2019 Canada Winter Games CEO updates Red Deer city council on progress

Kicking it off by showing the 2019 Canada Winter Games promotional video, narrated by Red Deer’s own Ron MacLean, the games board chair and CEO gave their semi-annual update to city council.

Scott Robinson, CEO, said the games is under budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year and capital projects throughout the community are on track and on budget.

“We’re on track, if anything we’re a little ahead, compared to other games in terms of fundraising and sponsorships,” he said.

A large component of the capital projects, is the new Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness and Sport on the Red Deer College campus that is currently under construction. Robinson said the next major capital focus for the games committee is the Celebration Plaza project, which will repurpose Central Elementary School into a core part of the games.

The committee estimates the games, which will happened Feb. 15 to March 3 in 2019 will have an economic impact of $132 million and create 2,000 jobs in the lead up to and during the event.

Local sponsorships are on track, Robinson said, saying they have about 25 per cent of what they hope to generate. He said they have $5,163,00 to raise in local sponsorships.

On the local fundraising side, they have reached 24 per cent of their target and hope to raise an additional $1,718,125.

From the three levels of government, the municipality all of its capital contribution, the province has sent 95 per cent of its contribution and the federal government has sent 24 per cent of its contribution. Robinson said they are working with federal and provincial governments for more grant opportunities.

Robinson also laid out some upcoming milestones for the games. The mascot design rollout starts this spring, merchandise sales start by this Christmas and tickets for the games go on sale in the summer or fall of 2018.

The legacy plan, the aftermath of the event both capital and cultural, is still being developed. Robinson said they hope to have it completed by the end of April and to the games society board by June 13.

So far 18 staff have been hired, mostly at the manager level, and more than 100 volunteers are already actively involved in the games. Robinson anticipates to have about 300 volunteers active by the fall.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com