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City of Red Deer

Tour the newly renovated Westerner Park Centrium

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From the City of Red Deer and Westerner Park

Preview of renovations almost complete ahead of Team Canada training at Westerner Park Centrium

In 2019, Red Deer City Council approved a $3 million capital request from Westerner Park’s Exhibition Association, which operates the Centrium, as part of its 2020 capital budget to help with renovations needed at the facility.

The City of Red Deer approved $3 million toward a revitalization project that would improve the 1991- era arena’s dressing rooms, concourse and seating.

At the time of budget approval, Tara Lodewyk, General Manager of Planning and Protective Services said “Westerner Park is a huge economic driver in the region. We want it to keep attracting more events, as Red Deer businesses and citizens’ benefit whenever the Centrium brings in various sport, business and cultural attractions.”

Renovations, which are nearing completion, include updating dressing rooms, adding additional railing to the outer edge of the concourse, new modernized LED score clock and signage, and one of the biggest projects, replacing the 30-year-old spectator seats to meet modern facility standards. Westerner Park officials had aimed to complete renovations before hockey players started arriving for the World Junior Championship that were set to run Dec. 26, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021, which has since been deferred to 2021/2022. Construction during the pandemic occurred more efficiently due to no events being held in the facility, while renovations also provided local economic stimulus by employing local trades.

On September 17, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that all games for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be played in Edmonton, instead of Red Deer, due to COVID- 19 restrictions, without fans in attendance, but will return to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2021.

However, Red Deer is hosting Canada’s best under 20 hockey players ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Forty-seven players will attend a training camp at the Centrium at Westerner Park from November 16 until December 13. The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of sports all-stars, before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton. The Red Deer camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and the media.

“Not being able to host World Juniors this year was a significant disappointment for many Red Deerians who were anticipating welcoming the international hockey community back to our city,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “I know Red Deer will be ready to welcome the world to our community in 2021/2022, and will actively continue our preparations for this incredible opportunity for our city. This year, we are glad to be able to participate in preparation for the World Juniors by hosting a selection camp bubble at the Centrium.”

“The renovations and upgrades will enhance guest experience at Westerner Park and ensure the comfort and safety for everyone that attends events in the Centrium,” said Mike Olesen, Westerner Park CEO. “The upgrades will also create more interest from national and international events to consider Red Deer and Westerner Park for upcoming events.”

“We’re incredibly excited for hockey fans to experience the bold changes taking place inside our home, the Centrium,” said Merrick Sutter, Sr. Vice President, Red Deer Rebels. “The much needed upgrades provide a fresh, clean look for all guests and events, and further cements the facility as a premiere destination for major events and junior hockey.”

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City of Red Deer

Face coverings now mandatory in Red Deer for all indoor public spaces and pubic vehicles

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City Hall

From the City of Red Deer

City Council passes temporary mandatory face covering bylaw in Red Deer

Face coverings are temporarily mandatory in Red Deer after City Council approved a bylaw today, mandating face coverings for indoor public places and public vehicles.

The bylaw will officially come into effect on November 30, 2020; however, The City strongly encourages citizens to wear a face covering in accordance with the bylaw starting today.

The decision to proceed with a short-term face covering bylaw came after in-depth discussions on the topic over the past few weeks and during last week’s Special City Council Meeting. During this meeting, a number of amendments were considered by City Council, triggering the need for the third reading at today’s regular City Council meeting.

“Mandating temporary face coverings in Red Deer is a short-term measure to be responsive to the evolving pandemic in Red Deer and across the province. We know this is a divisive issue in our community, and although the Province has yet to mandate masks across Alberta, City Council believes this temporary measure is critical if we want local case numbers and hospitalization to remain flat,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Through this bylaw, we are putting into action, the recommendations of health officials because the safety, health and wellbeing of all citizens continues to be our number one priority.”

At this time, the bylaw has a sunset clause of March 1, 2021, and will expire on this date.

The bylaw mandates all citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles with the exceptions noted in the bylaw. This includes any place, whether publicly or privately owned, where members of the public have access as of right or by implied invitation.

The bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities. It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage.

The fine for not wearing a face covering in a public place is $50.

“This decision is about protecting public health and safety, protecting our health care system, and doing whatever we can to help stabilize the local economy and prevent potential future lockdowns that could result in further business impacts and closures,” said Mayor Veer. “We are all feeling the pressures of COVID-19; citizens, businesses and Albertans alike are significantly affected. The City will continue to do everything we can to support our local citizens and businesses by putting measures in place that could minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

A mandatory face covering bylaw is just one of the municipal measures being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Red Deer. The City also continues to adapt its many operations to be responsive to the changing circumstances, increase communication with citizens and businesses and to continue to seek information and support through the Province of Alberta.

Red Deer is now one of approximately nineteen other Alberta municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, to have a mandatory face covering bylaw in place.

For more information about the new bylaw and other COVID-19 restrictions, please read our Face Coverings in Public Places (Mandatory Mask) Bylaw FAQ (pdf)  or visit www.reddeer.ca.

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City of Red Deer

Masks now required in all City facilities in Red Deer. City council to vote on remaining public spaces next week.

Published on

City Hall

From The City of Red Deer

City Council will consider third reading of mandatory Mask Bylaw next Monday

City Council will consider third reading of a mandatory mask bylaw next Monday following tonight’s Special Council meeting. If approved, the bylaw will require face coverings in all indoor public places and public vehicles.

The decision to proceed with first and second reading of a mandatory mask bylaw came after approximately seven hours of debate.

As part of tonight’s council meeting, City Council also approved a bylaw requiring face coverings in all City facilities in Red Deer. The Face Coverings Bylaw in Civic Facilities takes effect immediately with employees and patrons inside any City building, where services are provided to the public, required to wear a face covering unless they are within an office or cubicle. The key exceptions are those with medical conditions, when eating/drinking, when doing heavy labour, to name a few.

In addition, City Council endorsed the following recommendations that state The City of Red Deer will:

  • advocate to the Government of Alberta that COVID-19 related health restrictions be applied at the regional level, if not province wide, in order to ensure greater consistency between proximal municipalities whose citizens are likely to travel to and from such municipalities and interact regularly.
  • advocate to the Government of Alberta to request more timely and responsive communications regarding COVID-19 related data and announcements to municipalities, namely The City of Red Deer, prior to information being shared with the public.
  • update Red Deer City Council on current COVID-19 status in the city of Red Deer; actions being taken to curb community transmission; and, progress on targeted communications within the community.
  • increase communications and engagement with Red Deer citizens, businesses and the community as a whole.

In addition to consideration of a mask bylaw, the resolutions endorsed by City Council today focus on enhanced advocacy and communication with the Province of Alberta as The City works to protect the health and safety of not only Red Deerians, but citizens across the province.

The proposed mask bylaw includes the mandating of mandatory masking in all public places in Red Deer. The draft bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities.

It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage. In an amendment to the draft, Council resolved to limit the bylaw’s application to only those public places with a capacity of 15 or more patrons. The fine for not wearing a mask in a public place is $50.

“The resolutions endorsed by City Council today will trigger further provincial advocacy on enhanced communication, and regional/provincial approaches to COVID-19 restrictions. These measures will ensure continuity in our region and across the province as we municipally work to support citizens, businesses and our community as a whole while this pandemic continues to evolve and affect us all,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke.

For more information about COVID

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november, 2020

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