Calgary, Canada is a city with a rodeo-sized chip on its shoulder. It’s not that residents of the Canadian mountain town and the local community aren’t delighted by their incredibly popular annual rodeo, the Calgary Stampede, one that’s earned them a reputation as a country-styled city, it’s just that there is so much more to Calgary than steer-wrangling or boots.
This is a city on the make, and everything from the local gourmet coffee roaster chain, Rosso Coffee Roasters, to a host of fantastic local microbreweries currently flourishing due to a recent change in provincial law, and, in particular, due to the week-long festival Sled Island that puts music discovery, artist investment, and diversity over big, popular names or trendy headline-grabbing side shows.
Aside from the wildly popular rodeo that takes place every July, Sled Island is one of the key events helping introduce visitors to Calgary. If you haven’t been that far up north yet, try to imagine a smaller-scale Portland, where the people are twice as friendly — yes, apparently it’s possible for people to be friendlier than they are in Oregon. Canadians continue to take the cake for politeness and hospitality, so if you’re looking to visit a city where people will really warm up to you, Calgary is one.