A 100-day count-down to the 2019 Canada Winter Games is being projected in lights on the east side of Red Deer’s Sheraton hotel.
As the words ‘Red Deer,’ ‘Canada Winter Games 2019,’ and ‘100 days’ appeared on the side of the 14-storey building, along with a deer logo, an outdoor crowd of organizers and sponsors applauded on a crisp Wednesday evening.
“A hundred days!” Lyn Radford, chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Committee, exclaimed to the chilled audience.
“This is the first phase of conditioning, so you’re all ready for February… Everybody will think, hey, Red Deerians are a hardy bunch!”
In just over three months, Red Deer and Central Alberta “will be forever changed as we host the nation’s best athletes competing for gold in 19 sports,” she added.
The Canada Winter Games, the largest multi-sport and cultural event in the nation, will be held from Feb. 15 to March 3, when the city will welcome up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and some 100,000 spectators.
On Wednesday, an outdoor stage was set up outside the Sheraton to announce 11 new sponsors who will help finance, publicize or enhance the Games in their own way. Representatives of the organization were all given 2019 Canada Winter Games jerseys.
The new sponsors are: Westerner Park, which will be hosting five sports and the opening and closing ceremonies, Nossack Food Group, a silver sponsor, and Pomeroy Lodging in Kananaskis, which will sponsor the Athletes’ Village for alpine skiing.
Bronze sponsors include Save-On-Foods, Tickets Alberta, The Sheraton Red Deer Hotel, and Canalta Controls Ltd.
Prairie Bus Lines will be a transportation provider for the athletes. Proform Concrete designed and built Games infrastructure, including Celebration Plaza, and Stems Flowers and Cafe will be decorating Games venues.
“Our community is privileged to welcome our fellow Canadians to Red Deer in just 100 days,” the city’s Mayor Tara Veer said in a statement. “The hard work of our citizens and community partners will be celebrated on the national stage.”