More than 40 Calgary Grey Cup Committee volunteers are getting a bit of rest and relaxation the next few days before they load up all the trappings of a good time and head east to Regina for this year’s Grey Cup.
The Calgary Grey Cup Committee (CGCC) will start the annual voyage on Thursday to join the 2022 Grey Cup Festival, with pancake breakfasts over the weekend and an appearance from the beloved Tuffy Nuff, Calgary’s equine representative.
While COVID-19 put a bit of a crimp in the usual fun for the past two years, committee member Sandy Dubyk said it’s given the committee time to plan an epic celebration.
“We’re so excited to be back,” Dubyk said. “The Grey Cup is Canada’s game and it doesn’t matter what team you’re representing, the festival itself is the family and the spirit of friendship and togetherness in celebration of Canada’s football game.”
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Since 1948, CGCC members have been travelling across the country every fall to bring Calgary’s spirit of hospitality and western fanfare to Grey Cup celebrations. But it’s their hoofed neigh-bour that really draws the crowds.
Tuffy Nuff, this year a black and white mare from Lionel’s Farm in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont., will be making a surprise appearance somewhere in Regina in the days ahead of the Grey Cup.
Tuffy’s appearance each year, typically in an upscale hotel in the host city, has become a much-anticipated part of CGCC’s participation, and Dubyk said the committee is looking forward to making this a special year.
“While the exact time and location of her appearance is under wraps until Thursday at noon, we’ll be planting some seeds that Tuffy is coming to town and ready to horse around . . . It’s part of the fun, the mystery as to where Tuffy will be, so we’ll be giving clues and some surprises along the way,” Dubyk said.
The committee is hosting two pancake breakfasts, one Friday and one Saturday, in Regina’s Confederation Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to serving up 8,000 pancakes and 4,000 sausages, the committee will host Indigenous guests and performers, as well as Calgary band High Steppin’ Daddy and cheer teams from the Stampeders, Tiger-Cats and Roughriders.
“This is a way to take some of that Calgary hospitality to other locations to share and explain what Calgary is about,” Dudyk said. “It’s all these things together along with that spirit — we’ll all in be in western wear and give the big yahoos — that will make for a fun time.”