The Calgary Stampede is thrilled to announce that Canadian legend, iconic actor, active philanthropist and passionate horseman William Shatner will lead the 2014 Calgary Stampede Parade as Grand Marshal. In addition, we are proud to have Calgary based speed skaters Gilmore Junio and Denny Morrison as honorary Marshals in recognition of their unique story of Olympic camaraderie earlier this year at Sochi.

“I am looking forward to leading the Calgary Stampede Parade,” says Shatner. “I’ve been to Calgary before, but I have never been to the Calgary Stampede – leading the Parade will be quite a way to experience my first time.”

Since Montreal born Shatner’s legendary role in the Star Trek series, he continued to further his career and cultural influence in film and television roles for which he has won several Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Shatner’s career as a renowned actor, author, film director, musician and comedian, make him a remarkable, multi-generational Canadian personality.

“Shatner’s Hollywood credentials are just part of the reason we thought he would be a great choice as our 2014 Parade Marshal,” says Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede. “He has an unparalleled passion for horses which we thought would be a great fit for us. I can’t wait to kick off the Calgary Stampede with him in the year of the horse.”

Each year the Calgary Stampede selects a prominent individual to lead the Parade and essentially open the Calgary Stampede. “This year, the Calgary Stampede also wanted to recognize and honour Junio and Morrison following their incredible Olympic story,” says Thompson.

Junio and Morrison, two incredible athletes, tugged at the nation’s heart strings when Junio selflessly surrendered his spot to Morrison in the 1,000 metre speed skating event during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. The gesture was one of the many compelling stories from team Canada from Sochi.

“When I received the call from Bob Thompson to see if we were available to help lead the Parade, I immediately texted Denny to let him know we were going to do this together,” says Junio. Morrison adds, “We didn’t have to give it much thought, especially when we found out we would be leading with William Shatner!”

The Calgary Stampede is July 4-13, 2014. The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Friday July 4. Watch an video of the announcement below.