Council hears Canada Winter Games update

  • Nov. 26, 2014 4:40 p.m.

City council heard an update on how plans for the Canada Winter Games 2019 are taking shape.

Red Deer landed the bid to host the event back in September.

The Canada Winter Games is slated for February of 2019. Officials have pointed out that 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.

Red Deer Bid Committee Chair Lyn Radford gave the update, outlining a breakdown of the various committees that will be formed over the next few years, the transition team for the Games, building a board of directors, plus how the overall organizational structure will come together. “By 2015 the host society will be formed and the business plan will be under development,” she said, adding that by 2016, the functional plan gets underway.

Radford added that the target date for the selection of a host society board chair is early December. “Since the host society will act as a policy board, citizens at large board members should be regarded within the community as leaders in their respective business areas. They should have knowledge of national sporting games and be able to influence and attract community engagement.”

By 2018, volunteer recruitment training will be a major focus.

“Initially, for the next three years, we will be bringing in around 600 volunteers to help us. That number will spike immensely in 2018 when we will be actively seeking our 5,000 volunteers,” she said.

And the day after the games wrap up, an evaluation process and final reporting segment kicks in. “And a celebration – because we know we will host a very good (event),” she said.

Radford described the next several years as a coming of age for Red Deer, with the announcement of the Memorial Cup in 2016 being made just last month as well.

“It’s going to culminate in 2019 – we are building up to it. We go from the Memorial Cup to the 2019 Games and we will take an identity in this country that we’ve never seen before. I’m pretty excited about that. That we have a possibility of being part of changing our community in a positive way.”

Meanwhile, Radford continue to encourage the community to consider ways to be involved. “Follow our contact information, like us on facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on Instagram.”