Centennial committee lands funding

Extensive planning in the works to mark City’s 100th anniversary

At this week’s City council meeting the centennial steering committee sought funding for the celebrations as well as the organization of community events for Red Deer’s 100th year anniversary.

Councillors Chris Stephan and Buck Buchanan were against the resolution, but the motion passed for $250,000 to be provided for the Centennial celebrations over the course of two years.

Sheila Bannerman, chair of the centennial steering committee, said they want to make sure that 2013 is a year that everybody can be proud of.

“The general public has been involved and we found that the public agreed with the goal to develop projects and events to establish pride in Red Deer to commemorate our past,” said Bannerman.

Some of the funds will go towards community events, signature events and legacy projects which all have very different functions for the series of celebrations.

Signature events would include the March 25th date, which was the incorporation of the City of Red Deer, as well as main events over a few days and a closing event at the end of the year.

Bannerman said the March 25th date may coincide with another large event in the City if the Memorial Cup is approved for Red Deer, but said it would be a great way to honour that event alongside the Centennial year.

Community events would include things for the City such as enhanced annual events to integrate them as centennial events, and having some community input and specific celebrations for the communities that want them.

Lastly, the legacy projects would be lasting permanent projects that would commemorate Red Deer’s success as a City in its 100th year.

The opportunities for each of these events would depend on funding. Legacy events would not be part of the funding that is being requested from the City.

“These events would provide the City with an opportunity to help promote identity and to be able to help Red Deerians become increasingly connected with communities.”

The idea behind the funding of $250,000 would cover the basic costs and would need to be supplemented by other grants, sponsorships and donations.

“By the end of 2013 we expect that Red Deerians will have had a thoroughly enjoyable year and that they will have had enough cake too.”

Bannerman said no further funding will be requested from the City for centennial celebrations.

“The budget will be based on the events that we will be looking at hosting or staging. The remainder of what is not covered by City funding would be what we would have to raise funds for.”

Bannerman said the committee is excited to be able to use the past to understand the present and help build a strong future.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said there are some other things he hopes to see incorporated in the centennial plans and celebrations.

“At the same time we’re celebrating our 100th anniversary, Red Deer College is celebrating their 50th so hopefully we can include that,” said Flewwelling.

Councillor Cindy Jefferies said she is pleased with the progress made on the planning.

“I think 2013 is going to be great for our City and an opportunity to celebrate. We get so caught up in the speed of life that we forget to celebrate.”

Councillor Paul Harris said he believes this is a good opportunity to stimulate economic activity and that it fits well with the strategic direction that has been developed for the City.

“Maybe the committee might even look at what a 100-year project might look like and be kicked off at our centennial and then celebrated 100 years from now.”