City’s bid good move

Red Deer City council’s recent vote to make a bid to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games is welcome news.

Council was told the bid process would take place over the course of three phases.

Phase one would include an evaluation of community capacity based on facility requirements and preliminary information about the City’s current and future capacity related to games events and facility needs.

The Canada Games are an interprovincial and territorial sports festival staged every two years, alternating between summer and winter games.

Since the Canada Games were introduced in 1967, more than 100,000 participants in over 40 sports have been involved as athletes, coaches or officials and more than 75,000 volunteers have dedicated their time to staging the event.

The City of Red Deer’s last bid on the Canada Winter Games in 1995 and it was lost to Grande Prairie.

It’s high time to try again. City officials are confident that this is Red Deer’s time to shine.

First of all, this is an ideal chance for the City to update facilities and develop new ones. It’s also tremendous for the economy and an opportunity for officials to show off the City and Central Alberta in general. Red Deer is a very welcoming community and there is no doubt visitors will be given top-notch treatment during their time here. Also, this wouldn’t be the first time the City has hosted a high-profile event that is similar in nature.

The Alberta Winter Games was held here in 1998, and the Alberta Summer Games were hosted in 2006. Both required extensive planning and volunteer coordination to name just a couple of aspects. In both instances, Red Deerians did a fine job of putting together both events.

If the City is granted the opportunity to play host, there is no doubt the volunteer sector will step up to the plate enthusiastically. Our community has a wonderful volunteer base who always are eager to get involved – no matter how many responsibilities there are to be covered. Those involved have pointed out how impressive it was to see citizens with strong leadership capabilities step up and help out time and again.

Meanwhile, Red Deer has a solid chance of landing the event. Local officials point out that other cities in Alberta will make bids to host the Canada Winter Games as well but they have typically been hosted in smaller centres in the past.