Government and Lowe’s Canada officials took part in the ceremonial board cutting instead of a ribbon cutting Thursday morning as part of the grand opening ceremony. (Photo by Susan Zielinski/Advocate staff)

UPDATED: Red Deer Lowe’s welcomes shoppers

Grand opening giveaways all weekend

Lowe’s Canada welcomed shoppers and government officials to the grand opening of its Red Deer store Thursday morning and presented a $5,000 community grant to Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.

It’s Lowe’s 62nd store in Canada and features a 86,300-square-foot sales floor, a 17,300-square-foot garden centre, as well as a lumber yard.

“We have an initial investment of $23 million to build and stock the store with over 40,000 items in stock, and 128 permanent positions with 40 seasonal positions being added in the spring as well,” said store manager Cole Cooper during the grand opening ceremony at the 15 Signet Close store.

He said the local Lowe’s team voted to award the grant to the women’s shelter and the store will continue to assist non-profit organizations in Red Deer through Lowe’s Heroes program.

“Every store in the company annually provides renovation and labour services within the community we operate in. We will pick a group of associates and we will write off product at Lowe’s expense and send those associates to that site to perform renovations for them to improve their business,” Cooper said.

Ian Wheeliker, executive director of Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter, said the $5,000 donation will go to its Nurturing Parenting Program to interrupt the generational cycle of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence, as you know, runs in families and unfortunately when children are exposed to domestic violence the likelihood that they’re going to grow up and experience domestic violence in their own relationships, as either the abuser or the victim, increases significantly,” Wheeliker said.

So far the shelter has worked with 125 moms, dads and children through the program, he said.

Mayor Tara Veer said the addition of Lowe’s — a nation-wide company — is a strong economic sign for Red Deer.

“Certainly with the announcement of CFR this week and with some of the expansion plans that came before the municipal planning commission this week, and of course the grand opening of a major retailer in our community, are all signals of confidence in our local economy and an imminent return to growth years once again,” Veer said.

Grand opening giveaways, contests and activities continue all weekend at Lowe’s.

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