It’s cool when your photos get noticed. It’s even cooler when a publication asks your permission before it uses them, and offers to pay. This candid I shot while chatting with Jimmy Pattison (about his big Christmas tree star in the BPs, among other things) at the opening of Nordstrom Calgary caught the eye of Canadian Business Magazine…… who enlisted illustrator Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo to adapt it for an October 2nd story by Jim Sutherland, who was my first editor ever during the old Vancouver Magazine days. Nice story, Jim! And awesome illustration, Alvaro! Although I was digging the lavender plaid Jimmy was going with in the photo. He has some stylish moves, many of them tartan.Ripping stuff from the ol’ Interwebs has become so pervasive that many peeps out there don’t seem to realize that the person (or organization) who worked hard to create that content owns it. I appreciate it when credit is given where it is due. Like with my photo of this vehicle wrap on the streets of Calgary, to stick with the tartan topic. It resonated with super-cool British artist and author Toby Leigh, who’s so obsessed with fake Burberry he’s publishing a book on it. And of course, I support that! Delighted that my pic will be included, Toby. Especially because you asked.
The festivities associated with the world’s largest rodeo aren’t limited to the Stampede grounds. Everywhere you turn in Calgary, someone’s throwing a party. And chances are it will be in a parking lot.Throw down a hay bale and some cowboy tchotchkes and you’re ready for a roundup.The Calgary Home + Design Show isn’t until September 19th, but that’s no reason not to have a Stampede party. The way Show Manager Jill Kivett and Amanda Haines of Reformation PR rock their daisy dukes and boots, it makes you think this is not their first rodeo.Before Stampede I had lofty plans of wearing a different cowboy hat for every blog post, but as the days on the dusty road start to blur together, I’m leaning on the ol’ wild rose lid a lot. At this point, I’m more concerned with pacing myself. Early in the day, with those cowprint balloons above my head, I’m exuding a respectable healthiness. Kinda like that yogurt commercial.The smartest strategy to maintain a semblance of sobriety is to eat a big meal. With Gaucho Brazillian BBQ providing the best grub of the week, it wasn’t hard to do.It’s hard to leave when the western wear is this good, but another parking lot was calling my name. My Stampede name. Which I haven’t thought of yet, but I’m sure I’ll come up with a great one next week, once the chucks champs have packed up their wagons. Ran into this purple pardner on the way to Jim Pattison’s party. A brief bicep battle was the only appropriate reaction.Inside, more cowboy accoutrements than I could sling a gun at. Stampede is kind of like Halloween, except everyone is wearing the same costume. Except for that dude in the red plaid shirt who photobombed with aplomb.This cowgirl kindly allowed me to take a picture of her booty.And, in the Wearing a Ten Gallon Hat Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Play Bagpipes category, Calgary’s finest showed up for a little pipe and drums. Highland dancing officers proved there’s more ways to bust a move than the two-step.Bye bye, Amber Big Plume, from Tsuu T’ina Nation, the 2013 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. Gotta git to the next!This sake glass is where it started to get sloppy. Maybe it was because I took a break from the parking lots to get some sushi at Zen8. But more likely it was because the sushi corralled me toward the VIP suites at the biggest parking lot party of them all. Giddyup!Happy Stampede indeed. During this marathon 10-day event that turns all Calgarians into cattle drivers, rodeo champions or barrel-racing princesses, all chutes seem to lead to the Cowboys Tent. Which led me to Outrider Steve Sirianni, who, being from Vegas, moonlights as Executive Director of Slots at the Monte Carlo Casino. I’m feeling lucky!