Massive powwow competition to debut at Calgary Stampede

The Stampede Powwow will makes its debut during the 2022 Calgary Stampede. (image: Calgary Stampede)

This year's edition of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth will see the launch of the Stampede Powwow, a showcase of Indigenous talent.

The powwow, which runs July 12 -14 in the Scotiabank Saddledome, will be one of the largest competitive powwows in Canadian history.

Indigenous dancers, singers and drummers from across Canada and the United States will perform in the three-day competition that offers $175,000 in prize money.

"The Stampede Powwow joins other world-class competitions held annually at the Stampede and offers guests another opportunity to experience Indigenous programming," said Shannon Murray, Calgary Stampede manager of Indigenous engagement, in a statement. "The Calgary Stampede features some of the best competitors in western events, including rodeo and chuckwagon racing, so it only makes sense that we are now bringing the best competitors in powwow to this years' Calgary Stampede."

The Powwow Times is producing the event in collaboration with the Calgary Stampede and one of its organizers says the powwow will help keep traditions alive.

"Through traumas and residential schools, a lot of our people's connection with their culture has been lost or broken," said Patrick Mitsuing, Powwow Times producer. "Through events like the Stampede Powwow, we are able to share the tradition of powwow, and help reconnect Indigenous peoples to their own culture, while introducing and sharing it with non-Indigenous peoples as well."

Powwow competitions have been a part of the Calgary Stampede for years, but on a much smaller scale in the Elbow River Camp and the former Indian Village site.

The Stampede Powwow is free with Stampede Park admission. This year's Stampede kicks off with sneak-a-peek on July 7 and the Stampede Parade on July 8.

A new celebration of culture and a gathering of community. You’re invited to the Calgary Stampede Powwow, produced in collaboration with @powwowtimes, July 12-14 at Stampede 2022 in the Saddledome.

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— Calgary Stampede (@calgarystampede) May 6, 2022