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Calgary Stampede back to bilingual anthem

July 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

CALGARY, Alberta, July 11 (UPI) -- The Calgary Stampede has reverted to playing a bilingual version of Canada's national anthem and apologized to French-speaking people for the English version.

The stampede opened Friday and played a highly stylized version of "O Canada" in English and French, but many attendees complained they weren't able to sing along.

A choir re-recorded a more traditional version in English, which played Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, the Calgary Herald reported.

Negative publicity about the English-only version led organizers to have the choir perform a traditional version in both official languages, which was played Tuesday night and will be through the duration of the annual rodeo-themed event that concludes Sunday night.

Kurt Kadatz, director of corporate communications for the Stampede, also issued a conciliatory statement to French speakers.

"If any of our guests are offended by what we did, we are sorry," he said.

There are 90,000 French-speaking people in Calgary and about 225,000 across Alberta, the report said.

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