More than 190 groups and companies registered to bid to advertise with the 36 drivers at the 2018 GMC Rangeland Derby

Mario ToneguzziIt’s often referred to as a barometer of the city’s economy. If so, the 2018 Calgary Stampede Canvas Auction may be bringing good news.

On Thursday, the auction raised just over $3.2 million, which was up $817,500 from 2017.

The top bid of the night went to the wagon of Kurt Bensmiller, last year’s Stampede championship driver, at $130,000 from Versatile Energy Services.

“Tonight’s result tells a great story,” said Paul Kavanagh, Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon committee chair. ”This demonstrates just how passionate Calgary is about the sport of chuckwagon racing, and the value both local and national businesses place on this unique advertising opportunity.”

The Stampede said more than 190 groups and companies registered to bid for the chance to advertise with the 36 drivers who have been invited to compete in the 2018 Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland DerbyJuly 6 to 15.

Last year’s top bid was to driver Kelly Sutherland’s wagon at $110,000.

The average bid this year was $89,944 compared with $67,236 last year.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

calgary stampedeThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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