An iconic symbol of Calgary’s international reputation for unrivalled hospitality and western roots, Calgary’s identification with the white hat began when local Calgary hat maker Morris Shumiatcher of Smithbilt Hats introduced the first white cowboy hat in 1946. Representatives of Calgary wore the white hats while cheering Calgary’s football team, the Calgary Stampeders, in the 1948 Grey Cup – Canada’s national football championship — and the novelty caught on.
Since 1950, Calgary has been presenting the white cowboy hats to visitors, dignitaries and guests. When you are presented a white hat it means you came to Calgary as a visitor; however, you are leaving as a friend. Each year, thousands of white hats are presented to Calgary visitors through special White Hat Ceremonies. The ceremony involves presenting participants (delegates, visiting guest speakers, VIPs) with a white hat, followed by repeating the traditional Calgary white hat oath and receiving a personalized certificate.
To request a Traditional White Hat Ceremony, please complete the form below. A member of Tourism Calgary will follow-up with you directly to review the request.