Red Deer City council received an update on the progress of the 2019 Canada Games, which is now less than 300 days away.
The presentation, led by Canada Games Board Chair Lyn Radford and CEO Scott Robinson, highlighted that the budget remains “on track”. This has been propelled by 92 per cent of expected revenue being raised through multiple funding parties and 81 per cent of targeted sponsorships being committed.
The Sheraton Celebrity Dance-off alone raised over $420,000.
Robinson also provided an update on the Canada Games Capital Projects, including enhancements to River Bend and Great Chief Park which have already been completed.
The Gary W. Harris Building is scheduled to be complete and open in Summer 2018; the new Red Deer College residence will be completed in January 2019 and the Canada Games Celebration Plaza is expected to begin construction on June 1st.
Enhancements to Canyon Ski Area are partially completed, with the accessible elevator currently under construction.
Robinson also provided an update on the Games legacy projects, which will include a sports leadership program, a volunteers leadership program, a sustainability project, an art project, transfer of knowledge in the community, new sports equipment and a legacy fund.
So far, over 45 staff positions have been filled with 53 per cent of those being local hires; 33 per cent being from Alberta and 14 per cent being from across Canada. Six staff members are fully bilingual which is mandated by the Canada Games.
Over 1,200 volunteers have already came forward, with the Games requiring at least 5,000. Robinson said this means that about 6,800 need to register in order to account for attrition. The Games recently opened their volunteer centre and over 60 communities are already represented through volunteers. Over 9 per cent of the current volunteers are fully bilingual.
Games organizers have been in consistent contact with all levels of government in order to seek grant opportunities. This includes employment and student employment programs and also working with the Federal government to seek additional supports.
Robinson said organizers have been working closely with the City of Red Deer including on the new Celebration Plaza and other City of Red Deer Games venues.
Radford said new additions to the progress of the Games includes the national medal design contest, the Friends of the Game program and the first ever Canada Games Torch relay.
Upcoming milestone dates include the Torch Relay Announcement on May 15th; the school Catch the Spirit Program in Fall 2018; the 2019 Games Tree Planing Day on Sept. 29th; the beginning of the Torch Relay in Oct. 2018; the opening of the Celebration Plaza in Nov. 2018; the Hall of Honour Celebration Dinner on Feb. 14th, 2019; the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 15h, 2019; and the Closing Ceremony on March 2nd 2019.
More information on volunteer opportunities can be found at canadagames.ca/2019/volunteer.