Kevin Costner, star of the hit Amazon Prime show Yellowstone, has been named this year’s parade marshal.
Costner said he didn’t see the honour coming, but he was happy to accept.
“I’m not sure what the list looked like. I’m glad I was on it,” he said in a short video message posted by the Calgary Stampede to social media.
The 67-year-old actor and director has starred in dozens of films including many westerns, such as the 2003 Calgary-and-area-shot film Open Range. He won the Academy Award for best director for the 1991 classic Dances With Wolves, in which he was also nominated as best actor. The film also won best picture that year.
More recently, Costner was in Alberta to shoot the 2020 film Let Him Go with co-star Diane Lane.
In a short promotional video shot with Alberta filming advocacy group Keep Alberta Rolling, Costner said he’d heard of the Calgary Stampede since he was a kid, and he associated the event with the famous chuckwagon races.
The actor has been a booster of Calgary and Alberta’s film industry. He said Calgary’s proximity to the Great Plains and the grasslands makes it an ideal location for shooting films set in the west.
“It was the difference between me being able to make Open Range and not being able to make Open Range,” he said.
Aside from being the parade marshal, Costner and his band Modern West are set to play the Big Four Roadhouse on the first day of the Stampede, July 8. The six-piece band with Costner on vocals plays Americana and rock music; the band also appeared at Stampede in 2011.
Past Stampede marshals have included Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Christopher Reeve and William Shatner.
The parade was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and in 2021 the organizers held a small made-for-TV parade with limited spectators.
This year, the Calgary Stampede Street Parade will take place on July 8 and will return to its normal route through the downtown.