City approves $50,000 to support CFR opening ceremonies

Canadian Finals Rodeo expected to generate $25 million annually

City council has approved a funding request to support the Canadian Finals Rodeo slated for later this fall in Red Deer.

The funding – $50,000 – will go towards production of the opening ceremonies including naming rights as the presenting sponsors of the opening ceremonies for all seven performances during the CFR, which runs Oct. 30th through to Nov. 3rd.

According to council notes, the CFR is expected to generate some $25 million annually, presenting exceptional opportunities for local businesses. Earlier this year, it was announced that the event will run in Red Deer for the next decade.

Canada’s top rodeo athletes will compete in a full slate of events including bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, team roping, tie down roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. CFR competitors earn points at rodeos across the country to secure a spot at the CFR championships.

In conjunction with the rodeo events, a trade show will also run at Westerner Park to showcase local and national businesses to an expected 10,000 guests.

The unanimous support for funding this year also doesn’t commit council to funding for subsequent years, council heard.

“We do recognize that this event has a significant economic spin-off to our community and it highlights both the agricultural roots of Red Deer as well as the urban and economic development of our region,” said Coun. Lawrence Lee. “I also really do believe that this (funding) will be a one-time thing because I think this event is going to be very successful for our community and for the 10 years that we have it for sure,” he said.

Coun. Michael Dawe said that he felt it’s important for the City to show, “Substantial support for this because the CFR really is one of the biggest events that’s coming in terms of the community’s profile and economic development.

“The business case has now been made here, and we seem to be on the same page now as the County, Westerner Park and the Chamber (of Commerce), therefore I think it’s worth supporting,” he said.

Coun. Tanya Handley also agreed on how the CFR is going to be, “An enormous economic driver for our community.

“The commitment is there for 10 years so let’s come right out of the gate and show them what a great show that we can put on,” she said, emphasizing the, “Repeated and continued impact on the community on the positive side.”

Mayor Tara Veer said that Red Deer was in competition with four other Canadian cities to host the CFR after its decades-long run in Edmonton.

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