What is billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” is being
honored on commemorative coins in Canada.
The Royal Canadian Mint is marking the centennial of the Calgary
Stampede, a large 10-day rodeo and music festival in the capital of
Alberta, with three new collector coins, released May 28.
The centennial event is scheduled from July 6 to 15, and is
expected to draw more than 1 million attendees from Canada and around
The founding of the Calgary Stampede is credited to American Guy
Weadick, a former trick performer in a “Wild West” show who in 1912
convinced investors to stage an authentic display of ranching and
farming skills and pursuits.
The event was rooted in an 1886 exhibition conducted by the
Calgary and District Agricultural Society that was reprised several
times before Calgary hosted the Dominion Exhibition in 1910. With the
event a success, Weadick gained backing to launch the Stampede in
1912, but it was only held a few times before 1923, when it became an
The event grew along with the city (which experienced growth
thanks to oil discoveries). Today, the Calgary Stampede includes a
parade, rodeo, rangeland derby, chuckwagon races, nightly
entertainment, agricultural exhibits and more.
The RCM is issuing a colorful, oversized 25-cent coin and two
5-ounce Proof coins (one silver, one gold) to honor the centennial.
The Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the
obverse of all three coins. The reverses of the three coins depict two
different designs, with the two precious metals pieces sharing a
Specimen 25-cent coin
The Specimen finish copper-nickel 25-cent coin highlights the
saddle bronc riding event, with a Tony Bianco design of a “fearless
saddle bronc rider and his high-spirited bucking bronco” seeming to
soar above the city of Calgary at the foothills of the Rockies near
the Broad Bow River, according to the RCM.
The rider is painted, wearing a bright yellow shirt, orange
bandana, faded blue denims, worn brown chaps and light tan cowboy
boots. His right hand clutches the braided rein, while his left hand
rises above the mount.
The coin weighs 13.7 grams and measures 35 millimeters in diameter
(compared to the circulating 25-cent coins, which are 23.88
millimeters in diameter).
The coin is offered only as part of a coin and stamp set that
includes a souvenir sheet with a permanent domestic rate stamp showing
a horse and western riding gear, and a $1.05 stamp (used for letters
mailed to the United States).
The two stamps are among Canada’s first augmented reality stamps.
Canada Post offers a “Stamps Alive” app at canadapost.ca/stampsalive.
As reported by Denise McCarty in Linn’s Stamp News (May 14 issue),
according to Canada Post, when using the augmented reality feature,
“the horse will appear lifelike on one stamp, while on the other you
can compete in a virtual barrel racing rodeo event.”
The coin and stamp set are available “while supplies last” and
have a retail price of $25.95 Canadian.
The Proof 5-ounce .9999 fine silver $50 coin and Specimen 5-ounce
.9999 fine gold $500 coin share a common design by Michelle Grant (the
denomination being the only difference).
The coin shows six-time world champion bucking bronc, Grated
Coconut, in full flight, hind legs extended behind him, ridden by a
bareback rider. A curling frame of intricate leather tooling inspired
by the trophy saddle of Flores Ladue, wife of founder Weadick, frames
the design. The Calgary Stampede’s CS symbol, with a sideways S,
appears at the bottom, above the denomination. The entire image is
framed by a raised circle of rope-patterned embossing.
The $50 coin weighs 157.6 grams and measures 65 millimeters in
diameter. The $500 coin weighs 156.05 grams and measures 60
millimeters in diameter.
The silver coin has a mintage limit of 1,500 pieces and costs
$495.95, while the gold coin has a mintage limit of 200 pieces and
The Calgary Stampede and the province’s agricultural heritage are
familiar themes on Canadian commemorative coins.
In 1975 a silver dollar marking the centennial of Alberta displays
a cowboy atop a bucking bronco, with the Calgary skyline and an oil
well in the background.
In 2002, a 50-cent coin (designed by Grant) honoring the Calgary
Stampede was part of a three-year series honoring Canadian festivals;
the coin, which coincided with the 90th anniversary of the event,
shows the Calgary Saddledome, as well as a rider on a bucking bronco,
with a chuckwagon racing in the scene behind it.
In 2006, Grant also designed the reverse of the Cowboy 50-cent
coin. The twenty-fifth-ounce .9999 fine gold coin depicts a
contemporary saddle horse with a rider, with a maple leaf underneath
Three United States distributors for the RCM carry the 2012 coins
at fixed prices in U.S. dollars.
Gatewest Coin Ltd., Brian Jenner Inc. and Talisman Coins are all
official distributors for the RCM.
To contact Gatewest inside the United States, telephone the firm
at 204-489-9112 or visit it online at www.gatewestcoin.com.
Write to Jenner at P.O. Box 2466-a, Pasco, WA 99302, or telephone
him at 509-735-2172.
Visit Talisman at the firm’s website, www.talismancoins.com,
telephone the company at 888-552-2646 or fax the business at