Joel Cowley, CEO, Calgary Stampede, Nicholas R. Bell, President & CEO Glenbow, and Sarah Hayes, Executive Director, Calgary Stampede Foundation at the signing of the agreement.

SAM Centre & Glenbow celebrate sharing of collections


The Calgary Stampede Foundation, the Calgary Stampede and Glenbow have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU will see the sharing of collections and programming to ultimately bolster the exhibitions and experiences at Stampede’s SAM Centre, and further Glenbow’s vision of ensuring its collections are accessible to more people, more often.

SAM Centre, opening in 2024 on Stampede Park, will explore the grit and glory of the Calgary Stampede. It will immerse visitors in the extraordinary peoples, cultures and artifacts that have shaped not only the history of the Stampede, but Calgary and southern Alberta. This collaboration will provide opportunities to develop joint programs, exhibits and campaigns to promote SAM Centre and Glenbow. 

The first artifacts from Glenbow’s collections loaned are the saddles of Guy Weadick and Tom Three Persons as part of SAM Centre’s opening exhibition. Guy Weadick and Tom Three Persons both played a significant role in the history of the Calgary Stampede as Weadick was the founder of the Calgary Stampede, while Three Persons was a Blackfoot rodeo athlete and rancher from the Kainai First Nation and was declared the World Champion Bucking Horse Rider at the 1912 Calgary Stampede.

“This understanding will strengthen connections between the Stampede and Glenbow as cultural partners, creating spaces of belonging while strengthening community experiences and interactions,” says Sarah Hayes, Executive Director, Calgary Stampede Foundation.

“Spaces like SAM Centre and Glenbow work with, and for, diverse communities in order to enhance contemporary and future understandings of our community and world,” says Nicholas R. Bell, President & CEO, Glenbow. “We are excited to collaborate with the Calgary Stampede to ensure richer opportunities for all.”

SAM Centre is named after Robert Samuel Taylor, the father of Calgary entrepreneur and philanthropist, Don Taylor, who generously gave $15 million to the project. SAM will offer highly interactive and immersive experiences, fueled by technology, compelling story-making, western hospitality, and of course, fun. It will feature 30,000 sq. ft. of space comprised of a permanent gallery, a changing exhibits gallery, digital experiences, indoor and outdoor public gathering spaces and an artifact and archival collection space.

Glenbow is currently in the midst of exciting renovations which will evolve the museum into a vibrant, sustainable and accessible cultural resource in the heart of Calgary’s downtown. In honour of a $35 million donation from the Shaw Family Foundation, the building will be renamed the JR Shaw Centre for Arts & Culture; the museum’s name will remain the same. Glenbow at the JR Shaw Centre for Arts & Culture is expected to open to the public in 2026.

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