From The City of Red Deer
City of Red Deer modifies service and programming amidst COVID-19
All City delivered recreation and culture programming at City of Red Deer facilities is temporarily cancelled to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This is effective immediately.
According to Alberta Health (AHS), there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Red Deer, and the risk to residents remains low. The City of Red Deer is taking preventative measures in the interest of social distancing.
Measures being taken by The City of Red Deer at this time include:
- Activation of a City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre
- Cancellation of City programs in public facilities, including but not limited to, fitness classes, swimming lessons, educational and cultural courses
- Closure of hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas
- Closure of child minding services at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre and Collicutt Centre
- Revised cancellation policies for recreation facility passes, programs and rentals
- A shift from in-person to online City of Red Deer public participation and consultation activities
- Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas and touch points
- Continued focus on hygiene
- Mandatory 14-day isolation period for all City of Red Deer employees who are symptomatic and/or who travelled internationally, effective March 12 at 4 p.m.
- Activation of a City of Red Deer call centre for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City policies and facilities (403-342-8111), operation 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until further notice.
- The City is in communication and sharing information with contractors operating City facilities
(i.e. Heritage Ranch, Museum & Art Gallery, Bower Ponds, and neighbourhood activity centres), however, business decisions remain with those individual operators.
“The health and safety of our residents is priority number one,” said Karen Mann, Situational Monitoring Centre Director, The City of Red Deer. “We know some of these measures may cause frustration and disrupt the routines of individuals and families who engage in our many programs and services. However, we strongly believe these are necessary steps in minimizing the potential spread of COVID- 19 in our community.”
At this time all City recreation facilities remain open, such as the Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre. Public facilities like City Hall, downtown RCMP and ES Counter Service remain open. Residents are reminded not to attend City facilities or any public place if they’re feeling ill. Please consider the following:
- Practice “social distancing”
- Use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing
- Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
- Keep at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Follow good respiratory hygiene; cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (dispose of the used tissue immediately)
If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link 811 first. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.
The City of Red Deer’s call centre is available to provide general information about The City’s response to COVID 19 as well as to ensure 811 and 911 are left available to those requiring emergency assistance. The City’s call centre will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., until further notice.
The COVID-19 outbreak remains a fluid situation and information can change quickly and often. The City of Red Deer is prepared to make additional changes as required in order to keep residents safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Residents are urged to visit the Alberta Health Services website at www.ahs.ca for the most up to date information.
The Ross Street Patio – A Summer to Remember
“If you wish to make a space safe and vibrant you must occupy that space.”
If you happened to visit the Ross Street Patio installation over the summer, you likely would have seen just that; a vibrancy that was created through positive, collaborative engagement.
The Ross Street Patio installation has been a mainstay in Red Deer’s downtown for close to a decade. The area, located on the north lanes of Ross Street adjacent to the Cenotaph Park offers beautiful greenery in the form of planters, flowers and trees as well as patio tables with umbrellas and benches. Each year the City of Red Deer with the support of the Downtown Business Association create this lovely space for citizens to gather and enjoy a coffee or snack, enjoy programming in the form of live music and other entertainment, and take in the sights and sounds of a more bustling city centre.
The summer of 2020 saw a massive increase in foot traffic to the area, possibly more than any summers in the past. The spring was a time of uncertainty for many of the businesses in the area, and the restaurants in the area were making preparations to open their doors to the public after being closed for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Restaurants and bars were given the green light to reopen their doors in late May and by early June most had.
Over the course of the following few weeks, these businesses began setting up their own patios within the boundaries of the Ross St. Patio. Tribe, Tacoloft, Occam’s Razor, and The Velvet Olive Lounge/Capitol Package Store are all very different food and beverage joints with one thing in common: they were all neighbors sharing the same uncertainty.
And then, it happened. What began as a conversation on the patio with Kyle Key, owner of the Olive and the Capitol Package Store, and musician Paeton Cameron, and a few others, became what would be remembered as one of the greatest summers on the Ross Street Patio to date.
The Velvet Olive had previously been “the spot” for live music downtown. With open mic nights for musicians to have space to show off their talents, and other live music events weekly. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic these live music venues were prohibited from showcasing live music inside their establishments, leaving musicians with essentially nowhere to play, and left music lovers longing to hear live music again.
“Let’s do it outside.”
It was a thought, then a conversation, and then it was happening. On a warm Thursday night, Kyle, Paeton, and friends put up a tent directly in front of the restaurants, plugged in a couple speakers, and invited musicians to sign up for the first ever “Open Mic Night” – outdoors, on the Ross Street Patio. It didn’t take long before the people began to gather, safely and respectfully, to listen to the live music they had been starved of for months. And it didn’t take long for the other businesses to see the benefits and reap the rewards. By the following Thursday, Tribe, Tacoloft, and Occam’s Razor all offered to support the live music by pitching in on costs, promotions, and maintaining the space. Before long there were up to 3 live music events per week that were programmed by the businesses. This was in addition to the programming created by the DBA and made the Ross Street Patio the most popular space in town. And the businesses all reported a remarkable increase in foot traffic and sales as a result of its popularity. Over the next few months the area had garnered such attention that photographers and film crews began attending to document the successes, and the citizens of Red Deer were calling to make reservations at the establishments, sometimes weeks in advance.
One of the last great events to take place on the “Ross Street Stage” was a collaboration between the 4 businesses, four breweries, and 11 local musicians. The “Save Our Stages – Originals Open Mic” night on Sept 18 was broadcast live over the internet. Each of the 11 musicians was invited to play 3 songs, all originals, to the excited crowd that filled the seats of the businesses’ patios and the Ross Street Patio seating. Filmed and broadcast by the team at Hot Shoe Studio the event was a huge success, culminating in a show of support by the local RCMP. As the sun set, approx 10-12 RCMP patrol vehicles slowly passed the Ross Street Patio with lights flashing and sirens sounding as a salute to the citizens of Red Deer and the businesses for doing their part to make the downtown safe and vibrant, by occupying that space. The cheers were deafening, and the tears of joy were real. What a summer, and what a city.
Thanks to the City of Red Deer for providing the space. Thanks to the Downtown Business Association for the support and additional programming. Thanks to the businesses for breaking down their silos and working together for the greater cause. And thanks to the citizens of Red Deer for showing up, supporting local, and being generally good in the world.
I’ve never been more proud to be a Red Deerian, and I can’t wait for next summer.
To watch the full Originals Open Mic video click here: https://youtu.be/8fzMIT8pIyE
Recreation centres back to regular hours October 1 – Includes links to updated schedules
From the City of Red Deer
City recreation centres to return to regular hours of operation
Starting October 1, the Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre, will return to regular hours of operation.
In July, The City began a gradual, phased plan to re-open facilities and resume recreation and culture activities and programs, in line with the provincial health orders, restrictions and guidelines. With a better understanding of community demand and our new operating environment, we are able to return to regular hours of operation at the Collicutt Centre and the G.H. Dawe Community Centre.
Set to open September 14, hours at the Recreation Centre will be limited as we monitor and respond to demand. With the opening of the Recreation Centre, hours of operation at the Michener Aquatic Centre will also be modified to provide broad public access to aquatic amenities. Hours for specific facilities are available here.
“This is a significant step forward in our re-opening plans and we are excited to see that citizens and user groups are increasingly using our facilities,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “While we remain focussed on ensuring the health and safety of both users and staff, we are looking forward to increasing access to our facilities, through the change in hours, increased services and our fall programming.”
Citizens can participate in programs and activities in two ways:
- Activity Reservations – With no drop-in access or classes, all activities must be pre-booked. Everything from lane swimming to walking on the track requires an Activity Reservation – this means customers need to plan ahead and sign up in advance before arriving at a recreation facility. For more information and to pre-book, visit reddeer.ca/reserve. Reservations are available 14 days in advance.
- Fall programming – Registration for fall programs is open. These are programs that recur for a set period of time (e.g., swimming lessons). Create a custom online Activity Guide to find and register for programs.
Amenities and facilities continue to open. As previously announced, the Recreation Centre will open September 14 for registered programs, facility rentals and Activity Reservation. Also on September 14, fitness areas at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre will be available for use, through Activity Reservations.
Also effective October 1, the temporary discount for facility passes and admission will no longer be available. In early July, entrance fees were temporarily reduced to better reflect reduced hours of operation, service and program offerings.
“As we planned our gradual re-opening of amenities, we knew program and services would initially be limited, which is why we offered a temporary discount,” said McKee. “As we continue to increase our service levels, we also need to return to regular admission rates to ensure sustainability.”
The existing Activity Reservation Pass will not be available for purchase as of October 1. Anyone who purchases an Activity Reservation Pass in September will be offered a prorated credit as of October 1 toward the purchase of a new pass. More information about facility admission rates and passes is available here.
Visitors to recreation facilities are asked to wear a mask when a distance of two metres from others cannot be maintained. Mask wearing during intense, physical activity is not recommended.
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