Saamis Tepee

World's tallest tepee

The Saamis Tepee was originally constructed for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. Each of the 10 masts feature a large storyboard depicting aspects of native culture and history.

Below the Saamis Tepee in scenic Seven Persons coulee lays the Saamis Archaeological Site, one of the most important archaeological sites of the Northern Plains. The area was once a buffalo camp and meat processing site, and experts believe over 83 million artifacts are buried at the site.

The Saamis Tepee is located on the Trans-Canada Highway next to Tourism Medicine Hat. The main masts of the tepee measure 215 feet (the same as a 20 story building!) and the diameter is 160 feet, with a foundation weight of 800 metric tons.

Lighting for a Cause

Saamis Tepee illuminated at nightSaamis Tepee colour illumination

The City of Medicine Hat values community awareness activities as they bolster community spirit and enhance a sense of belonging to the community.

The purpose of the ‘Lighting for a Cause’ program is to:

  • reflect the spirit of City Council’s Strategic Plan
  • support one or more of the following objectives:
    • promote awareness of important social causes
    • emphasize the spirit of the community by accentuating and celebrating the spirit of living in Medicine Hat
    • promote a sense of belonging in the community

Please read the guidelines below carefully to ensure that your request fits with the criteria.

If after reading the guidelines you are still uncertain if your project is eligible, please contact the Lighting for a Cause
program administrator for clarity and assistance.

Apply now

Application process

To be considered, all requests must be:

  • received via on-line application of the ‘Lighting for a Cause’ request form
  • completed by a management representative of the official organization making the request
  • received by the Community Development Department at least 30 days in advance of lighting date requested


Lighting will be considered for:

  • nondenominational events/causes
  • nonpolitical events/causes
  • registered charitable and not-for-profit events/causes

Lighting cannot be considered for:

  • personal occasions (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries)
  • political events or observances
  • religious figures, events, organizations or institutions
  • commercial requests (i.e., product launches, corporate events, advertising)

The City of Medicine Hat reserves the right to use discretion when determining if a cause is deemed eligible.

Fees and duration

Subject to approval, an administration fee is required.

  • $100 per day (minimum)
  • $250 per week

Duration of lighting

Lighting time can span a duration from one day up to one week.


An approval of any illumination is at the sole discretion of the City of Medicine Hat and not subject to appeals or negotiation. All requests will be evaluated based on meeting the above-mentioned guidelines as well as:

  • the nature of the cause
  • history and background of the organization, cause or event
  • how the lighting will be used to benefit the cause or event
  • marketing plan to educate the public on why Tepee is illuminated in colour

Applicants will receive an email response stating whether or not an application has been approved. Due to the high volume of applications, not all requests may be accommodated. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications may be submitted up to six months in advance.

The City of Medicine Hat wishes to stress that if an application is declined, it is not a reflection of the merits or importance of any requests.

Requests must be submitted at least 30 days before requested date. For more information, email Lighting for a Cause.

Lighting Schedule

May 24-28
Rise Up Hot Air Balloon Festival
Back for another uplifting year! Hot air balloon pilots from across Canada are taking to the skies over Medicine Hat to raise awareness about how we can work collectively to enhance mental wellness and rise to great heights together.

June 5-11
BLUE and WHITE (alternate poles)
Unison at Veiner Centre
Seniors' week is recognized annually across Alberta and is taking place from June 5 – 11 this year. The Saamis Tepee is lit in celebration and recognition of the contributions seniors make to enhance the quality of life in Alberta.

June 15
Unison at Veiner Centre
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is marked each year on June 15th. It is an official United Nations
International Day acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights