About The Showband

The Stampede Showband was created in 1971 to serve as the musical ambassadors for the Calgary Stampede. The group features over 150 musicians, colour guard, and dancers between the ages of 16 and 21. Together, we perform year-round, making over 200 appearances annually, including concerts, parades, competitions, special events, and complex marching field shows. We are proud promoters of western heritage and values and are committed to a high level of innovative performance art.

The Stampede Showband program is designed to develop youth within the performing arts and encourage each member to achieve musical, performance, and personal excellence. Our members develop athleticism, artistry and the confidence that comes from honing skills through hard work and persistence. Through more than 300 hours of rehearsal each year and with each high-energy performance, members gain valuable life skills including leadership, goal-setting, and teamwork.

In 2014, the Showband received the distinguished Sudler Shield from the John Philip Sousa Foundation, one of the highest forms of recognition for marching band programs. The band is also the only five-time World Champion of Marching Show Bands, and the only showband to win World Championship titles three times in a row. In 2015, the band won the Drum Corps International SoundSport award for “Best in Show”.  In 2017, the Showband competed in front of 20,000 people at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Holland, earning a gold medal with distinction.

What we do


Beginning in September every year, the Calgary Stampede Showband prepares, rehearses and performs a challenging, advanced concert band repertoire. From timeless classics to modern interpretive pieces, we share our music with the community at performances across Calgary, culminating with the Alberta International Band Festival in February each year.


Winter guard is an indoor colour guard activity performed to recorded music. Our colour guard performs at judged competitions each winter, showcasing precision and creativity through choreographed dance performance.


Indoor percussion is a drumline and marching activity featuring the Showband's marching percussion section and front ensemble. It combines music, marching, and theatre to engage audiences at competitions throughout Alberta each winter.


In addition to participating in community parades across Southern Alberta each year, the band has led the renowned Calgary Stampede Parade since 1971. The Stampede Parade is a two-hour celebration of western heritage with about 350,000 live spectators and millions more watching the broadcast coverage. The Showband has also travelled to California to march in the Rose Bowl Parade, the only parade larger than Calgary's annual event.


Starting early in the calendar year, we begin preparation of our annual field show. Field shows involve the band performing music while marching intricate movements on a large field. Our colour guard uses equipment such as flags, rifles, and sabres, along with dance, to interpret and enhance the music. It is a coordinated combination of music pageantry that creates a unified presentation of a musical, visual, conceptual, or abstract theme. Field show season culminates in a final competition at Showbands Live! during the Calgary Stampede each year.


Nearly half of our 200 annual performances take place during the 10 days of Calgary Stampede each July. The Showband is active every day of the Calgary Stampede, starting early in the morning and ending after dark each evening. From pancake breakfasts to roving ensembles, from the rodeo to the chuckwagon races, from the crowd-pleasing shows on the steps of the Saddledome arena to the spectacular stage of the grandstand show, the Showband is a staple of the Stampede experience.


Each summer, the Showband leaves Alberta to share the Calgary spirit and Stampede pride with other cities. Destinations have included the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Europe.


The Calgary Stampede Showband has performed at the Olympic Games (Calgary '88), Canada's Juno Awards, Buckingham Palace, and Disneyland, in addition to local celebrations and countless community festivities wherever we travel.