Red Deer has moved forward in the process to be the host community for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
The Technical Review Committee (TRC) visited the City last month during which they were shown all sport, non-sport and village venues that had been requested to be seen.
“We received great news for Red Deer, the Canada Games Council Board of Directors has approved the 2019 Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee’s recommendation that the Red Deer bid move onto Phase 2 of the 2019 Canada Games bid process,” said Shelley Gagnon, acting director of Community Services.
Phase 1 of the 2019 Canada Games bid process consisted of three parts which included sport venues, non-sport venues and Games village. These parts are worth 40% of the bid’s overall score.
The TRC is requiring Red Deer to submit alternate venues that meet the technical specifications for two Canada Games sports; alpine ski and badminton. The Bid Committee is already working to assess how the City can meet the specifications and is confident that Red Deer will be able to build this into the next phase of the review.
“The Bid Committee is not surprised by any of the feedback contained in the report,” said Lyn Radford, chair of the Red Deer 2019 Canada Winter Games Bid Committee. “Any areas of risk highlighted by the TRC were ones that we had already identified, and we are prepared to provide solutions that will work for everyone.”
The majority of sport venues submitted as part of the Red Deer bid met the established Canada Games field of play standards, and many venue options exist in addition to the venues presented in the Phase 1 material. All of the non-sport venues presented to the Technical Review Committee will meet the requirements of the Canada Games.
The Canada Winter Games is slated for February of 2019, and will either be held in Red Deer or Lethbridge. A host community can expect to accommodate 3,600 athletes, coaches and managers; 1,500 technical representatives and officials; 450 media and broadcast personnel and 25,000 visitors over the 17-days of competition.
The opportunity to host these Games comes to the province every 20 years – the last time Alberta had the opportunity was 1995 when Grande Prairie was selected. In 1975, the honours went to Lethbridge.
The economic benefit is also significant, she said, pointing out that the 2011 host city of Halifax saw a $131 million impact.
The Canada Games Council has changed the deadlines and extended Red Deer Bid Committee’s Phase 2 material – Bid Submission, to June 30. Final announcements will be made in September.