03/31/2016 10:33 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 01:12 EDT

Calgary investment dealer cancels annual Stampede bash as crude doldrums linger

CALGARY — One of the biggest events on the Calgary Stampede's party circuit won't be going ahead this year.

Investment dealer FirstEnergy Capital says that, for the first time in two decades, it won't be hosting its annual FirstRowdy bash this July.

In past years, the party has been headlined by big-name acts like the Barenaked Ladies.

In a letter to clients, CEO John Chambers and chairman Jim Davidson say the decision to cancel was a tough one.

In lieu of FirstRowdy, they say FirstEnergy will be donating a total of $100,000 to four charities that are focused on helping people in need as a result of the economic downturn.

Stampede-week parties are often viewed as a barometer of the economic climate in Calgary, with hosts spending big when times are good and pulling back when they're not.

Even though the crude downturn was in full swing during last year's Stampede, FirstRowdy 2015 went ahead with the slogan: "Party like it's 2014!"

FirstRowdy has raised more than $3 million for 50 different charities since it started.

"It has been a great opportunity to celebrate the Calgary Stampede, Alberta's heritage, and an excellent opportunity to give back to the community," wrote Chambers and Davidson. "So it is not without considerable deliberation that we announce that FirstEnergy will not be hosting FirstRowdy this year."


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