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Red Deer city council approves $1 million loan to Westerner Exhibition Association

A $1 million “line of credit” to Westerner Park was approved on Monday by Red Deer city council.
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(File photo by Advocate staff)

A $1 million “line of credit” to Westerner Park was approved on Monday by Red Deer city council.

The loan is needed to support Westerner Exposition Association for its short-term funding requirements. It’s not means to be in perpetuity, but just to get the association through a rough time, said Ray MacIntosh, the city’s chief financial officer.

The interest rate will mirror the five-year rate of loans to local authorities and represents the lost investment revenue to the City. MacIntosh told council this funding is available in addition to the association’s existing CIBC line of credit. But the CIBC funds would have to be exhausted before the association requests city funding.

Westerner Park has had financial challenges, culminating in numerous event cancellations during the pandemic.

“My hope is that it’s a lift up that enables the Westerner to proceed, “said Coun. Lawrence Lee. He hopes the association won’t have to access the line of credit if fans will fill the Centrium for Red Deer Rebels play-off games.

Mayor Johnston said the loan is to ensure the financial success of the non-profit. “It will help get the Westerner Association through an extremely turbulent time” to more stable footing, he added



Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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