Calgary’s summer Stampede attracts a million visitors, but there’s more to this Canadian city than cowboys and oil 

Calgary has been given a few monikers in its time, with Cowtown and Stampede City among the most common. For much of the year, walking the Alberta city’s neat grid of streets between skyscrapers in shades of beige and grey, the Rocky Mountains just about visible on the horizon, there’s little evidence of the rustic identity those names suggest.

Each July, however, it is put firmly on show for a huge rodeo that attracts more than one million visitors. The ten-day Calgary Stampede takes place at a site near the Elbow River, with a funfair and concerts alongside televised events, including chuckwagon racing, which involves thoroughbred horses and covered wagons hurtling around a track. There are also displays of bucking bull and bareback horse riding, and “steer wrestling”, in which riders chase a young cow and attempt to bind its legs in the quickest time.