Westerner Park and Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce are counting on community support to bring the Canadian Finals Rodeo to the city.
The organizations are inviting the public to a community event Thursday, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. at ENMAX Centrium, to learn about their proposal to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) at Westerner Park starting next November.
“It’s an opportunity for us as a community to show the rodeo association the level of commitment the community has for the CFR here,” said chamber CEO Robin Bobocel Friday.
Thursday’s half-hour event will feature entertainment and speakers. Parking is free.
“It’s a bit unconventional, but we know what we’re up against with some of the other bidders so we wanted to do something a little bit out of the ordinary.”
He said board directors with Canadian Professional Rodeo Association will attend the event and meet afterwards with Westerner and chamber officials to go over the multi-year proposal.
The CFR is searching for a new home after losing its long-time venue at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton. The association says the rodeo finals injects $50 million in economic spin-offs into the host community. Last year, 90,000 fans took in the event.
Bobocel said it’s hoped the rodeo association will move quickly.
“Ideally by the end of the year they will have made a decision on where the rodeo will be held. That’s not going to leave much time for anyone to put together what needs to happen. It’s an extremely large undertaking, and it’s going to take a lot of time and resources.”
Central Albertans are encouraged to show their support by sharing online.
“If they would like to support us, come down to the Centrium. Send in emails or letters to the chamber. We’re collecting letters, and we plan to present them to the rodeo association as an indication of the level of support we have in the community.”