‘Very difficult:’ 2020 Calgary Stampede cancelled in light of COVID 19 pandemic

'Very difficult:' 2020 Calgary Stampede cancelled in light of COVID 19 pandemic
John Gibson/CBC
The first Calgary Stampede took place in 1912, and it has been the biggest summer event in the city for many decades.

The Calgary Stampede’s board of directors has cancelled the world-famous exhibition and rodeo this year because of COVID-19.

President Dana Peers says the health and safety of the community and the general public has to come first.

“It’s very difficult to be here today to share this announcement,” Peers said Thursday at a new conference.

“It’s hard, but it’s the right thing to do.”

It’s the first time the annual celebration of cowboy life hasn’t been held in almost 100 years.

The show that’s been dubbed The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth attracts more than 100,000 people a day over its 10-day run, which includes a parade, a fair, a midway, a nightly rodeo and chuckwagon races.

It was to run this year from July 3 to July 12.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of many festivals and events across the country.

Here is a list of Canadian international and domestic sporting events impacted by COVID-19:


2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics postponed until 2021.


NHL suspends 2019-20 season, impacting seven Canadian teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. League also has postponed combine (June 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y.), awards (June 18 in Las Vegas) and draft (June 26-27 in Montreal).

American Hockey League suspends 2019-20 season, impacting teams in Toronto, Belleville, Ont., Winnipeg and Laval, Que.

ECHL cancels 2019-20 season, impacting teams in Brampton, Ont., and St. John’s.

The three Canadian Hockey League major-junior leagues – the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League cancel rest of regular season, playoffs and Memorial Cup.

World women’s hockey championship March 31 to April 10 in Halifax and Truro, N.S., cancelled.

Hockey Canada cancels all national championships until further notice.


Major League Soccer suspends season, impacting teams in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Montreal further impacted by suspension of CONCACAF Champions League.

Canadian Premier League puts a 14-day hold on pre-season training, starting March 13. Then postpones start of season, originally scheduled to start April 11. Impacts teams in Langford, B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton Ottawa and Halifax.

Canadian men’s friendlies vs. Trinidad & Tobago March 27 and 31 in Langford, B.C., cancelled.

Canadian women’s friendly vs. Australia April 14 in Vancouver cancelled.

Canada Soccer suspends all sanctioned soccer activity until further notice.


NBA suspends season, impacting defending champion Toronto Raptors. Team’s players, coaches and staff go into self-isolation following game in Utah where player tests positive for COVID-19.

National Basketball League of Canada suspends 2019-20 season, impacting teams in Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, N.B., St. John’s, Kitchener, Ont., London, Ont., Sudbury, Ont., and Windsor, Ont.

FIBA men’s Olympic qualification tournament June 23-28 in Victoria suspended. New dates TBA.

Canada Basketball cancels U15 and U17 national championships

Canadian Elite Basketball League suspends start of season until at least June


Major League Baseball says its schedule will be suspended for at least eight weeks, starting March 16, impacting the Toronto Blue Jays.

BaseballCanada cancels 11 national championship tournaments


The RBC Canadian Open, scheduled to start June 11 at St. George’s in Toronto, is cancelled.


Rogers Cup women’s tournament in Montreal postponed until August 2021. Men’s tournament in Toronto still going ahead as scheduled for now.


National Lacrosse League cancels remainder of 2020 season, impacting teams in Toronto, Saskatoon, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary.


Betfred Super League suspends season, impacting Toronto Wolfpack.

Major League Rugby cancels season, impacting Toronto Arrows.


Canadian Olympic and Paralympic trials March 30-April 5 in Toronto postponed until 2021.

Canadian Eastern and Western championships April 16-19 in Windsor, Ont., and Saskatoon cancelled.


World figure skating championships March 16-22 in Montreal cancelled.


World women’s curling championship March 14-22 in Prince George, B.C., cancelled.

National mixed doubles and senior championship March 16-22 in Portage la Prairie, Man., national wheelchair championship April 25-30 in Boucherville, Que., and under-18 championships April 20-25 in Sudbury, Ont., cancelled.

World mixed doubles and seniors championship April 18-25 in Kelowna, B.C., cancelled.

Grand Slam of Curling’s Players’ Championship April 7-12 in Toronto and Champions Cup April 29-May 3 in Olds, Alta., cancelled.


Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal June 12-14, postponed.

NASCAR Pinty’s series in Trois-Rivieres, Que., Aug 7 to 9, suspended.


World Cup cross-country skiing March 20-22 in Canmore, Alta., cancelled.

World Cup cross-country skiing March 13-15 in Quebec City cancelled

Canadian cross-country ski championship March 25 to April 2 in Vernon, B.C., cancelled.


Canadian biathlon championship March 16-22 in Quebec City cancelled.


Long-track speedskating Grand Prix March 14-15 and finale March 19-22 at Olympic Oval in Calgary cancelled.


Start of CFL regular season postponed until beginning of July.


$1-million Queen’s Plate thoroughbred race at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto postponed indefinitely

Pespi North America Cup harness race at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto postponed


Olympic and Paralympic trials April 16-19 in Gainesville, Ga., cancelled.


Arctic Winter Games March 15-21 in Whitehorse cancelled.

North American Indigenous Games July 12-18 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Aldershot and Millbrook, N.S., postponed.


NorAm finals March 17-24 and Canadian championship at Panorama Mountain Resort, B.C., cancelled.


U Sports cancelled men’s and women’s university hockey championships that had already started in Halifax and Charlottetown, respectively, on March 12. Cancelled national men’s and women’s volleyball championships March 13-15 at the University of Winnipeg and University of Calgary, respectively.


Toronto Defiant esports team Overwatch League homestand event April 18-19 cancelled.


Men’s Nations League matches involving Canada, Serbia, Australia and China scheduled for June 19-21 in Calgary postponed.


Spruce Meadows (Calgary) cancels summer season.


Canadian Olympic and Paralympic trials June 25-28 postponed.


World Series Triathlon June 27-28 in Montreal postponed.


Tour de Beauce international men’s stage road race June 17-21 in Quebec postponed.


Calgary Stampede July 3-12 cancelled.

With files from The Canadian Press


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!