Spruce Meadows

Parking Guide

To Set The Scene

Spruce Meadows is located in the foothills of the majestic Canadian Rockies, just outside the city limits of Calgary, Alberta. This picturesque complex has captivated the worldwide audience of the sport of show jumping. There is no other place like it. Spruce Meadows blends the discipline of sport with the communication of international commerce and the goodwill of visitors. Bringing Canada together with the world.

Spruce Meadows’ tournaments have attracted virtually every Olympic, World, European, and National Show Jumping Champion; but there is more than just athletic excitement and excellence at Spruce Meadows. There is also a quiet side to Spruce Meadows; the peace and tranquility of the country is, for some, even more enjoyable.

Rotary is a worldwide service organization, and an important part of providing such service is that each Club develops effective fundraising activities. Parking vehicles at Spruce Meadows has been one of the Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook’s primary fund raising activities for over 35 years.

Spruce Meadows is far more than just a fundraising activity. It provides a chance for fellowship and building better friendships, where you can learn a lot about your fellow parkers during slow spots a great avenue for service to the community

Helping to ensure Spruce Meadows remains one of the top show jumping venues in the world while raising funds for our charitable activities is certainly beneficial for all concerned. Spruce Meadows has been a strong supporter of our Club, and our relationship goes back to the Club’s inception. It is not only a working relationship where we park and get paid. It is a mutual support arrangement with both parties gaining from the relationship.

What Is Expected of Rotary Members?


How Many Shifts Are Needed

While the number of hours you park varies based on many factors, the rule of thumb for each member is 12 hours or approximately 3 or 4 shi s per major event. For sure your own health and family plans come first, but we hope you will recognize the importance of this service and assign a high priority to it.


Be a Greeter

We are the first people whom the guests encounter, and o en the last, so impressions are important. Be positive, be helpful, be friendly … it makes a difference.


Dress For The Weather

Please remember we are working outdoors and Calgary’s weather patterns are subject to change. Best idea is to come prepared for all types of weather. Experienced parkers usually have rain gear, cold weather gear, and hot weather necessities in their trunk. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, hats, rain gear, gloves, waterproof footwear, sunglasses, etc. In colder weather, you may find yourself standing on ice for extended periods so warm boots will be required. Some of the lots (such as Lot 10, Lot 2 ) are not paved and can get muddy or dusty.


Arrive On Time

Please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your shift commencing. Note that you may have to get through heavy traffic getting onto the site so extra travel me will be required. This will be a concern especially on the weekends of the major events.


Check In

Check in with the Rotary Day Captain, who will confirm your task and location. The job may change from what was originally planned, depending upon the size of the crowd and the availability of volunteers. The Day Captain will advise you of any special events during the day that may impact on parking in your assigned area.


Safety First

Be careful! There are a lot of cars on the move, o en in more than one direction. Hand and flag movements and gestures should be clear to the drivers. Make eye contact with the drivers if possible so you will know they see you. Watch some of our more experienced volunteers for guidance. Safety is paramount! Always be aware of the traffic around you.


Taking Breaks

At most events, a volunteer will be coming around with water and snacks. The Supervisor will also take over your position for bathroom breaks as necessary. Be sure to ask for this service in the event it is not offered. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please take what you need with you when you report in. Remember to keep hydrated through your shift, especially on the warm days.


Ask Questions

Someone near your location will have a radio for contacting the Day Captain/Supervisor if necessary. If you are uncertain of the system being used or have other questions, ask a Supervisor or more experienced volunteer. It is easier and more fun for everyone if you know the drill. Ask questions, don’t be shy … especially if you are assigned a task that is new to you, or if you are going to be working alone.


Parking Design

Each parking area or lot will have its own overall system or design to the parking. The cars will be parked generally in rows, two wide, with spaces between the rows for exit and entry. Our volunteers direct traffic to the parking area as well as to its specific place in the row. Our systems work well and you will pick it up quickly.


Where To Report

The general rule for reporting to your shift is to go to the ATCO trailer shack just inside Lot 2 and check in with the Day Captain. Lot 2 is located off Spruce Meadows Way, which runs in a north/south direction along the east side of Spruce Meadows. Take 22X west from Macleod Trail to reach the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions which may come up from me to me during your shift and the general rule is to ask your supervisor for guidance. If they are not in the area, then ask a more experienced volunteer. There should be someone with a radio in the area and you can ask them to put your question to the Day Captain or Supervisor.

Where Do Handicapped People Park?

Usually, those with handicap passes should park in the designated spaces in Lot 7 or Lot 8. Elderly or others unable to walk across the parking lots may be directed to look for a vacant spot nearer the gates. For the larger events, there will be “people movers” circulating through some of the lots which will be available to assist with transportation.

Where Do Cars Drop Passengers Off?

On the east side (Lot 2), there is a turn around circle at the gate where folks can be dropped off.

On the west side, there is a traffic circle where the large flags are located.

Where Is Volunteer & Exhibitor Parking?

Generally volunteers and exhibitors will have lot passes and be located in Lot 8. The Supervisor will be able to confirm for each event.

Where Is Information on Daily Activities & Programs?

Pick up a program. Guests have lots of questions and it helps to know the general layout of the property and where things are happening.

What Do I Do At The End Of My Shift?

At the end of your shift, you generally pass on your gear to the volunteer who shows up to relieve you. If you are working the last shift of the day, you can leave your gear at the shack where you initially signed in or pass it to the Supervisor. If your relief is late, please try to stay on later, however, if the delay continues on for more than 10 or 15 minutes, then please advise your Supervisor that your shift has ended and your relief has not appeared. This will allow the Supervisor to make alternate arrangements. Never simply leave the position unattended without advising your Supervisor.

How Do I Handle Guest Concerns?

If you encounter a problem or an irate guest, try your best to avoid an argument. Simply make a note of the details and inform your Supervisor. Spruce Meadows management wish that we treat their guests with respect and understanding. Any problems that cannot be handled in such a fashion are to be referred to the Supervisor.

What Do I Do About Pets Left In Vehicle?

This is a situation that is taken very seriously by Spruce Meadows as such animals can suffer or even perish under extreme weather circumstances. Any such situation is to be reported to your Supervisor, and guests should be advised that animals cannot be left in vehicles. They are allowed on the property under leash.

What Do We Do When One Of The Vehicles Won’t Follow Our Direction & Proceeds In Another Direction In The Lot?

While we are directing traffic to facilitate the efficient and complete use of the lots, at times there are guests who refuse to take direction and who wish to park somewhere else than where we would like them to. Please let them go and keep directing others as before.

We wish to avoid arguing with the guests wherever possible. If the issue is one where safety is involved, or for some other reason you are concerned, then pass on your concerns to the Supervisor.

Spruce Meadows Map

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