The Calgary Safety Roundup Singers

I was born in Calgary a long time ago, and raised in Black Diamond and Calgary, and I have lived in the city for the greater part of my life. I have many memories of Stampedes, and didn't miss one for over 32 years, but the ones I think of most often were from the early 1960s.

My son Michael Walterson was just a little fellow and was the youngest member of the Calgary Safety Roundup singers and performed weekly on CFCN TV for many years. Stampede was a crazy time for all the kids on the show, including their parents as we got them around the city for numerous events, and there were many breakfasts, BBQs and other Stampede parties to attend and perform at. 

The kids from Safety Roundup all rode in every Stampede Parade, so for my family this meant getting Michael and the other three kids up VERY early and getting down to the marshaling area by 5-5:30 a.m. on Parade day, so Michael could meet up with the rest of the crew. Then I headed to the base of the old Husky Tower to get our Parade seats on the curb. This entailed lawn chairs, a picnic cooler, often a blanket and then settling in to wait for all the fun to start. Michael rode in the parade from the time he was 4 years old until he was 14 years old, and we never missed a Parade day or any of the other many, many Stampede events and celebrations including performing at Kids Day every year.

When he was 16 years old Michael joined the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, under the direction of Randy Avery. Later Michael moved to Toronto to play his music and sing. He returned to Calgary in 1988 for the 25th Anniversary of the Young Canadians.  He sadly passed away in 1999, but oh so many Stampede stories that me and the rest of the family love to remember.

The Calgary Stampede has been a very integral part of my life and my family's life for over 60 years and I am so proud to say that I am a native Calgarian. Happy Centennial Calgary Stampede and I hope the city sees another 100 years of celebrating Calgary's western history!  

Submitted by Barb Bourque