Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


Alberta premier Danielle Smith calls for new arena in Calgary


5 minute read

By Donna Spencer in Calgary

Alberta’s premier has stated her support for a new arena in Calgary to house the NHL’s Flames and wants the province to get involved.

Danielle Smith said in a statement Tuesday that the 39-year-old Saddledome has served the community well, but can no longer compete with new buildings across North America for events, concerts and sports

“One need only look north to Rogers Place to see the host of world-class events being attracted to Edmonton along with the ongoing economic revitalization that facility has brought to its downtown core,” Smith wrote.

“Simply stated, Calgary needs a new world class event centre and arena, and the time to commence with this project is now.”

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and the city have restarted talks on a new event centre after a previous agreement collapsed last year.

The province didn’t contribute any money to the construction of Edmonton’s Rogers Place that opened in 2016, nor has it committed any dollars to Calgary’s new building.

Smith wants to find ways the province could help the city and the Flames complete the project.

She’s assigned Calgary-Hays MLA and former city councillor Ric McIver to be the province’s representative.

“I’ve asked him to reach out to both the city and CSEC on how the province can be helpful in this regard,” Smith said.

“As someone who has lived most of my life in Calgary, I know the Flames are an integral part of the fabric of the city, not to mention a critical direct and indirect economic driver and job creator for the community.”

The initial estimate for Calgary’s event centre was $550 million split between the two parties, but that figure increased to $634 million.

Shovels were scheduled to hit the ground this year for a 19,000-seat hockey arena and concert venue, but the Flames withdrew because of rising costs.

Calgary city council voted in January to recruit a third party to get the project back on track.

Commercial real estate moguls John Fisher, Guy Huntingford and Phil Swift were tasked with determining whether the Flames still wanted to partner on an arena, or if the city should look for other potential partners.

The work concluded with the Flames agreeing to re-enter arena talks with the city.

The city will be represented in negotiations by CAA ICON, which has managed the development of other arenas and stadiums, including Rogers Place.

Edmonton’s new arena cost $483.5 million to build, but the add-ons of a pedestrian corridor and transit connection, a community arena and a convention space called the Winter Garden brought the total cost of the project to $613 million.

The Saddledome is the second-oldest arena in the NHL behind New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The proposed event centre on a parcel of land north of the Saddledome is envisioned as the heart of a larger revitalized commercial and residential district on the downtown’s east side near the Stampede grounds.

Just weeks after the Flames and the city agreed to an amended deal in July, 2021, it fell apart when the city added an additional $19 million in roadwork and climate mitigation to the project, and wanted the Flames to pay for $10 million of that.

CSEC president and CEO John Bean said then that not only would CSEC’s share be $346.5 million compared to the city’s $287.5 million, but the Flames bore the risk of any more rising costs.

CSEC also owns the American Hockey League’s Wranglers, Western Hockey League’s Hitmen, Canadian Football League’s Stampeders and National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.

After relocating from Stockton, Calif., for this season, the Wranglers joined the Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks in playing home games out of the Saddledome this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2022.

Storytelling is in our DNA. We provide credible, compelling multimedia storytelling and services in English and French to help captivate your digital, broadcast and print audiences. As Canada’s national news agency for 100 years, we give Canadians an unbiased news source, driven by truth, accuracy and timeliness.

Follow Author


Calgary police identify 15-year-old girl killed in shooting, investigation continues

Published on

Calgary (CP) – Calgary police have identified a 15-year-old girl who was fatally shot this week as investigators try to determine whether she was the intended target or if it was a case of mistaken identity.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting in an alley in the Martindale neighbourhood early Tuesday morning.

They say the teenager was a passenger in a vehicle when she was shot and that the driver, who was not injured, immediately fled the scene before pulling over to call police.

Police say investigators have received several tips from the public.

They say evidence from the scene leads police to believe it was targeted, but investigators haven’t determined whether the occupants of the vehicle were the intended targets.

The girl has been identified as Sarah Alexis Jorquera of Calgary.

“This was a senseless act of violence that took the life of a young girl,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the homicide unit said in a statement Wednesday.

“At this point, we have more questions than answers and are working around the clock to hold those responsible accountable. Losing a 15-year-old is a tragic loss for our community, her school, her friends and, most importantly, her family.”

Police ask anyone with any information about the shooting to call investigators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

Continue Reading


‘A crisis’: Calgary charity seeks one-month homes for Ukrainian refugees after influx

Published on

Ukrainian evacuees Dmytro Syrman, left, his wife, Anastasiia, centre, and their four-year-old daughter Varvara attend a news conference highlighting the need for temporary housing in Calgary on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

By Bill Graveland in Calgary

After six months under Russian occupation, Dmytro Syrman and his family decided to flee Ukraine for a safer life abroad and are now in Calgary.

The family lived in Dniprorudne, a mining city of 17,000 in southern Ukraine. Syrman worked as a human resources manager at an iron factory.

In August, Syrman, his wife, Anastasiia, and four-year-old daughter Varvara embarked on a six-day, 3,000-kilometre drive to Poland.

“On the 24 of February, when the Russian army attacked Ukraine and occupied our city in March 2022, we lost everything,” Syrman said Wednesday.

He said they began planning their escape when they realized Russian soldiers weren’t leaving their city.

“We started all of this because we were scared for Varvara,” he said. “When Russian bombs were falling near our city it was really scary.”

Their home is still under Russian occupation.

For the past year the family stayed in Poland, sent in their paperwork to come to Canada, and two weeks ago arrived in Calgary.

They’re now staying with a host family for a month while they look for long-term accommodation and to find jobs.

“We are here and starting a new life. We can’t believe about people who don’t know us and many helped us. We’re really shocked,” Syrman said.

The Syrmans were helped by Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers, which started a campaign to find 100 hosts for Ukrainian families or individuals for a month while they find housing of their own.

Kelly Ernst, chief program officer with the centre, said there has been a flood of Ukrainians trying to take advantage of a federal program that allows them to temporarily resettle in Canada.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program has been extended until July and Ernst said he expects people will continue to flee the war-torn country.

“We’re in a desperate, dire need at the moment for host homes to try to accommodate the evacuees coming from Ukraine. It’s reaching the proportions of being a crisis moment,” said Ernst.

He said people arriving elsewhere in Canada are migrating to Calgary because the rents are lower than in larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.

Ernst said approximately 450 people have been arriving in Calgary every week from Ukraine and his organization has helped people staying nights in the airport, off the street and at homeless shelters.

Natalia Shem, who is the manager of housing for the Ukrainian evacuees, said it’s difficult for the newcomers to find somewhere to live before arriving.

“It’s almost impossible to find long-term rent being outside of Canada and people who come here need one month of stay,” Shem said. “It’s an average time a family can find long-term rent, job and settle down here in Canada.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

Continue Reading