Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games is the only event that could bring home three awards from an upcoming Canadian sports tourism awards event.
The Games were nominated as one of three finalists in three categories for the 2020 Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) Prestige Awards.
The Games could win the CSTA Canadian Sports Event of the Year Award (with a budget greater than $1 million), CSTA Sport Event Legacy of the Year Award, and 2019 Canada Games Host Society board chair Lyn Radford was nominated for the CSTA Sport Event Volunteer of the Year.
Winners will be announced during a Sports Events Congress event in Edmonton on March 25.
Radford thanked the community for making the Canada Winter Games possible.
‘The reason why we are up for these three awards is by far because the community bought into this, and they helped make it happen. So the community should be feeling so proud of itself right now,” Radford said.
“To get nominated, and narrowed down to the top three finalists, that’s pretty good coup for our community.”
On being nominated as volunteer of the year, she said there were 5,000 people who made the Games possible, and she happened to be the leader.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but it takes a huge team to pull something like this together.”
The Games brought 3,600 athletes, 400 coaches and supporters from across the country to Red Deer for 19 sporting competitions.
She said it’s exciting for the Games to be nominated, which will put also Red Deer in a good position to host more sports events in the future.
She said organizers continue to get calls about how they leveraged the Games to leave big and lasting legacies in the community like the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre at Red Deer College; the speed skating and artificial turf on the football field at Great Chief Park; trail upgrades at River Bend Recreation Area; upgraded ski runs at Canyon Ski Area; and Canada Winter Games Plaza at Central Elementary School.
It may have taken more time to build the new Servus Arena had it not been for the Games, and the Games made the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue overpass possible. Also 2,019 trees were planted in Red Deer and central Alberta in honour of the Games, she said.
“Quite often when people host events, they do the event, and that’s it. There’s nothing left for the community, or there’s just the minimum left to the community.
“Red Deer did things differently,” Radford said.