By MARY-ANN BARR
This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony for Red Deer will be held at CrossRoads Church, a smaller venue than in the past.
Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion president Bev Hanes confirmed the new indoor location on Friday.
The Nov. 11 ceremony, which always draws standing-room-only crowds, has been held at the downtown Arena for many years.
However, the old Arena was torn down this summer to make way for a new one to be finished in time for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Hanes said the Arena held about 2,000 people whereas there is seating for 1,200 in the main part of CrossRoads Church and then about another 500 seats in two other parts of the facility where the ceremony can be live-streamed.
They expect to be at CrossRoads Church for the next two years and then possibly move the ceremony to the new downtown Arena. CrossRoads Church is located just west of the city off the QEII Hwy at 32nd Street.
While Hanes suspects some people won’t go out to the new location, it does have the benefit of being more accessible to people in wheelchairs as there are no stairs.
As well, this year they will have a reception just for veterans and their families at the church right after the ceremony, she said. This means they won’t have to rush off to the Legion as so many people do.
There will be other changes to make the ceremony work at the new location and the Legion is working with the City of Red Deer on details such as transportation, she said.
On a separate matter, the Legion is in the process of selling its current location on Bremner Avenue so it can move to a smaller setting.
Hanes said the property, listed at $7.4 million, hasn’t sold yet and they won’t be moving until it does. The new location hasn’t been determined yet.
“It’s not going to be an overnight thing,” she said.