Peter Lougheed’s My Stampede Story
Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed recalls his part in the creation of the Calgary Kidettes, the precursor to The Young Canadians - the young local dancers and singers group that performs to this day.
It was 1964, and Lougheed was on the cusp of winning the leadership of the then-opposition provincial Progressive Conservative party. He was also serving as chairman of the Stampede's Grandstand committee.
"We made the decision after about a year that we would no longer go along with what we had done for years - buying an imported Grandstand Show from Chicago - but we'd build our own Grandstand Show," Lougheed recalls.
"We make a big point of it being a Calgary-produced show. I think about every line, we say that," he says, laughing.
On a personal note, his daughter Andrea made her performance debut with the group at age 7. "That led her into a professional dancing career," Lougheed says.
The former premier says he still attends the show every year.
"When I go to the Stampede today, I'm full of the satisfaction that we've built The Young Canadians, and we built our own show."