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Red Deer battles to retain ParticipACTION title

Get moving Red Deer
Mayor Ken Johnston kicked off this year’s ParticipACTION Community Challenge with the Mayor’s Walk on June 2, 2023. (Photo from Community Better Red Deer on Facebook)

The competition to be named Canada’s Most Active Community is underway, and so far Red Deer is ranked one of the top 10 communities according to minutes of activity recorded by ParticipACTION.

“Right now in Canada we are #6, and in Alberta we are number #2,” said Denise Fredeen, Move Your Mood Coordinator for Alberta Health Services and Red Deer’s ParticipACTION spokesperson.

Last June Red Deer beat out 1,700 communities to be named Canada’s Most Active Community — the first Alberta community to ever win — and took home the $100,000 prize.

North Granville, Ont. is currently in the lead nationally in the 2023 competition that runs until June 30, and Calgary is in the top spot in Alberta.

Throughout the challenge communities will be ranked according to total minutes of activity logged, but the national and provincial winners will be based on activity minutes logged per capita so even small communities have a chance to win.

Finalists will also be judged on the number of unique individuals and organizations that took part in the challenge, how communities would use the prize money, what they did to reduce barriers to activity, and more.


Red Deer prepares to defend its 2022 ParticipACTION success

To join the challenge individual adults can download the ParticipACTION app by visiting to record any physical activity, from exercise classes, team sports, house cleaning, dog walking and more.

People can also create a group for their organization and track their activity on the ParticipACTION website. Families can track their kids activities, sports teams and family activities on the website. Individuals can also choose to track their activity on the website.


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Last June Red Deerians logged 19 million minutes of activity.

Fredeen said Red Deer is off to a good start this year. People are engaged and logging their activity, but it’s easy to start to forget about the competition, or remember to log activities as the month continues.

By next week the challenge is half over.

“We need to continue. On Day 20 we still want people to get out there, get active, try something new.”

She said some residents may think it’s too late join in and help defend Red Deer’s title, but it’s not. They can also log activity minutes that they did earlier in the month, or forgot to record, on the app or website. The deadline to log all activity is June 30 at midnight.

Fredeen said everyone across Canada has a chance to win prizes from ParticipACTION when the log minutes on the app.

Local prizes will also be awarded from Move Your Mood program. All people have to do is post a photo of themselves being active with the hashtag #communitybetterreddeer, or email the photo to

For more information on Red Deer’s ParticipACTION campaign visit Red Deer Better Community on Facebook.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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