, Chief of Police for the City of Calgary for the past seven years has created and supported numerous collaborative ventures focused on early intervention with youth, domestic violence and homelessness; Peter Spear, diligently works to make things better whether it is writing or managing a new education curriculum for cancer awareness, Olympic sport education, or hitching his star to the Olympic Organizing Committee in 1988 to be a part of "the best Olympic Games ever" and Adam Woodward, for more than 14 years, Adam Woodward has personally invested his time, money and love into The Big Give Project. The Project aims to level the playing field for student athletes in Calgary and surrounding areas, by providing financing to those in need to play the sport they enjoy.

Sustained Contribution (group) – Alberta Champions in Recognition of Community Enrichment, is dedicated to honoring Albertans, and more specifically Calgarians, through educational works of art; Project Warmth Society of Alberta, assists the homeless and the underprivileged in Calgary by providing ‘warmth’ with blankets, parkas, gloves and items of warm clothing and Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta, provides a home environment near the Alberta Children’s Hospital for seriously ill children and their families from out of town to live during medical treatment.


“Over the past decade, the Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards has recognized 137 individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to Alberta by promoting western values and preserving western heritage within our community,” says Sandra Clarkson, committee chair, Western Legacy Awards. “Last year, we installed a Legacy Wall which commemorates all those honoured with a Western Legacy Award.”


The Legacy Wall serves as a reminder of the people, organizations, acts and values that have and will continue to make our city and province great. We look forward to adding the 2014 recipients to this exceptional group to recognize their impact and sharing the core values of western hospitality, pride of place, integrity and commitment to community.


One finalist from each category will be awarded a beautiful belt buckle in recognition of their contribution to western heritage and values during the Western Legacy Awards celebration on Monday, October 27 at 5pm in the Palomino Room, BMO Centre Stampede Park.


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 10-day 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 promotes western heritage and values.  All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.


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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Booth

Publicity Manager              

T 403.261.0327

C 403.463.6834

E jbooth@calgarystampede.com