Craig Curtis reflects on his moments as Red Deer’s City Manager

Curtis announced his retirement March 28th

City Manager Craig Curtis has announced his retirement after 11 years in his current position.

The last day of his contract is March 3, 2019.

Curtis, who studied Architecture at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, won an award to travel, and at that stage travelled, visiting architectural offices in Scandinavia and became really interested in the planning aspect.

“After that I went and did my Masters in City Planning and Urban Design, which got me into planning and I started planning in two jobs in South Africa and then came to Canada continuing in the planning profession in 1980,” said Curtis.

Curtis came to Red Deer, working with the Red Deer Regional Planning Commission, which used to do the planning for the City before it had a planning department.

“Red Deer was about 44,000 people at that time in 1980 and there were a lot of major projects underway, so I came in at a really interesting time in the City’s development where we were planning the initial planning of Waskasoo Park, of course, which is now complete.”

Curtis was also involved in the moving of the railway yards out of the downtown and the relocation of the Westerner and the building of the Centrium.

One of the big highlights for Curtis has been the success in getting the bid for the Canada Winter Games and preparing for the Games in terms of new amenities.

His involvement in the Games dates back to 1995 when he was part of the unsuccessful bid. But he was determined to assist the group that was put together to do the best job they possibly could in getting the 2019 Games, which of course was a huge success.

Other good moments for Curtis include working over the years to protect and preserve some of Red Deer’s remaining heritage buildings. Some of those include the old courthouse, the expansion of the library into what was the old armoury building and the preservation of the CPR station.

“Those were all buildings that at one time or another in the 80s and 90s were threatened,” he said.

Upon his retirement, Curtis hopes to do some travelling with his family.

“We do love travel. Over this summer, we’re heading out to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and next year a long promised trip for my small son to Disney World. He’s 11 now so he’ll really enjoy it.”

Curtis added that he has enjoyed working with his experienced and innovative staff, and will miss the diversity each day brought.

“Everyday brings a new excitement of some kind, good or not so good, and the challenge of that is immense.”

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