Joanne Lansdell has some very fond memories of attending the Calgary Stampede when she was growing up.
“When we were kids it was like waiting for Christmas!” Lansdell said.
Now, a surprise gift from the past has turned up: her dad’s old home movies of the Stampede, unexpectedly found in a box while a family member was moving.
“It had been packed away for decades,” Lansdell said. “I didn’t even know it existed.”
Lansdell was sitting in a booth at Calgary’s Blackfoot Diner looking at the footage on a laptop computer with her sister Jackie Sutherland.
“To watch it, that’s amazing!” Sutherland said.
The images showed the Stampede parade making its way through downtown Calgary.
“That’s Bob Hope!” Lansdell said. “Parade Marshall in 1963. Isn’t that something!”
It was quite a surprise for a diner patron the sisters had invited over to check out the footage.
“I didn’t know we had Bob Hope in the parade,” Dustin Franks said. “That’s really cool!”
The images from the 1963 parade also show other well-known entertainers.
“The Three Stooges: Larry, Curly and Moe,” Lansdell said. “They’re just having a great old time!”
“That’s cool seeing that,” diner patron Darcy Beck said. “History’s important. It’s always nice to go back and see stuff like that.”
The old home movie footage also shows chuckwagon races and an airborne acrobatics team in action.
“Oh, there she is: dangling from the helicopter, spinning for the grandstand show!” Lansdell said. “It’s just crazy!”
The excitement the sisters enjoyed as children continues through to the 2019 Stampede.
“I love going to the rodeo and watching the people in the stands seeing rodeo for the first time,” Sutherland said. “I love watching everyone love what is ours.”
The sisters are planning to offer a copy of the old footage to the Stampede to share, hoping that would help more people relive the magic of the event more than half a century later.
“I just want to preserve it: history of Calgary, our western heritage,” Lansdell said. “It brings back the excitement!”