City of Red Deer
Collicutt, GH Dawe, and Michener Aquatic Centres to open in mid-July
From the City of Red Deer
City to begin phased reopening of recreation facilities
“We are excited to welcome citizens back to our facilities, but opening them within the new provincial health guidelines and restrictions takes planning, and we have had to make significant adjustments to our operations,” said Shelley Gagnon, Recreation, Parks & Culture Manager. “The experience will look and feel a little different for our residents when these amenities reopen.”
Operating hours at some facilities will be adjusted and access to facilities and programs will be limited and controlled to comply with provincial guidelines. This could include booking time slots to use fitness equipment or designating specific public swimming times, track access and sport activities.
The tentative timeline for amenity openings is as follows:
- June 24 – Community bookings will open for sports fields, picnic shelters and bookable park spaces including Great Chief Park, Setters Place, Bower Ponds Stage. The Lindsay Thurber track and field amenities will also be available for bookings. The City is working with user groups to confirm previous bookings and understand future demand.
- Collicutt Centre – Fitness areas, access to the track and use of the field house will be available for controlled, limited access. We also expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming.
- G.H. Dawe Community Centre – We expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming. The gymnasium will open for controlled, limited access. Fitness areas will not open immediately.
- Michener Aquatic Centre – We expect to have the pool available for controlled, limited lane swimming and some aquatic fitness.
- The Recreation Centre will remain closed for the time being. We continue to assess and understand demand for facilities, program and services as part of this phased approach to opening. As previously announced, the outdoor pool will remain closed for the season.
- We are working with our organized user groups and clubs to understand demand as they plan for summer and fall programming. These groups book space in our facilities and we anticipate having space available for their use including ice, dry space and pools, by July 6th.
- We are also excited to offer outdoor fitness programming in early July. More details will be provided soon.
In addition, the following third party-operated facilities have been given permission to reopen while following all provincial health requirements and guidelines. Please contact them directly for operating information:
- River Bend Golf and Recreation Area
- Enduro Mountain Bike Park
- Lions Campground
- Red Deer Tennis Club
- Red Deer Pickleball Club
- Red Deer BMX
- Bower Ponds Pavilion
- Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery
- Kerry Wood Nature Centre
- Norwegian Laft Hus
- Heritage Square
- Cronquist House
- Fort Normandeau
- Neighbourhood Activity Centres
- YMCA Northside Community Centre
- Great West Adventure Park
- Heritage Ranch
- Festival Hall
- Memorial Centre
- Edgar Athletic Fields
“We are still assessing how we can safely open our spray parks, including Kin Canyon, Discovery Canyon and Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play, while adhering to public health orders and restrictions,” said Gagnon. “Currently, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people, so we’re working to determine how to manage these restrictions while still providing access and will have more information to share in the coming weeks.”
Registration is now open for modified summer day camps which will be held in City facilities in July and August. Visit www.reddeer.ca/daycamps for further information.
As recreation and culture amenities open, The City strongly encourages users to remain vigilant and continue exercising caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including washing/sanitizing hands often and staying home when feeling ill. Facility users will be required to follow all public health orders including maintaining physical distancing when possible.
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
G.H. Dawe expansion project complete
- Two NHL-sized arenas;
- Fitness and programming spaces including state-of-the art fitness equipment, two group fitness studios and a 230-metre fitness track; and
- Multiple public art installations.
Accessing the recreation facility is also more convenient with the outdoor upgrades which include the addition of parking and an entrance on the north side of the building, and site access off 67 Street. The G.H. Dawe Community Centre will be open with new extended operational hours, exciting new programs and adjusted admission fees Monday, March 20.
The $42 million expansion project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program ($15.1 million), the Government of Alberta through Municipal Sustainability Initiatives ($12.6 million), and the City of Red Deer’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 capital budgets ($14.2 million).
For more information on the G.H. Dawe Community Centre expansion project, please visit www.reddeer.ca/Dawe.
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