THE Biggest Sewing Room in Canada!

So what DID I do on my summer vacation?

Courtesy of "The Young Canadians" website

Courtesy of “The Young Canadians” website

I was overjoyed to be allowed behind the locked doors of the Calgary Stampede Sewing Room!

With two costume designers and over a dozen volunteer staff, the Calgary Stampede Sewing Room builds costumes and does fittings for The Young Canadians, who for over 50 years have been performing in the Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede every July, with additional performances throughout the year – such as their Spring Show and the Christmas Show.

That means costumes for 66 performers in the Senior Company (aged 14 to 21), 48 performers in the Apprentice Company (aged 11 to 14) and 48 performers in the Junior Company (aged 7 to 11).  For the Grandstand Show there could easily be 1,800 costume changes, with some changes being done in 45 seconds!  Two semi trailers are loaded up with costumes, etc. and are taken over to the TransAlta Grandstand to be used as dressing rooms for the performers!

It’s a rock concert quality show with over 10 miles of electrical cable, a dozen computers and 60,000 watts of power for the 17,000 seats sold and the 8,000 standees!

The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts holds auditions every August and once accepted, performers receive tuition free training in musical theatre, dance, voice and other performing arts, funded by the Calgary Stampede Foundation and the Grandstand Show’s sponsor, TransAlta.  Many students go on to successful careers in the performing arts.

But let’s get back to the start, the Sewing Room!  It is a large and cluttered space, jammed with over 80,000 costumes and 700 bins of accessories.  Each year 9,000 items of clothing make up 2,500 costumes for The Young Canadians’ shows.

Enough talk… Let’s click on the first image to start the show (with running commentary from me, of course!)

Hopefully you can tell how excited I was to see all this Imagination and Artistry.  Let’s just say that I have found my “Happy Place” – “The Biggest Sewing Room in Canada” – I think I would like to retire here!

Happy Sewing – especially to the designers and sewists and volunteers at the Calgary Stampede Sewing Room!  Thank you, sincerely, for letting me visit!

* All photos are the property of “Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!”  All Imagination and Artistry is the property of the people behind the Calgary Stampede TransAlta Grandstand Show!

** Statistics obtained from Roy Wright and The Young Canadians website.  Thank you!