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Discovery Canyon, Access for all Playground Project, and Enhanced Trail Systems at River Bend all “Award-Winning” projects


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From The City of Red Deer

Red Deer recognized as parks and recreation leader

Red Deer was recognized as an Alberta parks and recreation leader as local organizations won three separate awards at the annual Alberta Recreation & Parks Association (ARPA) conference last month in Lake Louise.

The APRA awards recognize outstanding achievements of individuals, groups and communities whose contributions to recreation and parks have greatly enhanced the quality of life of Albertans. This year, three APRA awards went to organizations in Red Deer:

  • Parks Excellence Award: The City of Red Deer, Discovery Canyon

The Parks Excellence Award recognizes achievements and innovative ideas in parks and open space operations. The renovation of Red Deer’s Discovery Canyon was taken on as a Canada 150 legacy project with The City working together with IBI Group Urban Design & Architecture. The modernization included repairs to infrastructure, installation of interprative signage, construction of new playgrounds and decks, and the addition of wheelchair accessible ramps to improve accessibility. Since the renovation, visitors to the River Bend Golf & Recreation Area have increased significantly, proving Discovery Canyon remains a favorite destination for residents and visitors alike.

  • Alberta Advisory Board on Recreation for the Disabled (AABRD) Legacy Award: Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunrise Society

The AABRD Legacy Award recognizes achievements by individuals, communities and organizations that strive to advance integrated recreation opportunities for people with disabilities. After identifying a lack of inclusive play structures, the Rotary Club of Red Deer Sunrise partnered with The City and Mattie McCullough Elementary School to create The Access for All Playground Project. More than 50% of the playscape design provides barrier free opportunities for integration, interactive play and inclusion for people with unique abilities.

  • A.V. Pettigrew Award: Parkland Cross Country Ski Club

The A.V. Pettigrew Award recognizes Alberta Communities that have contributed to the improvement of quality of life of their citizens through recreation and parks programs, services, facilities and open spaces. Capitalizing on the momentum of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, the Parkland Cross Country Ski Club identified a need for enhanced recreation trail systems at the River Bend Golf & Recreation Area. The club raised over $400,000 through donations and grants, which was used to widen trails, improve slopes, install lights and increase accessibility and safety for all trail users throughout all seasons of use.

“We are honoured and proud to receive these awards,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent with The City of Red Deer. “Red Deer’s community-driven accomplishments powered by incredible volunteer energy and dedication are second to none and we are so proud to showcase that across the province and the nation.”

More information about Red Deer’s parks and outdoor recreation facilities can be found online at

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Red Deer PCN sends thanks to the Women’s Fun Run organinzing committee

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Thank you, Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run: Re-Imagined!

The Red Deer Primary Care Network would like to thank Val Jensen and the Women’s Fun Run organizing committee for a hugely successful ‘Fun Run Re-Imagined’ on May 9th.

Thank you for your part in creating a culture of active living in Red Deer! Almost 1700 participants of all ages made a commitment to be active, from Lark Lund (4 days old) to Nick and Ann Milkovich (96 and 94 years young).

Click here to learn more about the Primary Care Network.

Read more on Todayville. 

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Our sports history has value

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Simple confirmation that the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has been operating without its standard financial aid from the provincial government prompted some interesting response during the last few days.

In a casual conversation, executive director Tracey Kinsella mentioned last week that COVID-19 made it necessary to cancel at least two annual fund-raisers – the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and its annual invitational golf tournament in Red Deer – and she was concerned about meeting routine expenses.

Consistently, the government’s contribution of $302,000 a year has been in the hands of Hall of Fame officials before the middle of the year. She expressed only mild frustration,, understanding that the coronavirus pandemic and other major financial issues have created major problems far from the world of sports. She did state that government staff members, working below the level of elected or appointed officials, have told her of their efforts to have the money forwarded as quickly as possible.

Perhaps this delay must be seen as part of a long and ongoing drop in Alberta’s financial support to amateur sports at all levels. In the 10-year period ending in 2019, the reduction reached $5.1 million – an average of $500,000 per year. We should hope not.

Some comparative figures seem to be well worth serious study:

* The economic impact of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer was $110 million; impact of the 2018 Alberta Winter Games was $3.4 million for the Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo area and $5.6  million for this host province;

* In 2018-19, Alberta Sport Connection, a sport delivery system disbanded months ago by the UPC, provided $7.2 million to be shared among 80 provincial sport organizations that delivered programming to more than 788,000 Albertans;

* Leduc hosted the 2016 Alberta Summer Games with an economic impact of $3.6 million for the area and $4.9 million for the province.

Still, government aid has dropped. Some citizens suggest minor and amateur sports should not receive government support during troubled times. Today it might be wise to ask Fort McMurray if that community will value the 2022 Arctic Winter Games? The record shows that numerous small- and mid-sized business stepped up during the 2018 Games, a difficult time for fire victims and petroleum companies that have served as a backstop to countless community and area projects.

After the severe floods earlier this year, it’s safe to guess that any international program that will improve community morale while adding some vital dollars to the public purse will be welcome. Incidentally, they’re headed to Wood Buffalo because COVID-19 forced cancellation of the scheduled 2020 event in Whitehorse. Fortunately, some of the dollars set aside and unused in the Northwest Territories have already arrived in Fort McMurray.

These days, surrounded by a crippled economy, I wonder if Alberta now wishes the 2026 Commonwealth Games were headed for Edmonton and 2026 Winter Olympics were coming to Calgary. Both possibilities were seriously discussed before being nixed.

During my five-year term as chair of Alberta Sport Connection, the organization received steady criticism for finishing third of fourth – usually in the rear of Quebec and Ontario – in provincial medal counts. I tried regularly to help almost any government official to focus on the cost of doing business.

It made no impact to point out that Alberta’s per-capita investment in sport programs is (or was) the second-lowest in Canada. Sorry, I can’t remember which province spent less, but I am sure that Saskatchewan receives $24.39 per capita and Newfoundland gets $8.36 per capita.

Alberta receives $3.85 per capita although 82 per cent of Albertans say in polls that they believe sport contributes to quality of life. And those I have spoken to say clearly that the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has value.

John Short on Edmonton’s baseball debate


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may, 2020

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