Some members of the 2019 Canada Winter Games board and members of the transition team in Red Deer recently returned from the 2015 Games in Prince George where they learned many invaluable lessons, officials said.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George on Feb. 13th – March 1st.
“One of the first things that we learned is that we have a monumental task to complete,” said Lyn Radford, chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games board in Red Deer. “There’s a lot of little details that could happen and of course you could drive yourself crazy thinking about all of them – but that is why you are going to be engaging hundreds and thousands of volunteers to help plan them to make sure we fulfill all of these details.
“It was such a good learning experience. No matter what you think you know, multiply that by 10 of what you are going to need to know.”
She added seeing the Games in Prince George was a great opportunity.
“Prince George did a wonderful job. They did everything they could for their community and I loved how their chair said they were going to make the Games the best they could for their community and they definitely did and I think that is a pretty good mantra to carry forward into Red Deer and say that this is the Alberta way and we’re going to do the best we can for what we have in Alberta. We are going to put on a good show for our country.”
Last month, members for the Community-At-Large Board were announced. Members include Hugh McPherson, Russ Wlad, Deb Beck, Guy Pelletier, Ron Woodward, Gail Surkan, Allan Ferchuk, Nicole Lorrain, Ron Lariviere and Marty Vellner.
Four members of the board attended the Games in Prince George along with two transition team members. A number of City staff were also on hand.
“It was a good learning experience. I’ve been at this game for a little bit and nothing big jumped out at me in terms of surprises but one thing that surprised me a little bit was the number of receptions that go with this,” she said.
She added another thing the committee will have to consider and plan for, although it is out of their control, is the weather.
“Two weeks before when I arrived in Prince George it was pouring rain. They had a plan where they had to move their long track speed skating to Fort St. John. Even though there was a Plan B, you have to kick that plan into action. This meant they had to fly the athletes over there and make arrangements for accommodations for them.
“You are very dependent on the weather particularly for the outdoor sports.”
Another area in which Radford said she learned was that Red Deer will need about 6,000 volunteers to help everything run smoothly leading up to and during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“Prince George had about 4,500 but many of them were doing double or triple shifts. One thing we recognize is that we will need those 6,000 volunteers.”
Radford added more board members will also be attending the 2017 Canada Winter Games in Winnipeg.
Up next for the board will be gathering together and undertaking some visioning sessions.
“The next few months as a board we will be looking at what we want our Games to look like and what we want to leave our community and the community of Alberta and Canada feeling – what the feeling of Red Deer is all about.”