Art pieces have more elbow room in the new Viewpoint Gallery in the Red Deer Culture Services building. City Councillor Michael Dawe toured the facility with a group of city staffers on Friday.(Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

City of Red Deer wants to lead by example in showing confidence in the downtown

New facilities promote public safety, culture, economic development

From improving public safety to sparking cultural vibrancy and economic development, the City of Red Deer is demonstrating its confidence in the downtown by becoming more of a core presence.

The municipality threw open the doors to three new city-funded facilities on Friday in part of the city that has been plagued by social problems and crime.

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said the city is taking a leadership role in investing in the downtown, thereby encouraging more private-sector interest and development.

Whenever the city has made any downtown improvements, whether by enhancing Alexander Way or creating a Veteran’s Park on Ross Street, “we see the private sector respond,” said Veer — in terms of new stores and restaurants opening.

She believes the same will happen now that the city is creating new spaces designed to improve key aspects of the downtown.

– To enhance public safety, the city is investing in new home for the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol on Little Gaetz Avenue — in the same previously derelict building that’s now renovated and occupied by the Downtown Business Association.

Staff Sgt. Jeff McBeth said four dedicated police officers with the BEAT (Business Enhancement Action Team) are working out of that office. With assistance from other police units, they are patrolling downtown streets on foot, bike, two-wheeled motorized Segways and cars, increasing RCMP visibility and developing relationships with businesses.

– To promote economic development, city officials showed off the new street-front location of the land and economic development office. It’s moved into the historic train station at the top of Ross Street — just a short walk from the new Capstone at Riverlands development and the Rail Lands.

Having a presence at the heart of Red Deer increases chances to “interface” with the nearby DBA, business development programs and downtown businesses, said John Sennema, manager of lands and economic development. He believes having an accessible downtown location will help stimulate private investment in Red Deer and rejuvenate the city’s core.

– On the vibrancy front is the spacious Culture Services department, which has relocated to the renovated Central Intermediate School on 49th Avenue. Aside from the wide outdoor plaza that was created for musical performances and celebrations during the recent Canada Winter Games, the heritage building also features slick new spaces for the public to rent for gatherings— or to take arts workshops or dance classes.

“Our Viewpoint (art) gallery is five times bigger than before,” said the city’s culture superintendent, Tara O’Donnell, who hopes the building’s amenities will help attract more city residents.

A public open house of the Culture Services building will be held Friday, July 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. with activities, art exhibits and musical entertainment.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Mayor Tara Veeris toured through the new Viewpoint Gallery space by Culture Superintendent Tara O’Donnell in Red Deer’s new Culture Services building. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Staff Sgt. Jeff McBeth takes a tour group past the new office of the BEAT downtown police patrol on Little Gaetz Avenue. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

City councillor Ken Johnston joined city staff members for a tour of the new Land and Economic Development office in the old train station on Ross Street. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff.)

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Just Posted

Rain prompts cancellation of pony chuckwagons and Friday night’s fireworks

The pony chuckwagons and fireworks have been cancelled for Friday night at… Continue reading

Half of City of Red Deer employees earn $75,000-plus, data shows

Salaries of 1,441 full- and part-time workers were counted

Canadian recording legends to rock Red Deer’s Westerner Days Friday

Streetheart, Headpins and Holly Wood and Toronto perform tonight

Missing Calgary man spent time in Red Deer

Calgary Police Service seek public’s assistance

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Stop CBSA policy requiring bulletproof vests in immigrant detention: advocates

OTTAWA — A group of doctors, lawyers, legal scholars and human-rights organizations… Continue reading

Ontario attorney general invokes PM in spat over refugee legal aid

OTTAWA — Ontario’s attorney general is taking his fight for more federal… Continue reading

Judge finds Dennis Oland not guilty of murder in multi-millionaire father’s death

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Dennis Oland was cheered and applauded by supporters… Continue reading

Golf Canada’s 2020 Olympic preparations on track with qualifying formula helping

Fifteen years ago, golfers didn’t have to worry about making the Olympics.… Continue reading

Canadian women confirmed for second trip to Rugby League World Cup

TORONTO — Canada has been confirmed as one of eight women’s teams… Continue reading

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con with ‘Top Gun’ sequel trailer

SAN DIEGO — Tom Cruise has made an unexpected flyby at San… Continue reading

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

TORONTO — Former Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunited… Continue reading

Calgary Stampeders bounce back with 26-16 win over Toronto Argonauts

Stampeders 26 Argonauts 16 CALGARY — Juwan Brescacin hauled in a pair… Continue reading

Most Read