When Carlos Bustamante was five or six years old and still calling Calgary home, his parents took him to the Calgary Stampede for the first time.
He remembers winning a pair of toy binoculars at the midway, probably by throwing darts at balloons.
“It was like winning a gold medal,” he told me during a chat at our Q107 Calgary studios.
“It was my favourite thing in the whole world.”
It’s like he looked into his plastic prize that day and realized life’s big dreams are never that far away.
Born in Manila Carlos moved to Canada at a young age and quickly discovered his love of performing. After living in Cowtown for a few years, his family then called Vancouver and Toronto home.
Carlos landed a big gig early in his career – hosting Canada’s favourite after-school program, The Zone on YTV.
(When my 11-year-old son saw that Carlos posted to his Instagram Stories from my Q107 studio, he was ticked that I didn’t give him a heads up that I was meeting Carlos, who he’s watched on many different shows.)
“I’m telling all my friends at baseball tonight that you met Carlos!” he said to me.
Carlos also hosted YTV’s Big Fun Movies and won a Canadian Screen Award for best performance in a children’s or youth program for his work hosting The Next Star Season 6.
He’s now coming up on his one-year anniversary as Entertainment Tonight Canada’s entertainment reporter.
He’s interviewed some of the greats like Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr. and Rachel McAdams, but now he’s taking on the greatest – the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
“The Stampede is like a throwback to my childhood, so I’m excited,” he said.
“I love the vibe here.”
Interviewed the wonderful Rachel McAdams for @DrStrangeofficial yesterday! Everyone I told beforehand basically all gushed and said either "I love her!!!" or "Tell her I said hi!!!" which means she's basically everyone's favourite human. Which is basically true. 😇❤🌹🍁🍁🍁 #RachelMcAdams #DrStrange #Marvel #Canada
While at Stampede, Carlos is doing a number of cool interviews that will be featured on ET Canada starting Monday:
- Meghan Patrick rides sidesaddle with ET Canada
- Nashville stars Charles Esten and Chris Carmack chat about performing at Stampede
- Olympic bronze medalist and Stampede parade marshal Mark McMorris and Carlos take on the new zip line, which zooms over Stampede Park – almost four football fields in length
- Country singer Gord Bamford countrifies Carlos by taking him Stampede clothes shopping at Lammle’s
A die-hard pizza fan – his Instagram profile lists him as #Fashion guy, #Dad guy and #Pizza enthusiast – Carlos is excited to try the wacky midway food, especially anything deep-fried – but he’s wary of kangaroo pizza.
Carlos ranks the likelihood he’ll nosh squid on a stick, cricket grilled cheese — and prairie oyster balls.
As ET Canada’s entertainment reporter, Carlos also had the opportunity to sit down recently with Gord Sinclair, Rob Baker and Paul Langlois from The Tragically Hip.
The Kingston, Ont., musicians opened up about life since frontman Gord Downie died of brain cancer at the age of 53 in October 2017.
Once Carlos decided he wanted to entertain and perform for Canadians, he never looked back … even though he had that sweet pair of Stampede binoculars.
Carlos’s coverage of the Calgary Stampede airs Monday to Friday on ET Canada.
For in-depth and breaking celebrity, film, television and music news, check out ET Canada online and on-air.
Entertainment Tonight Canada airs weeknights at 7 p.m. in Calgary on Global TV.
© 2018 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.