Stampede to whoop it up in Quebec City

Canadian unity supplied along with the flapjacks

Les cowboys arrivent au 400e... aux abris !!!

GEORGE BROOKMAN - When a group of 100 enthusiastic Calgary Stampede volunteers travels to the Quebec Winter Carnival next week to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, our trek will be much more than just another Stampede whoop-up.
Yes, we will be serving up the usual Stampede fun and flapjacks, but what we'll really be celebrating is Canadian unity.
Calgarians, like all Canadians, hold a deep respect for the many multicultural traditions that are celebrated at countless festivals in communities of all sizes across this great country of ours.
For decades, a group of dedicated local Jaycees and Calgary Stampede volunteers have made the trip to Quebec City to help them enjoy a little western spirit at the largest outdoor winter carnival in the world -- and an equally enthusiastic group of Quebecers, including the famous Bonhomme, has made the trip to Calgary to help us entertain visitors at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede.
What unites Calgary and Quebec City is an unabashed pride in the special character and culture of our diverse communities.
That tolerance of cultural diversity is what binds us together as Canadians in what many of us believe is the greatest country in the history of the world.
Our decision to "take it up a notch" this year in honour of Quebec City's 400th anniversary is to create something we believe all Canadians will be proud of.
Our first stop is a Calgary Stampede barbecue at CFB Valcartier for the families of the soldiers and military personnel who are serving our country overseas.
It is the dedication of these men and women that not only preserves the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians, but also shows the world that Canadians want all countries to have the opportunities that we enjoy.
On the second day, we will host a Stampede breakfast and an afternoon barbecue in the heart of Old Quebec City, and hand out thousands of cowboy hats to deliver the hospitality that makes Calgary famous around the world.
As we know, and our friends in Quebec City will discover, putting on a cowboy hat isn't about leaving behind your distinct heritage or cultural identity, it's about having fun with your neighbours and getting involved in your community.
The Calgary Stampede is known around the world as one of the great icons of Canada, and our journey to Quebec City is a chance to promote our western values and learn about the values of others across Canada.
I believe a group of Calgarians whooping it up in Quebec City is the quintessential Canadian celebration -- a celebration of diversity that keeps "the True North, strong and free."

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