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Horizon provides accessible Calgary Stampede experience for citizens

Trekking downtown to the Calgary Stampede wasn’t the only themed option this year. 

Horizon Housing, an organization that provides housing for low income and disabled individuals, puts on a Stampede festivity for people who might not have been able to attend otherwise. 

Anne Cartledge, a current Horizon Housing resident, said that she used to go to the Calgary Stampede with her kids, but just the gate fee alone would eat up most of her Stampede budget. This smaller stampede, she said, gives her an opportunity to have some fun, and not miss out on the Calgary Stampede altogether.

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“A lot of the time we’re on a very, very strict budget, and at the end of the month there’s more month than there is money,” said Cartledge.

“To me, I’m not missing out, the one time [Horizon’s event] is sufficient.”

Calgary Stampede event has sense of community

Past and present residents also said Horizon’s Stampede provides a sense of community that Calgarians won’t find at the main rodeo. Robert Patrick, a former resident, said the event was a great way to meet and make new friends. 

Robert Patrick moved out of his Horizon Housing residence about a year ago, but remains connected to the organization, he helped find donors for this year’s Stampede event. CHELSEY MUTTER / LIVEWIRE

“Because we’re all in the same boat, you know, we’re all struggling to keep our lives afloat, to do the right thing,” said Patrick.

“Through Horizon Housing, and events like this, the community becomes one.” 

Sheila Foley, another resident, is from Saskatchewan and moved to Calgary in 1987. The Stampede, she said, provided her first job but not getting a carbon tax cheque meant she wasn’t able to go this year.

“There’s just no chance I could have gone to the Stampede, even if I’d wanted to,” Foley said. 

Naheed Nenshi was in attendance and brought with him Harry the Horse from the Calgary Stampede. CHELSEY MUTTER / LIVEWIRE

Horizon Housing’s festivity had music, dancing, food, and a raffle – all free for attendees. Cartledge said she wanted to thank everyone involved with the event. Getting to do all of this for free was absolutely wonderful, she said.