The Calgary Stampede and midway are hiring less positions than in previous years for next month’s event, but with a deeper focus on cleaning protocols amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stampede held a virtual hiring blitz instead of the typical mass hiring fair from previous events.
According to organizers, this year’s event will involve 1,500 fewer positions due to the scaled-back nature of this year’s Stampede.
“One of the areas we need people the most at this point is the venue services team, which is cleaning,” Calgary Stampede spokesperson Kristina Barnes said.
“Because of the heightened cleaning measures we will have at Stampede, we will need extra people in that area.”
Barnes said the Stampede has also been looking for more staff for its security teams as well as trained chefs.
Applications for those positions are now closed as officials begin interviews after a lot of interest and applications from the public.
But there are still many jobs available through North American Midway Entertainment’s hiring blitz, including ride operators, food operators, ticket sellers and game attendants.
“We’re looking for 250 to 300 people to join us at the Calgary Stampede in non-sensitive safety positions,” Scooter Korek with North American Midway Entertainment said Friday.
“We’re doing really well so far. I think we’re going to for sure get up to our 300 number.”
The first hiring blitz began on Thursday and runs until Saturday, with another from June 24 to 26 at the Trailblazer Centre on Stampede Park.
Korek, who is set to work his 44th Calgary Stampede this year, said there are some permanent staff with the company travelling to Calgary and entering two-week quarantines after finishing 47 events in the United States so far this year.
“It’s a great job if you’ve been here 45 years (and) it’s a great job if you’re going to join us for the 10 days at the Stampede,” Korek said.
Maxiema Goulet, 18, who walked out of the Trailblazer Centre with a job on Friday, said it has been a challenging year for people her age to find work.
“I’m really excited because I’ve been coming to the Stampede my whole life, since I was, like, three,” Goulet said. “It’s been really challenging. I’ve applied to probably more than 100 jobs.”
Stampede officials said the next step will be training staff and getting them up to speed ahead of the 10-day event.
The 2021 Calgary Stampede runs from July 9 to July 18.