CALGARY — A man police say was a “person of authority” with a youth performance group at the Calgary Stampede is facing sexual assault charges.

Police began an investigation in January 2014 after receiving a complaint about someone involved with the Young Canadians group and a teenage performer.

Several other complainants — all between the ages of 15 and 18 at the time — have since come forward.

Philip Heerema, who is 52, faces 13 charges that include child pornography, sexual assault, luring a child via a computer and inciting sexual contact with a youth.

Heerema, who was with The Young Canadians for 36 years and held numerous positions, resigned at the beginning of the investigation.

The Young Canadians School is made up of 120 youth from the Calgary area who deliver performances at the grandstand show at the Calgary Stampede.


The Canadian Press