Ponoka opts in to sponsor 2019 Canada Winter Games

The town hopes to split the $50,000 ask with the Ponoka Stampede Association

The Town of Ponoka wants to be a sponsor of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

Council opted to be a bronze sponsor of the games after an in camera session of the regular meeting Jan. 23.

The motion after the in camera session was to pay $25,000 towards the $50,000 ask from the Winter Games committee with the difference coming from a proposed partnership with the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association (PSA).

The bronze sponsorship tier is $50,000 over three years — 2018 to 2020 — with the town and the PSA basically paying $8,334 each for three years.

Mayor Rick Bonnett said the hope is the PSA will support the proposal as the town won’t go in as a sponsor without the partnership. The one year launch for the games is set in February, which is one reason why the decision came so late, said Bonnett.

“They (Winter Games) want to do a western theme,” said Bonnett of the plans, which is why the PSA is a good fit.

“I think there’s a good opportunity for us that’s for sure,” he added.

Stampede president Blair Vold said the PSA board of directors are discussing the question and he feels it’s a positive proposal but didn’t want to confirm anything until the entire board had a look at the proposal.

“I’m in favour of it but it’s going to be the board that goes with the decision,” said Vold, adding that he feels Monday or Tuesday he’ll have an answer.

The sponsorship includes a showcase at a festival that will be held during the Winter Games and is meant to be a showcase for the big sponsors. Ponoka and the PSA would share a day at the event.

“It’s an opportunity you don’t get everyday,” said Bonnett.

An ad hoc committee will make all the decisions regarding what the sponsorship package will be as well as festival day, which is a showcase for sponsors at the games.

The committee comprises two members of town council, two members of the PSA, two members of the Economic Development Board, two members of the Recreation Advisory Committee and an impartial chairperson from a member of the Ponoka Kinettes.

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