Calgary Stampeders win hearts

Photo: Jay Ouellet

Canadian Heritage Minister Josée Verner, Bonhomme Carnival and Prime Minister Stephen Harper help serve up some fun at Quebec City’s winter festival.

The annual Calgary contingent did not go unnoticed at Base Valcartier, old Quebec and Charlesbourg this Carnival season. Calgary and Quebec City are sister cities and so they celebrate at the other’s big festival each year. The Quebec City crew will head out for another Stampede run this summer to share Quebec delicacies such as maple sugar.

This being 2008, the Stampede volunteers had prepared a special treat.

In addition to their annual Flapjack Breakfast, the volunteers, Stampede president George Brookman among them, organized two outdoor cookouts featuring beef on a bun — one at Base Valcartier and another in Charlesbourg.

The Base Valcartier event was in honour of the military families and those serving in Afghanistan. The local school children were also invited.

Volunteers served up some 3,500 plates of food and handed out 4,000 cowboy hats. Calgary even transported its own musicians who performed for the crowd. At the beginning of O Canada, all hats came off.

Then it was on to Place d’Youville, where they had help from Calgary-born Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Canadian Heritage Minister Josée Verner, who chipped in with the flapjacks and sausages for locals and tourists alike.

Even Bonhomme made an appearance at the event.

Hours later, cowboy hats bobbed up and down the streets of old Quebec.

The next night, the crew headed up to Charlesbourg for another cookout. They’ll be back next year to help celebrate Quebec City’s Carnival once again.