Frequently Asked Questions – Challenge the Chief

Are special hotel discounts available?

We have a preferred hotel that is ready to host our out-of-town guests.  We’ve secured a preferred rate exclusive to Challenge the Chief and Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge participants.  To find out more and to book your stay, CLICK HERE.  The hotel is located close to the event location at The BOW building in downtown Calgary.  Shuttle service will be available between the hotel and The BOW.

Can my friends and family attend the event?

Yes, the more the merrier!  Due to space limitations, however, spectators are NOT allowed inside The BOW building during the course of the competition.  Guests can watch the Challenge via the jumbotron outside The BOW on 6th Ave.

Why accept the challenge?

Challenge the Chief benefits local charity, Wellspring Calgary, in support of firefighters and civilians living with cancer.

How much does it cost to register for Challenge the Chief?

To register, you can either 1) donate the full $10,000 fee today to secure your spot, OR 2) pay the minimum $250 fee and fundraise the remaining $9,750 by event day.  By choosing the delayed registration option you promise to raise the full $10,000 fundraising commitment.

Because all registration fees receive charitable tax receipts they are non-refundable. In the event you can’t climb you can transfer your spot to someone else.

Who do I make cheques payable to?

Please make cheques payable to Wellspring Calgary. They can be mailed to 1404 Home Rd NW Calgary AB T3B 1G7, Attn: Fund Development.  If you are sponsoring a specific Challenger, please write their name on the memo portion of the cheque to ensure your donation goes towards their fundraising efforts.

Will I receive a tax receipt?

Donations of $20 or more will receive a Canadian tax receipt for the entire amount of the donation provided all donor information is given. You will either receive an electronic receipt from Wellspring Calgary if your donation was made online by credit card, or you will be mailed a paper receipt for a cash or cheque donation.

If you’re collecting cash and cheque donations, please use the CASH & CHEQUE FORM to record full donor contact information including address. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide tax receipts to donors with incomplete contact information.

When does registration for Challenge the Chief open?

Registration opens in October.  Please contact Karen O’How, Events Manager, at or T (587) 747-0260 ext 1005 if you’d like to register.

Who can I contact with questions about Challenge the Chief?

For questions or additional information about Challenge the Chief including sponsorship questions, please contact our Karen O’How, Events Manager, at or (587) 747-0260 ext 1005.

For questions about the climb itself, contact Brian McAsey, Assistant Deputy Chief, Calgary Fire Department, at or (403) 287-4230.

Is parking available?

Ample street and parkade parking is available in the area. Street parking is free on Sunday.
Here’s a list of parkades nearby and their weekend (daily) rates (typically 6am-6pm):

Lot Address Rate* Notes
James Short Parkade 112 – 5 Ave SW (5 Ave entrance) – Lot #40 $2 Calgary Parking Authority
James Short Parkade 115 – 4 Ave SW (4 Ave entrance) – Lot #40 $2 Calgary Parking Authority
Convention Centre 727 – 1st Street SE – Lot #60 $5 Calgary Parking Authority
Impark – Harry Hays 220 – 4 Ave SE – Lot #316 $3 Impark
Impark – Surface Lot 316 – Macleod Trail SE – Lot #185 $4 Impark
Impark – Surface Lot 414 – Centre Street S – Lot #236 $6 Impark
Impark – Surface Lot 307 – 1 Street SE – Lot #330 $5 Impark
Impark – Suncor Energy Centre 150 – 6th Avenue SW – Lot #373 $2 +GST Impark
Telus Tower 411 – 1st Street SE $4 Indigo
BOW Building 500 Centre Street SE $5 Indigo
Delta Bow Valley 209 – 4 Avenue SE $10 Indigo



Do you have any training tips for me?

Yes, the Calgary Fire Department has kindly put together a training plan to help you get ready to climb the 1204 steps/ 775 feet of the BOW Tower.  Click below for the plan.

Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge Training Plan

When and where does the Challenge the Chief climb take place?

Challenge the Chief takes place in The BOW building (500 Centre Street SE) in downtown Calgary, Alberta on Sunday, May 5, 2019.  The Challenge is part of the larger Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge event.  Registration opens at 7:30am, the opening ceremonies are at 8:15am, and the Challenge the Chief will start at 9:00am.  The closing ceremony and awards ceremony are at 2:30 pm.

Who can participate?

This exclusive event is open to the first ten determined people (non-firefighters) who think they have what it takes to challenge Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth in a race to the top of The BOW.  You must be 18 years of age or older on event day.