Here are 10 Calgary Stampede Parade Marshals we need to see

Jun 21 2022, 4:35 pm

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is rapidly approaching which means it’s parade time in Calgary.

The Calgary Stampede announced this year’s Stampede Parade Marshal will be Kevin Costner. It is a logical choice. He’s super famous, on the popular Western TV show Yellowstone, and he’s in a country music band (which I totally knew before this was announced).

calgary stampede parade

Calgary Stampede ( | steve estvanik/Shutterstock

Like I said, it makes sense. But I don’t think this pick is Untouchable. Which got me thinking…who would be my first choice? In A Perfect World, who would I select from a Field of Dreams of contestants to travel 3000 Miles to Graceland…or you know, Calgary, to kick off the biggest party this city has to offer. 

So here is my list of 10 people with Calgary connections that I need, not want, NEED to see at the head of the Stampede parade sooner rather than later.

Tate McRae


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This Calgary-born pop star has been on the steady rise to superstardom since going viral on Youtube in 2017.  Her hit “You Broke Me First” reached #8 in Canada and her studio album peaked at third in the country. She did most of this before being able to legally drink at Stampede! One of the city’s brightest, rising stars she certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Nate Burleson

The NFL receiver turned TV star may have only spent his first couple of years in Calgary, but he is still proud of his Canadian heritage, permanently celebrating his country of birth with a depiction of the Maple Leaf of the Canadian flag on his calf. Burleson was a star in the NFL during his 10-year career and was named to the Seahawks’ 35th-anniversary team. Now, 40, Burleson has transitioned from the field to the world of television.

After a successful run on Good Morning Football on NFL Network, the two-time Sports Emmy Award winner moved to CBS Mornings but still has time for the sport, working on the Nickelodeon broadcasts of NFL playoff games. He has the personality, the Calgary roots, and who wouldn’t love to see his personal twist on Western wear to kick off the Stampede.

Naheed Nenshi


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Going with a political choice is clearly a bold call in 2022. But it’s been done before with Ralph Klein and Pierre Trudeau highlighting the list of politicians to be given the honour of Parade Marshal. And considering what Nenshi led Calgary through during his decade-plus as mayor, we’d say he’s earned the recognition. Most notably, guiding Calgary through the floods of 2013.

His constant updates and genuine care and concern for his fellow Calgarians helped bring the city together. This culminated with Stampede 2013 Come Hell or High Water. As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the flood, who better to lead the city one more time.



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Admittedly, this is my biggest reach for having a Calgary tie. The Hamilton-based rock group has credited Calgary as being one of the first cities to really get behind them in the early part of their journey. Now they are selling out across North America and rocking out at the Grey Cup. They embrace all the best parts of being Canadian and the country has embraced them right back with 11 top-five hits over the years. Plus, we might get a special show out of it, they have played on the C-train in Calgary before.

Front-line healthcare workers


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The only struggle with this would be deciding who represents the people who saved us during the pandemic. We can never thank health care workers enough for what they did when COVID-19 was at its worst, but this wouldn’t be a bad start.



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What? You’ve never met a narcissist before? Plus I’m like, kinda tall so lots of people can see me. AND I was on the parade float for the car dealership my dad worked for when I was a kid. And if sitting on a float in a parade in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan (population ~2,500) doesn’t get you ready to be the Parade Marshal for the Calgary Stampede, what will?

Jarome Iginla


Image: Calgary Flames / Twitter

The Calgary Flames’ all-time leader in basically every offensive category you can think of Iginla was the face of the city for many people during the 2000s. His play helped the Flames turn this city into a giant party for two months during the 2004 run to the Stanley Cup Final. He was an inspiration for so many who didn’t see a lot of people who looked like them playing in the NHL at that time. Off the ice he was a pillar in the community during his 16 years with the Flames, donating to countless charities over the years. Any way you look at it, Iggy is the perfect choice to one day take the honour of Parade Marshal.

Bret Hart


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I’ll be honest, I just assumed this had happened already and I’ve triple-checked and I still can’t believe it hasn’t. We need to get “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be” in the White Hat of the Stampede Parade Marshal. When people all over the world think Calgary, they think Bret Hart. “The Excellence of Execution” always represented Calgary with pride and we as a city loved him for it. In his post-wrestling life, The Hitman has been an advocate for Cancer Research after his own battle with prostate cancer, as well as stroke recovery after he suffered a stroke in 2002. The Hitman and Calgary just fit together so well, it would be a shame to have Bret not do this at some point 

Andrew Phung

Andrew Phung

Andrew Phung

The Calgary-born actor has the exact story this city thrives on. He has been on the grind since entering his film Sketch at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2010. His hard work paid off as the nation watched him on Kim’s Convenience. He is a four-time winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series. And he’s still active in the city with YYCSolediers, a local sneaker group, along with his charitable work with Youth Central getting kids involved in the city. From Bishop McNally High School to CBC, the logical next step is to be the Stampede Parade Marshal.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson


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Yes, one of the most famous people in the world has a Calgary connection. The pro wrestler turned movie icon started his professional athletic career with the Calgary Stampeders…kind of. He was cut by the team in a moment that he says made him really question what direction he was going. Things worked out for The Rock, just in case you haven’t heard. This is our chance to give him a more positive experience while in Calgary.

Peter KleinPeter Klein

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