I had the summer of my life

My story starts way back in the summer of '89, I was 22 yrs old. My dad had moved to Calgary the year before fromMontrealwith his soon to be 2nd wife. They were getting married May long weekend in 1989. I was planning to come to the wedding, which was going to be in Calgary. I decided to drive from Montreal and maybe spend the summer with my dad. I arrived a week before the wedding.... and didn't leave Calgary till September (I went back to Montreal).

I was lucky enough to become friends with the daughter of my Dad's colleague which helped me get acquainted with Calgary, Electric Avenue, and of course, the Stampede. I had the summer of my life. I enjoyed everything Calgary had to offer. When I left in September to go back to Montreal, I swore I would move back to Calgary some day. Well, life happens and life took me to Vancouver in 1993. Again, I made some wonderful friends, who were all in to Country Music, Rodeos, etc. We would follow the rodeo scene, music festivals, such as Merritt Music Fest, Merritt Rodeo, Cloverdale, Williams Lake and the like. We decided in 1997 to come the Calgary Stampede. We all flew, there had to be a dozen of us the first time. We would stay at the Elbow River Inn primarily for location to Stampede and to Ranchman's. We ended up coming to the stampede for about5 yrs in a row. Even after they tore down the Elbow River Inn. :)

I loved Calgary and the stampede so much that when I went back to work after the stampede trip in '98 I asked for a transfer to Calgary.My company wasn't planning on opening up a location in Calgary fora few yearsbut when an opportunity came up to move to Edmonton in Nov 2000, I took it, hoping to get a transfer to Calgary. Little did I know that living in Edmonton wasn't the same as Vancouver!So, even though I no longer lived in Vancouver, my friends and I would still plan to meet in Calgary for the Stampede then head off to Merritt for the music festival for the next 3 yrs.

Finally in June 2003 Iquitmy job anddecided to move to Calgary.Of course, Iwent to the Stampede that year as it had become tradition and had two friends from Vancouver stay with me that summer for the stampede. I eventually decidedI wanted to be part of the stampede but didn't know how to make that happen. During the stampede of '06, I was fortunate enough to help out at a Stampede Promotion Committee event through a co-worker. I absolutely loved it. I searched online and found out I could be a volunteer. I jumped on that and sent in my application and became part of the Stampede Promotion Committee in March '07.
I am in my 6th year as a stampede volunteer and will be around for a very long time.

Oh, and a post script, I ended up meeting my husband at Ranchman's in Oct '06, so things happen for a reason, I guess.

I took a round about way of getting back to Calgary from the summer of '89 but I am glad I kept to it as I love being in Calgary and absolutely love being on the Promotion Committee.

I have attached a picture of my husband and I having a beverage at the Rodeo in Stampede '07.

Thanks for reading,
Vicki Blais