Every letter of the alphabet captures a part of the Calgary Stampede in the new book “S is for STAMPEDE” — an A-to-Z description of what the event has to offer, and a bit of its history.
The book was put together by two women who love the western way of life, Karen Coe and Jennifer Webster.
“I think it’s a really big part of our community and our spirit and I think we also have to stand up and protect it because, you know, there are controversies and that kind of thing,” said Webster, publisher of Western Horse Review magazine and writer of ‘S is for STAMPEDE.’
“But I think its something special and worth hanging on to.”
Jennifer is a born and raised Calgarian and a long-time lover of the Stampede. She said she wanted to create something people could have to cherish the experience. She hopes everyone from families who attend regularly, to volunteers and tourists will enjoy the book.
“There are so many great stories and so many things it went through to get to where we are now and we thought it was important to capture both present day and the history of it,” she said.
Webster wanted the book to be for children, or something you could leave on you coffee table, adding it needed to have images that would bring The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, to life.
“Her work was the realistic kind of life-looking pieces that I wanted to go with my words,” Webster said about the decision to work with Lethbridge artist Coe.
Every illustration in the book is by Coe, who painted for months to create each page. She said finding just the right images to showcase the event, along with the western lifestyle, was a labour of love.
“This is my genre and it just fit perfectly and it was kind of fun, I got to explore some other things like portraits and things I don’t do very often,” added Coe.
Not only did the two create something everyone can enjoy, they also found a way to honour those who supported them through the process.
“We put our kids’ names in there and dedicated (it) to them and our husbands, so that is really neat,” Coe said.
“As an artist, that is just something that is really exciting for me to hand down to my kids.”
The book — which has the Calgary Stampede Board’s approval — and each painting is now for sale at the Stampede, which kicked off Friday, giving visitors the chance to take a little bit of history home with them.