Here’s one from the QAS vaults, and you really couldn’t ask for a better time capsule of Calgary in the 1990s. Its grunge-funk soundtrack wouldn’t sound at all out of place next to Calgary bands like Calliope or Interstellar Root Cellar; to the rough, zine-illustration version of the midway grounds could’ve been pulled straight from an issue of Vox; and the ambivalence of the actual narration seems spot-on, too—despite the title, the stories sound more like slightly annoyed recollections than genuine loathing. For an anti-Stampede alt-rock animation, it’s pretty darn polite.
Calgary is fairly terrible at documenting its history, so films like Stampede Eats Me Up Inside are always a treasure. For folks who grew up in this city always wanting it to be a little weirder and a little wilder, it’s a good reminder that those same struggles have been happening for decades, if not longer. And as the city celebrates its questionable cowboy heritage with hay bales and excessive consumption, it’s reassuring to see that mixed feelings have been a Stampede tradition for decades, too. What’s more Calgarian than a love-hate relationship with your city’s biggest party?