Calgary Stampede ramps up hiring after 2 summers cut back by pandemic

After two summers marked by the pandemic, the Calgary Stampede is preparing to fully staff its annual 10-day event, starting with an initial round of in-person interviews on May 28.

Kristen Anderson, manager of communications and media relations for the Calgary Stampede, said the move represents a return to business-as-usual around the grounds. 

“We’re anticipating hiring levels that are close to 2019,” said Anderson. 

“[We’ve] sent out close to 600 offers already. So it’s a pretty good indication that things are kind of [going] back to normal here.”

Marie Belanger holds a cotton candy ice pop at the Calgary Stampede midway. Anderson said the most popular seasonal jobs are in food and beverage service. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Anderson said that since applications opened a short time ago, the response has been positive. 

“We’re seeing more applicants than jobs, which is a good sign as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Instead of hosting a one-day hiring fair, the Calgary Stampede will now be accepting applications online.

Successful applicants who apply by May 25 will be invited for in-person interviews at Stampede Park on May 28, but Anderson said they will continue to accept applications up to July 1. 

More than 2,000 positions are currently up for grabs, said Anderson, with food and beverage service being the most popular. Parking attendants, ushers, maintenance workers and concession staff are also needed. 

Anderson added that while most of the jobs are seasonal, there is a chance that some hires could continue on with the organization full-time if they are deemed the right fit. 

“This is such a good opportunity for young people because it’s a 10-day commitment. If you want to just come, have some fun while you work, this is sort of the job for you,” she said.

The Calgary Stampede temporarily laid off 80 per cent of its staff in March 2020 at the onset of COVID-19.

Anderson said that while Stampede staffing remains at about two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels, she expects it to continue to rise as the organization resumes normal operations. 

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