City of Red Deer
City extends new $1 million line of credit to Westerner Exposition and calls for a 15 year Master Plan
City remains committed to supporting the financial sustainability of Westerner Exposition Association
- In 2023, begin the development of a Master Plan for the Westerner, which is expected to cost $100,000. The recommendation is that this cost be equally split between The City and WEA. The Master Plan, recommended in the RFA, is a 15-year vision that will include land use, access and multi-modal transportation, building design principles and site servicing.
- Support short-term cash flow for the Westerner by providing a $1 million line of credit for WEA to cover expenses prior to realizing event revenue. This contingency loan is seen as emergency funds, with an expectation for it to be paid back once revenue is realized and only used after their current line of credit. At today’s meeting, Council approved first reading of the borrowing bylaw to accommodate this.
- Amend the repayment formula for the $19 million Exhibition Hall loan agreement for five years to allow time for WEA to retain sufficient cash to meet current obligations, improve cash flow and build their Major Maintenance Reserve. Administration projects that while WEA would not make a loan payment until the fifth year, there is no impact to The City’s budget or to the 30-year loan payment deadline.
- Amend the current RFA to have the City Manager approve all expenditures from WEA’s Major Maintenance Reserve.
“This decision made by City Council is important as it is a representation of Westerner Park moving forward. We appreciate the leadership that Council has shown in recognizing our work to recover, and by putting their trust in our promising future. This support gives our Non-Profit Agricultural Society the security we need to thrive for many years to come, to continue to be the hub for major events in Central Alberta.” – Mike Olesen, CEO Westerner Park
“City Council remains committed to seeing the Westerner through these tough economic times, with the ultimate goal of creating financial and operating stability for Westerner Park ensuring we can continue to attract large events and grow as a City and region. While these are difficult decisions for The City, we are confident in the Westerner and the positive and vital role it serves in our community life, economic development, and its integral place in The City’s Major Event Strategy and Destination Development Framework. Our region and our province benefit from the influential role that the Westerner has, in bringing events to this province.” – Mayor Ken Johnston, The City of Red Deer
Funds approved today to support WEA do not impact The City’s budget, as dollars were earmarked during the 2023-2024 multi-year budget process. The approved recommendations look to balance the financial needs of WEA to regain solid financial footing, while also protecting The City’s investment should financial recovery not occur.
For more information on the support The City provides to WEA, visit www.reddeer.ca/westerner.
City of Red Deer
Mike Olesen, CEO of Westerner Park moving downtown to join The City of Red Deer
Mike Olesen joins City of Red Deer leadership team
“I have every confidence Mike will be an invaluable asset to our general management leadership team and to our organization. His drive to build community and the pride for our city aligns with the values of our organization where we put our citizens and businesses at the centre of what we do at The City,” said Lodewyk. “He will be meeting people and learning the many business lines at The City for the first few months as General Manager. By mid-July he will begin his work leading specific departments.”
City of Red Deer
Registration for Summer Day Camps and all summer programming begins on Tuesday, May 9
Red Deerians can prepare to sign up for Summer Day Camps, summer swim lessons and more starting Tuesday, May 9.
Is your little swimmer ready to sail off to the not-so-salty seas of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for Shipwrecked? Does your creative kid want to explore the colourful world of visual and performing arts at the Intermediate School? Or perhaps your sporty sprout is ready to take on Sports Extravaganza at the Collicutt Centre. All these camps, and so many more, are included in the summer registration session. Families are encouraged to register their children early to guarantee a spot. Day Camps aim to provide children with an opportunity to play, explore, create friendships and experience time in the pool and outdoors while providing families with quality childcare during summer break.
Summer Day Camps run from July 4 – August 30, 2023 and are available in week-long full or half day options. Additionally, 2-hour teen sport camps are new to the selection this summer. Red Deerians can review camp options now by visiting www.reddeer.ca/DayCamps or by picking up a paper copy of the guide at City arts & recreation facilities.
All other summer programs will also be available for registration beginning on Tuesday, May 9. Red Deerians can create their own custom Activity Guide to review all summer program options at www.reddeer.ca/MyActivityGuide. Programs are viewable in the same fashion as they were in the previously produced paper guide. Customers can create their own custom guide and select categories, age groups and locations relevant to them and their families.
Red Deerians are encouraged to visit their Look’ n Book accounts prior to registration day to ensure access is up to date. For any questions regarding account access please contact Recreation
Registration for summer programs begins at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9. There are three ways to register for City of Red Deer programs:
- Online through My Activity Guide at reddeer.ca/MyActivityGuide
- By phone: 403-309-8411
- In person at Collicutt Centre, G.H. Dawe Community Centre, Recreation Centre or
To note, we have updated our system to serve our online registrants more efficiently. Confirmation emails will be sent within 24 hours in an effort to reduce the immediate load on our online systems.
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