Calgary – The Calgary Stampede Foundation is pleased to announce the generous gift of $1.5 Million, donated by the Hunter Family Foundation to SAM Centre. The generous gift will create the Vern Scown Gallery, named in honour of Diane Hunter’s father’s legacy throughout Alberta as an entrepreneur and auctioneer who exemplified our western values and culture.


“The fit with the Calgary Stampede came down to the principle of entrepreneurship,” says Diane Hunter, daughter of Vern Scown. “But the more we started visualizing, the more it became apparent how important auctioneering was to Alberta’s history and we want to showcase that legacy.”


Vern Scown was an incredible Albertan who exemplified value, trust and entrepreneurial spirit. Scown’s life story is one of the many that helped shape a way of life for many Albertans. He was a man of vision, character and integrity and was an outstanding, accomplished and very successful auctioneer.


“This generous gift from the Hunter’s will make a significant impact on the creation of SAM Centre,” says Steve Allan, Past Board Chair, Calgary Stampede Foundation. “SAM Centre is poised to be a departure from a traditional museum; it will bring together guests from around the world to experience our rich history, fascinating stories and unique treasures.”


The SAM Centre will be an engaging, vibrant museum of the future dedicated to showcasing Calgary’s unique western heritage. Experiential programming, Stampede artifacts and stories of the past, present and future will bring this modern heritage centre to life. Year-round locals and visitors of all ages will be able to experience the community spirit of the Calgary Stampede and the values that make us strong as a community.


Through entrepreneurial giving, the Hunter Family Foundation invests in the community to impact change through education and training, health and wellness, and in public policy support to ensure advocacy of capitalism, free market economies, and entrepreneurial thinking.


About the Calgary Stampede Foundation

The Calgary Stampede Foundation creates motivated and engaged young Calgarians, empowered to do amazing things, by providing places and programs in which youth can thrive. Stampede Foundation programs empower a generation of young people with the skills, confidence and strength to make us all stronger. Programs include Stampede School, the Calgary Stampede Showband, The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, Calgary Stampede Showriders, 4-H at the Calgary Stampede, The Indigenous Youth Program, and OH Ranch Education.

The Calgary Stampede is a shareholder of the Foundation.

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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Booth

Manager, Public Relations                                                                               

T 403.261.0327                                                                      

C 403.463.6834