An iconic symbol of Calgary’s international reputation for unrivalled hospitality and our passion to be the Ultimate Hosts, Calgary’s identification with the white hat began when local Calgary hat maker, 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.
Since 1950, Calgarians have been proudly presenting the white cowboy hats to visitors, dignitaries and guests. Each year, thousands of white hats are presented to Calgary visitors through special White Hat Ceremonies. These ceremonies are a representation of friendship and welcoming – guests arrive in Calgary as visitors, and they leave as friends and honorary members of our community. The official ceremony includes the presentation of a white hat followed by the recipient repeating a short oath.
To request a White Hat Ceremony, please complete the form below. A member of Tourism Calgary will follow-up with you directly to review the request.