5 Questions with NGC Online Presence Sub-Committee Chair, Christina Rontynen

My first Calgary Stampede blog post of the year. Enjoy everyone!

5 Questions with NGC Online Presence Sub-Committee Chair,
Christina Rontynen

You can call it Stampede love – or just plain old Calgary love. I couldn’t resist interviewing Christina Rontynen for this blog. We recently got engaged. We didn’t meet through the Stampede but we are on the same Stampede Committee and we have many fun Stampede memories.

When we met we clicked because our passions were the same – including getting people engaged with their communities. That’s why the Next Generation Committee (NGC) was such a great fit for us. The NGC is all about engaging Calgarians with the Stampede!

The NGC is made up of two sub-committees: Project Execution and Online Presence. Christina is the chair of the Online Presence sub-committee.

Here is my interview:                                      

1. What is the Next Generation Committee all about?

The NGC is all about engaging new audiences with the Calgary Stampede. It isn’t just about engaging young Calgarians but all Calgarians. In the past we have targeted 18-30 year olds, brand new Canadians, young families from Calgary’s suburbs, and this year we are targeting Calgarians in 100 years through our very cool Time Capsule project. If you have Twitter you can follow along with Time Capsule project through our #CSTimeCapsule hashtag.

2. What one item would you put in the NGC Time Capsule if you could stand to part with it?

I have this amazing belt buckle from my Dad. He used to wear it when he was a little boy playing cowboys with his friends. It has a bunch of little guns on it and is completely vintage and awesome. It is the perfect Stamepde accessory and it, to me, speaks to the fact that the Stampede is generational. It’s a family affair.

People can propose their own Time Capsule ideas by emailing the NGC. If you have something you’d like included in the Time Capsule and it has a neat story behind it please email us at: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com

3. What is your ideal Stampede day?

Best Stampede day is always Parade Day! Wake up early, find the perfect spot and watch the energy and excitement of Stampede come alive. After that it’s about finding a pancake breakfast – and putting lots and lots of syrup on the pancakes (of course)! Then a trip down to Stampede Grounds – I love making sure I’m there for the Rodeo and of course a greasy, yummy dinner at a kiosk afterwards. Then it is playing some Midway Games, enjoying the Coke Stage, and waiting until the fireworks show.

4. Who are you most looking forward to Stampeding with this year?

Well you of course Peter!! Our first Stampede being engaged! Very fun.

But I’m also looking forward to hopefully bringing your niece and nephew! Seeing the Stampede through the eyes of kids is the best!

5. What is your favorite Stampede treat?

Gosh – this is a hard one. I love the classic mini donuts but this year I will not leave without trying all the new food for 2012; including deep fried wagon wheels, sausage on a stick and those deep fried veggies.

Thanks for playing along Christina!

Happy Almost Stampede Everyone!

Originally Posted on the Calgary Stampede Blog on May 23, 2012 – found here.

Next Generation Committee Wants to Tell Your Story … in 100 Years

I just posted on the Calgary Stampede blog about an awesome project that Peter and I are taken part in this Stampede. The Stampede Time Capsule (#CSTimeCapsule) will be telling the Stampede’s story from the last 100 years to Calgarians 100 years from now. It’s pretty exciting stuff … and there are plenty of opportunities for all Calgarians to leave their mark on the time capsule.

Here’s my post ….

Last weekend I had that pleasure of attending the Stampede 4 Corner Event in southeast Calgary. I was there with my fellow Next Generation Committee team members not only promoting our latest project but as a Calgarian getting excited for Stampede.

The smell of pancake breakfast, the western garb, the smiling faces, the country music … I had tingles on the back of my neck as soon as the event started. It really marked the start of Stampede season for me.

The 4 Corners events are the perfect blend of Stampede and community. The community crowd was gathering not only for the free Stampede breakfast but also to support local community organizations and cheer on community entertainment.

It really is the perfect event to tell Calgary about the Next Generation Committee’s time capsule. You haven’t heard of the time capsule? Check out the news release for more information, but in a sentence the time capsule is the Next Generation Committee’s way to captured the first 100 years of the Stampede and share it with the Calgary 100 years from now. Pretty exciting actually!

How exciting? Well I watched a child no more than 6 drop in her favorite Stampede memento into our time capsule at the 4 Corners event. Her eyes were wide as she exclaimed, “off to the future!!” Now that’s exciting!

Click to read more.

– CR xo

Energy in Action … Spread the Word

There is a stigma that the energy industry avoids educating the public. That stigma is played up by the media, the environmental NGOs and unfortunately by the average Albertan. That’s why I’m excited about my new gig at CAPP. Yes, my faithful followers, I have made the leap from government to the industry association world. Perhaps following in the footsteps of @ppilarski … but not really.

It’s been a whirlwind month as I find myself on the other side of the coin. I like this side. I like knowing that as I sit at a desk, meet with members or go to a CAPP event I am advocating in my own way for the energy industry.

Within my first few days I discovered an excellent program run by CAPP yearly. The program clearly breaks the stigma the energy industry is often painted with … it educates students and communities about the oil and gas industry; not just in Alberta but in Canada.

Energy in Action is an incredible energy literacy program sponsored by the member companies of CAPP. CAPP delivers this program to schools in rural oil and gas operating communities across western Canada. Energy in Action provides those member companies with a hands-on approach to community relations. The program brings industry and communities together to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship – after all they do interact everyday; they might as well get to know each other!

Each May, students partner with local volunteers from the energy industry and their communities to participate in education sessions and environmental renewal projects. Since 2004, 59 companies and close to 2,000 company volunteers have participated in events in 55 communities across Canada. They planted almost 6,400 trees and shrubs, and taught almost 6,000 students, teachers and community residents about the petroleum industry and the benefits of careful resource development. 2011 is no exception … the Energy in Action team has been travelling already and will visit 10 communities across three provinces by May 31. They even encourage us to follow along through their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

So next time your wondering what your energy industry is up to … think of Energy in Action. Tell your friends, your colleagues, and if you’re in the industry, a rural teacher, or even an engaged student ask your community to get involved. May 2012 will come sooner than you realize. We need to be proactive – it’s our job to educate the average Albertan (each other) about all the great things going on in the energy industry. Especially in Alberta… after all Alberta is Energy.

Getting educated and spreading the word,

CR xo

It’s Coffee Time: Doug Griffiths arrives in Living Rooms across Alberta

Okay – I admit it. I had never been to a coffee party before May 5, 2011. It seems to me that the era of the coffee party was a bit before my time. I’ve heard the days of the coffee party praised by board members from both Calgary Shaw and Calgary Foothills. Many claiming that that was the way Premier Lougheed won – that was how they met him – and that is how they knew he was a great leader.

There is something about coming into someone’s home, being on their turf, and embracing their friends, their neighbours and their community. It’s the principle of breaking bread together but in this case it’s sipping coffee. I laughed when I saw some comments on a Facebook photo Chris Harper posted of a coffee party he hosted this past week – his friends were amazed that a PC leadership candidate would come over to his house just to talk to his friends. It really is the simple things that amaze people the most.

And a coffee party is a very simple thing.

There is nothing to know about a coffee party before you have one. Nothing to learn. No membership to buy. No prerequisites. No expectations.

A coffee party is whatever you want it to be. It’s a passionate Albertan coming to talk to, get to know and share their vision with other passionate Albertans. A coffee party is what comes to my mind when I think of the term grassroots engagement. It’s literally invite your friends – gather them in your living room – listen to a visionary – ask questions – mingle.

My favourite part? The questions! That’s when you see people truly engaging. The questions are when you find out what makes your neighbours tick and what has been on their mind. It’s when you find out that many of us are passionate about the same things and want the same things for Alberta’s future. The questions are what get a room excited. And the answers to those questions are what keeps the room excited and triggers a desire to purchase a PC membership and get involved in the process – at least that’s what is happening at coffee parties featuring Griff.

I may be biased but Doug Griffiths’ strength is certainly in the coffee party. It’s no secret that he is passionate about people and communities. Without strong communities we cannot build a better Alberta together. In a room full of new friends his excitement about Alberta’s future is clear. He is personable, thoughtful and enthusiastic. You can tell he feels right at home in the living rooms of his volunteers and supporters – why? Because that is the kind of man he is. When he has the day off work he is hanging out in the living rooms of his family and friends. That’s where he watches his boys grow up, that’s where he invites his friends to watch the game and that’s where he hammers out his vision for Alberta.

Doug wants to get to as many Albertan living rooms in the next several months as possible. He wants to come to you … not make you come to him. He wants to build a better province … and he knows he can’t do that alone. Every community is different, every group of people gathered will be different but we are all passionate about Alberta and passionate about making it the best it can be today and for future generations.

So why don’t you have a coffee party? The latest people to sign up for coffee parties in Calgary? My parents! Lisa Mackintosh’s friends. A new supporter who DM’ed us on Twitter. And an incredible 70-something women I met at Chris Harper’s coffee party for Griff. She is so excited. She told me that it isn’t time for change in this province … it’s time for the next generation to step up and take their place in Alberta … and that place is in leadership roles. She told me that the last time she was this excited is when she attend a similar gathering for Premier Lougheed decades ago.

Everything old is new again. Why? Because Alberta has realized the importance of the community, of personal connections and that the only way we can advance this province is if we advance it together.

If you want to have a coffee party email the campaign or even just reply to this blog post. We will get you in touch with the right people and do our best to get Doug into your living room.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to have a coffee party. Political engagement is personal – it’s flexible – it’s simple. Doug Griffiths’ coffee parties are political engagement.

Can’t wait to have a coffee with you in your living room and watch your neighbours get excited about our next PC Leader, Doug Griffiths.

CR xo

PCinYYC Representin’ the Calgary Stampede Online

PCinYYC are always looking for ways to get involved in the community. After all we are advocates for community engagement and passionate about Calgary.

We’ve recently been given the opportunity to sit on the Calgary Stampede‘s Next Generation Commitee (NGC). This committee works to attract and engage the next generation of audiences as patrons, supporters and volunteers of the Calgary Stampede. The NGC is mandated to assist the Calgary Stampede in leveraging emerging and non-traditional promotions, marketing, social media, and online tools to promote the Calgary Stampede brand and events.

We are so excited to be a part of this team … and lend some of our time and blog space to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Here is @ppilarski‘s first blog for the Calgary Stampede blog – it’s focused on the Calgary Stampede Lotteries … did you know you can already be buying your tickets and avoiding line-ups at the grounds in July?

Hope you’ll follow along as we dive into another #yyc adventure.

CR and PP


Do you feel lucky, punk?  Well …. Do ya? (May 13th, 2011 by Peter Pilarski)

Because the 2011 Calgary Stampede Lotteries advanced ticket campaign is on now!  And this year the Lotteries feature more than $1.4 million in prizes, including trucks, boats, a fifth-wheel trailer, luxury vacations, a dream home and more than $310,000 in cash! 

What is fantastic about the Calgary Stampede Lotteries is that by giving yourself a chance to win by purchasing tickets, someone else can feel lucky too. 

Read More … on the Calgary Stampede blog

Inspired by Calgary Centre MP

With a spring federal election upon us I was reminded of a blog I wrote about Calgary-Centre MP Lee Richardson last March; on March 30, 2010 I blogged about Lee’s visit to the University of Calgary Campus Conservative Association and his inspiring conversation with the students.

Although I won’t be getting involved in any sort of significant way in the federal election I will be remaining engaged and informed about the candidates, the race itself and the issues. There is often an attitude surrounding federal elections in Alberta – one of apathy and disinterest. I challenge you to think differently this time around.

Lee Richardson’s visit to the University of Calgary last year was an unforgettable moment for me. I really did leave inspired – and I still tell the story of Lee coming in and sharing with the students in a casual and personal way. I had never experienced a politician coming to deliver a speech and then moving the chairs into a circle, sitting down and engaging with students. It was simple and genuine. It was exactly what the students needed and it perfectly exemplified what Lee was all about. Lee is about real connections with real people. Those people are young, old, engaged or political newborns.

He is a fantastic representative of Calgary and is a reason why I will vote CPC in the May election.

Whatever your reasons, get engaged and get out to vote. Your opinion matters. Inspiring individuals that give all Albertans their time the way Lee does deserve at least a bit of your attention.

Happy #elxn41!

CR xo

On March 26 the UCCCA hosted MP Lee Richardson for an afternoon of casual conversation and light refreshments. As our conversation with him began it became clear why he was the perfect choice to come speak to university students – he was encouraging, inspiring and reminded all of us that the future ahead of each of us is what we choose to make it.

I sat fascinated by his stories about his time at the University of Calgary – his time in the Conservative Association, attending his first national convention, and his role on the Students’ Union as a strong conservative voice. His journey continued in politics as a young adult. I won’t forget the moment he said “…and then I turned 24”; I had to laugh because at that point in his life he already seemed to have a lifetime worth of accomplishments. But, lucky for us, he continued on to become a highly respected advisor to top politicians, and a powerful voice for Calgarians as an elected Member of Parliament.

I am so glad Mr. Richardson could come to share with us – walking away encouraged is what I believe these events should be about. That is why I love my role in the UCCCA.

If we learned anything from Mr. Richardson it was to keep following our dreams and never give up on what we believe in. I’m excited about the possibilities that are ahead of all UCCCA members.

Thanks for inspiring all of us Lee!

UCCCA President

Cross Posted on March 30, 2010