Come Hell Or High Water

Yesterday, Calgary wrapped up its 101st Calgary Stampede. For the city, the annual event is a huge celebration, but this year it felt a little different.

Elbow River

In late June, Calgary and area experienced some of the worst flooding in history. Many parts of the city were underwater, but once the waters subsided, the Calgary I’ve known since I was young emerged in an amazing way.

Within days, rubber boots, gloves and respirator masks became as common as cowboy boots and jeans.

Neighbours pitched in wherever they could – making sandwiches for volunteers, cleaning out basements, or just being a listening ear for those who lost so much.


Heading to affected communities and cleaning up soon became our Saturday (and sometimes Thursday and Friday) afternoons.

Just days after the flood, the Stampede announced the show would go on, “Come Hell or High Water”.

Hell or High Water

And the show did go on. And neighbours continued to pitch in – at pancake breakfasts, cheering on our Mayor and first responders (and so many others) at the parade and taking a moment to celebrate our western roots.

As a born and raised Calgarian and a cowgirl at heart, I couldn’t be more proud of how our city continues to rally and help those in need.

In the words of singer-songwriter Corb Lund, “Through my eyes no city has looked quite as pretty, as when Cowtown rose up from its knees.” I couldn’t agree more.

Paula Cowgirl

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