CALGARY – Together they wove. And, now, together we bid.
During the final five days of the 2012 Calgary Stampede, the Sheep Committee — along with a couple of volunteer spinners and weavers, and hundreds of international visitors — assembled a special piece of Stampede history.
Using the Stampede Centennial’s “together” marketing theme, the Together We Weave project invited visitors to add a strand of wool to a unique Woven Together blanket, measuring 71 inches by 30 inches, being assembled on a loom in the Agriculture Building during the annual Sheep Showcase.
As promised, the one-of-a-kind, hand-made Woven Together blanket — consisting of 100 per cent Alberta Rambouillet wool — is headed for an online auction, with potential buyers able to bid for 10 days beginning Wednesday, July 25 at 12 p.m.
“Our Stampede visitors have always been interested by the spinning demonstrations,” says Sheep Committee member Carole Leroux. “This year, the idea was that the length of wool that they were spinning would be added to this woven blanket, right on the spot. People were just tickled at the idea — thrilled that they were helping to create a Stampede souvenir-of-the-century.”
Volunteer spinners and weavers Joanne Block of Vulcan, Alta., and Denise Dupuis of Winnipeg were integral to the project, with Block adding an embroidered version of the Stampede’s Centennial logo as a finishing touch to the natural-white-and-scarlet Woven Together blanket. The Together We Weave endeavour is a so-called “spinoff” of the Sheep Committee’s limited-edition Calgary Stampede Centennial Commemorative Pendleton Wool Blanket project held earlier this year.
Anyone interested in bidding on the Woven Together blanket can visit the Stampede’s 2012 Centennial Blanket webpage at http://ag.calgarystampede.com/2012-centennial-blanket.html, and click on the link directing them to the online auction page. Bids will be taken until Saturday, Aug. 4 at 12 p.m.
Earlier this year, the Sheep Committee, led by past chair Pam Barker, commissioned 100 limited-edition Centennial Commemorative Pendleton Wool Blankets, made of the finest Merino wool and produced by the renowned Pendleton Woolen Mills of Pendleton, Ore. Measuring 80 inches by 64 inches, the blankets’ design was based on a souvenir silk scarf produced for the 1912 Calgary Stampede, with its ivory, orange, and rust colour scheme reminiscent of early Stampede posters.
While dozens of the Centennial Blankets were purchased immediately, about 20 of these collector’s items were held back as the subjects of daily special presentations during the Stampede’s Centennial. Winners of the 2012 North American Sheep Shearing Challenge and World Stock Dog Championship, presented by Sasol, received Centennial Blankets, as did special exhibitors, sponsors, the Stampede Archives, and the Stampede’s Next Generation Committee, which included its blanket in the Centennial Time Capsule.
Also on the recipients’ list was the Canada Agriculture Museum in Ottawa — which is featuring a What I Saw at the Calgary Stampede display, running through November 2012, to pay tribute to the Stampede’s 100th anniversary.
“The Canada Agriculture Museum was very pleased to receive this limited-edition Calgary Stampede Centennial blanket. In fact, the timing couldn’t have been any better, as it arrived in time for a major fundraising event that helps to subsidize summer camps and educational programs for children with physical and financial challenges,” says Kerry-Leigh Burchill, Director General of the Canada Agriculture Museum. “The beautiful blanket was a focal piece in a Calgary Stampede basket that drew a lot of enthusiastic bidding.”
The 100 Centennial Blankets commissioned by the Sheep Committee, which sport a commemorative leather label, sold out earlier this year, but the Calgary Stampede Store still offers a retail version of the blanket for purchase.
Proceeds of the sale of the Centennial Blankets will go toward the creation of permanent bronze trophies that’ll be presented every year to the winners of the North American Sheep Shearing Challenge and the World Stock Dog Championship, presented by Sasol Canada.
Groundbreaking will soon begin on one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Stampede history — the Agrium Western Event Centre, which will be the largest facility of its kind in Canada upon completion. For details and artistic renderings of this magnificent 150,000-square-foot agriculture showcase and competition venue, scheduled for completion in 2014, visit http://corporate.calgarystampede.com/about/park-development/agrium-western-event-centre/
For more information, please contact:
Agriculture Media Writer
Agriculture Program Coordinator