We are ready

Red Deerians are gearing up and getting behind the cause to bring the Canada Winter Games to the City in 2019.

A key part of this is an upcoming rally planned for downtown on Ross Street by City Hall on Aug. 22nd. This is also when the Bid Evaluation Committee returns to gauge the City’s community spirit, enthusiasm, ability, readiness and commitment to host the event.

The rally will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and community members are asked to wear red in support of the bid.

Red Deer is up against Lethbridge in the final stretch. If awarded to the City, the Games would take place in February of 2019 for two weeks, featuring 23 sports.

Some 3,600 athletes, coaches and managers would be here, along with 1,500 technical representatives and officials and some 25,000 visitors would be expected during the course of the event.

Officials have said the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax generated about $131 million in economic impact, so Red Deer could likely expect about the same.

The process of the Games’ bid has been ongoing since July 2013 when the province and the Canada Games Council announced that an Alberta community would host the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

In September 2013, Red Deer established its bid. This past February, the Games Technical Review Committee conducted a site visit and a short list of successful bid cities was confirmed.

The successful host community will be announced in September.

If Red Deer is awarded the bid, it won’t be just about a couple of exciting weeks in 2019. The community will benefit immensely by enhanced or newly-built facilities for future use beyond the Games. Funding will ultimately be awarded to help with those causes as well.

Meanwhile, before the rally next month, Red Deerians are also encouraged to pick up some pins to show their support for the Games. They are available at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Collicutt Centre, Recreation Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre and City Hall (information desk). Also, watch for the Red Deer is Ready team out and about in the community – they will always have pins, available in both French and English.

With an event of this scale, it’s not just about the fundraising and rallying that the community will be asked to participate in. There will be lots of opportunities to volunteer in many ways not only during the two-week event in 2019 but also leading up to the events as well.

Red Deerians are encouraged to come out and show their support for an event that could have such a significant and lasting impact on our community.