Time flies when you’re evacuated! The Calgary Stampede is well underway, in keeping with their “Come Hell or High Water” pledge, and continues til Sunday. It had to happen. It’s like the New Orleans Saints winning the Superbowl after Katrina, although the timing was on hyper fast forward. Even though some of us in the dark, damp and powerless neighborhoods may be wondering if city inspectors have forsaken us for deep-fried butter on the midway, all we can do is trade our rubber boots for cowboy boots — mud be damned!Stampede starts with a good set of boots. Hopefully this cowgirl got back to the farm before the downpour that set off more flash floods. It’s been a rainy start to the rowdy roundup.Okay, okay, I’ll lighten up. Just because bartenders like this make it easy. The pose was his idea, btw. Meanwhile, can you spot the two clues that this photo was taken in Canada? Hint: look at the money, honey. And the sign for bladder relief.The famed Cowboys Tent, on the edge of the Stampede Grounds, was a veritable style corral.Check out the cowgirl cannister clutch.The devil is in the details. Or at Stampede, is it the corporate presence? Because this buckaroo didn’t win his buckle at the rodeo.Bumped into Conservative Cowboy Lindsay Blackett, who has made the leap from culture to construction. Somewhere along the way he must have stopped at a politically correct dude ranch. I predict a public service comeback.Then the music got louder and leather-encased toes started tapping.Tulle and tall boots are a license to twirl.Ten gallon hats as far as the eye could see. Totally depending on how far your eyes could focus.Boot scootin’ through crushed Corona cans.It’s official. It’s a party! Lace shirt, Guess. Little black dress, Bebe. Belt, strategic cowboy-meets-Indian combo. Happy Stampede!
As the flood cleanup continues in Calgary, the heartwarming stories of volunteerism are enough to make you cry. From the strangers who show up at flooded homes, armed with shovels, offering to help, to the dude dragging a cooler down sludgy streets, asking if anyone wants a cold one. The bare necessities — strong backs and beer — are still desperately needed, but Calgary has taken flood relief to a new level: art + fashion. This is a “bad portrait” of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who has been a true leader in this time of tumult. For $20, you can order the limited edition shirt with this image until Sunday at midnight, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.
Artist Mandy Stobo is well-known around these parts for her Bad Portrait Project. When she paints someone, she doesn’t stop to think about things for too long — that’s how her Bad Portraits work. So when she needed a facial embodiment of Calgary’s massive flood, Mayor Nenshi was a natural. And her first instinct to symbolize a massive amount of water? Scuba goggles.
“I felt so helpless,” she says. “The only thing I knew how to do is artwork.” But her art is helping — big time. With the sale of her shirts raising $4000 so far, she has decided to create a series. She launches another shirt Monday. Just who will be the subject of the next portrait is a closely guarded secret.
You can order shirts, tanks or an 18” x 24” print of Mayor Nenshi here. They should be mailed to you within two to three weeks. Collect ‘em all! A new limited shirt will be up for grabs each week. Buen trabajo, Mandy.