UPDATE - Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society board chair, gives a 2019 Canada Winter Games update to the community on Friday. Emily Rogers/Red Deer Express

Red Deer continues to gear up to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games

City provides update on 2019 Games projects

With the 2019 Canada Winter Games less than two years away, the City of Red Deer provided an update on the capital projects that are underway as we prepare to host the Games.

The new facilities will leave Red Deer with new and improved recreational and cultural amenities, increasing our sport hosting capabilities and benefiting the overall community.

The projects include the Great Chief Park Enhancement Project (opening early 2018) which will be the home to a new 400m speed skating oval/artificial sports field and new pavilion building. These projects are currently under construction. Great Chief Park will host long track speed skating during the Games.

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area enhancements (to be completed early 2018) include trail enhancements, which are underway, as well as a renovated biathlon range and new stadium area. River Bend will host cross country skiing and biathlon during the Games.

The new Canada Games Celebration Plaza, will be constructed on the grounds of the historic Central Elementary School located downtown. After the Games, the building will become a legacy cultural centre. Construction on this project will get underway this fall.

Upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort, which will be completed in 2018, include run widening and terrain enhancements. Canyon Ski Resort will host freestyle skiing and snowboarding during the Games.

The City of Red Deer is a contributing partner, along with the Province of Alberta, Red Deer College and private donors to the construction of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the Canada Games legacy facility.

The new Servus Arena, although not a Games project, is currently under construction and will host men’s and women’s hockey during the 2019 Games.

“The 2019 Canada Winter Games are forecast to generate an economic impact of more than $132 million for Red Deer, however, the benefits extend well beyond 2019,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Red Deer will be left with national-level sporting facilities, an enhanced profile, and momentum to host future sporting events. We are already realizing the benefits of these infrastructure investments in our local economy.”

She added the lead up to the Games and the Games themselves will redefine the City of Red Deer.

“The Red Deer we know and the Red Deer we are becoming will be showcased on the national stage.”

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society board chair, said the legacy of the Games will remain well after the events.

“The ongoing support of the City of Red Deer ensures that a legacy of world-class facilities remains in Central Alberta following the 2019 Canada Winter Games. With these new and upgraded facilities, we will have the capabilities to host future international and national competitions here,” she said. “This is our moment to welcome the nation and these new and upgraded facilities will help us deliver a life-shaping Games experience for all participants.”

For more information about the projects underway, visit reddeer.ca/2019.