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Calgary White Hat Award

 Calgary White Hat Award

Last week’s post may have caught you by surprise; Your eyes weren’t fooling you. I was wearing a cowboy hat!

After a successful week at work in the City of Calgary, my host and client wanted to thank my colleague and I for a job well-done with a Calgary Tradition: A White Hat. Out of respect for my client and my personal full-time job, I won’t share the details of what I did to earn the hat, but the tradition in Calgary dates back all the way to 1961. But the popularity of the hat goes back even further.

Tourism Calgary was kind enough to share a magazine article with me that explained where this tradition began. In 1947 Bill Herron (a local oilman), and his family, wore white hats to the annual Calgary Stampede Parade. His family won “best dressed” and demand for the hats skyrocketed. Morris Shumiatcher of Smithbilt Hats was the hat maker that, 60 years later, continues to make these white hats.

Don Mackay, a fan of the hats and then Mayor of Calgary started presenting them as gifts to visiting dignitaries. Today, according to the Tourism Calgary website,

“The Honorary White Hat Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have shown a long-term commitment to the hospitality and tourism industry, and have strengthened Calgary’s reputation as a world class city.”

Famous Recipients of a White Hat include:

  • Bill Clinton
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Janet Jackson
  • Mickey Mouse
  • David Letterman
  • Pope John Paul II
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Luciano Pavarotti

I guess I’m in good company.

To be clear, I didn’t win THE official White Hat Award, but rather a local award symbolic of the official one. I think it’s just as special. I’ll forever cherish it. Thank you!

And because every Cowboy needs a gun…

 Calgary White Hat Award

What do you think? Is the cowboy look for me? Share your opinion by commenting below.

I’ll see you out there!

If you’d like to see more photos of me posing with my Cowboy hat. Visit my facebook fan page here. Why not become a fan too?

 Calgary White Hat Award
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Did you know…? The proper way to rest your cowboy hat is to turn it upside down? That way the brim doesn’t bend in a way that is shouldn’t – at least according to the lady behind me at the airport x-ray who noticed I put it down in the bin the wrong way.



So, you got a white hat, eh?
Didn’t know about upside down hat tip! I like hats with wide brims so that’s a good one. Thanks for sharing.Gotta ask, did you have time to visit Smithbilt Hats http://www.smithbilthats.com/. I got a tour of their old location. Amazing piece of Calgary history.


Turning the hat upside down is a bit odd – as I look at it on my bookshelf. I need to invest in a proper hanger. With the short time I had, I wasn’t aware of Smithbilt until it was time to leave. I’ll look for it next time. I have to visit during the Calgary Stampede, I’ve heard it’s fantastic! Thanks for commenting. I’ll see you out there…!