Calgary – Three dedicated community members, one inspiring community group and a special relationship were honoured at the 14th annual Western Legacy Awards on Stampede Park this evening.


“Every year we recognize incredible individuals and groups who have shared their time and talent to make a contribution to the community,” explains Colleen Goertz, Chair, Western Legacy Awards committee. “The recipients and finalists are the community members whose contributions have Calgary Stampede values at heart.”


As a special addition, this year David Sibbald, President & Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede, presented the Chairman’s Award to honour the long-standing relationship between tipi holding families from Treaty 7 nations in Elbow River Camp and the Calgary Stampede. The Chairman’s Award has only been presented on three other occasions since the awards began in 2005.


“This year’s Chairman’s Award highlights the many contributions of tipi holding families to the success of Elbow River Camp and acknowledges their hard work and dedication over multiple generations,” said Sibbald. “The award is for all tipi holding families past, present and future.”


This year’s recipients are members of our community who lead with western heritage and values and make an impact in southern Alberta. The 2018 Western Legacy Award recipients are:


Youth: Tate Barton

Tate Barton has been passionate about helping others and giving back to the community since he was five years old. Originally hoping to raise $100 for the High River Cancer Clinic in memory of his late mother, Barton has raised almost $34,000. His lemonade stand also evolved into Tate’s Lemonade Speaker Series, a gathering for the community to talk about cancer at the clinic’s memorial centre. The success of his lemonade stand has inspired Barton to strive for his new goal of raising $250,000 by the time he turns 18.


Innovation: Jean-Claude Munyezamu

Jean-Claude Munyezamu promotes respect and community and team building among multicultural youth groups through the game of soccer. Munyezamu’s journey began at the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya where he showed local youth how to make a soccer ball out of plastic bags. Munyezamu continued to do this in Refugee camps in Sudan and Somalia before moving to Calgary and joining Soccer Without Borders. His work with this group promotes community through sport and brings immigrant youth together to empower, integrate and connect the community builders of tomorrow.


Sustained Contribution (Individual): J. Murray McCann

J. Murray McCann is dedicated to honouring the veterans of southern Alberta. McCann was first inspired by a row of crosses honouring veterans in the small town of Menlo, Alberta. He thought it was a great way to recognize the brave men and women who fought for our freedom and he wanted to do something similar in Calgary. That’s how the Field of Crosses was born. In its first year, there were 340 crosses and this year the field has grown to 3,500 crosses. The Field of Crosses serves as an important reminder and serves as an opportunity for Calgarians to memorialize and recognize those who fought for our freedom.


Sustained Contribution (Group): Hospice Calgary, Living with Cancer Program Volunteers

The Hospice Calgary, Living with Cancer Program Volunteers support adults living with advanced cancer diagnoses and their family caregivers. Whether through therapies, a network of support or a focus on life and legacy, the program and its volunteers help make everyone feel welcome and respected. The participants in the Living with Cancer Program are welcomed into a community of joy, friendship and support. Participants are provided with a safe space and support for their journey.


Chairman’s Award: Elbow River Camp

The 2018 Western Legacy Chairman’s Award honours the long-standing relationship between tipi holding families from Treaty 7 nations in Elbow River Camp and the Calgary Stampede. It recognizes family members—past, present and future—for their significant contributions to the legacy and treasured partnership that allows us to gather together and celebrate at Elbow River Camp. Since 1912, this unique partnership has been built upon a shared dedication of preserving and promoting western heritage and cultures and sharing them with visitors from around the world.


Read more about each category here.



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


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For more information, please contact:


Colleen Goertz

Western Legacy Awards, chair