Optimism on rise in home industry

If the Red Deer Home Show is an indicator of the health of the local housing market, then the sector is doing all right.

If the Red Deer Home Show is an indicator of the health of the local housing market, then the sector is doing all right.

As of Friday, the 2013 edition of the annual show, which will run March 8 to 10 at Westerner Park, had a record 296 exhibitors confirmed and about 15 more on a waiting list.

Kevin Wilkie, first vice-president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association — Central Alberta, the organization that stages the event, said optimism among the businesses taking part is high.

“Everyone is kind of feeling the turn in the market here,” said Wilkie, who is vice-president of sales with True-Line Homes of Red Deer.

He said the local economy appears to be strengthening, with increased interest in new homes, renovations, and products and services associated with both.

“Last year (attendance) was around 11,000, so we’re expecting to hit that or hopefully break that,” said Wilkie, a Home Show veteran and chair of this year’s event.

Scheduled to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 2013 show will mark the return of Carson Arthur, of Global TV’s Room to Grow and HGTV’s Green Force.

“He did a good job last year,” said Wilkie.

Arthur will conduct two presentations on Saturday: one at 11 a.m. on environmental changes to a home’s outdoor space that will improve its value, and another at 2 p.m. about landscape design trends.

Taking the stage on Sunday will be Vicki Skinner of Canadian Closet. She will speak at 1 p.m. about de-cluttering using storage and organizational tips and tricks.

Following Skinner at 2 p.m. will be Ellen Walker of Ellen Walker Design Solutions. She’ll discuss space planning, remodelling and replacement strategies.

Wilkie said the products and services on display at the show will be many and varied.

“There’s just about everything.

“There’s always something new every year.”

Hours for the 2013 Red Deer Home Show will be noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. ‘Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult. Westerner Park parking charges will be in effect.


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