The View from the 'Best Seat in the House'

My Stampede starts every morning in the Chuckwagon Barns, ensuring that all is well with the chuckwagon drivers and outriders, their families and the forty plus volunteer members of the Stampede Chuckwagon Committee who ensure that the nightly GMC Rangeland Derby runs seamlessly and on time each night.  Each day is filled with anticipation of the coming day's events as the Barns come to life and practice starts on the track...

I have had the pleasure of being a Stampede volunteer for over twenty years, and am privileged to be the Committee Chair during the 2012 Centennial Year, and again in 2013.  The Calgary Stampede, and the Stampede Chuckwagon Committee, have allowed me to be a part of history in the making, particularly in 2012, and I am very proud to be a small part in preserving our western heritage and values.

A native of Saskatchewan, I moved to Calgary to commence a legal career in 1990, however, the main reason for selecting Calgary as my new home was to allow me to become a part of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth...twenty plus years later, and my entire "adult" life has revolved around the Calgary Stampede...and how it has changed, from a ten day fair to a major cultural event, the Park has become a year-round gathering place, a significant element of the ever-changing and dynamic Calgary, Southern Alberta and the entire nation!

My Stampede allows me the privilege of the best seat in the house for the nightly GMC Rangeland Derby, overseeing a committed team of volunteers doing everything from ensuring the safety of the drivers and their horses, timing the races, producing the video and audio aspects of "The Show", and hosting special guests.  Working just down the hall from the Voice of the GMC Rangeland Derby, Les McIntyre, here is my view every evening...

Mark Damm
Chair, Chuckwagon Committee