Community members named to Canada Winter Games board

Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games board of directors started taking shape on Monday with the announcement of 10 community board members.

Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games board of directors started taking shape on Monday with the announcement of 10 community board members.

The 10 community and business leaders were chosen from 51 nominees to sit on the governance board for the games.

“We were overwhelmed. We can say with all honesty all 51 could have sat on this board,” said Scott Robinson, chair of the nominations working group, at a press conference at Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday.

“It was a great response. Not just the amount of people who applied. People who have great credentials and backgrounds told us we’ve got something here that’s important to the community.”

Lyn Radford, chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games board, will be joined by the following community members: Hugh McPherson, a former school principal with experience in several large-scale athletic games in Red Deer; longtime volunteer and project manager Russ Wlad; Deb Beck, who has leadership and board experience; vice-president of Melcor Developments and Catholic school trustee Guy Pelletier; past Red Deer College president Ron Woodward; former Red Deer mayor Gail Surkan; former RDC coach and athletics director Allan Ferchuk; North Central Francophone Education Region school board trustee Nicole Lorrain; co-chair of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup Ron Lariviere; and Vellner Leisure Products president Marty Vellner.

Robinson said the working group was looking for people with experience to run an organization of the size and magnitude of the games, with reach into the community, region and province.

He said those who were not chosen to sit on the board have been contacted because there will be a lot of leadership opportunities as work on the games proceeds over the next four years.

Rather than being involved in the hands-on, day-to-day activities to organize and run the games, the board of directors will set policy.

He said the board will take over in March or early April and one of its first responsibilities will be to hire a CEO for the games.

Close to 70 paid staff and 6,000 volunteers will be part of the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

“Over the next 45 days or so, the transition team is still in charge of taking us from the bid committee to the host society,” Robinson said.

Radford called her new board members her “dream team.”

She said in preparation for 2019, board and transition members will be checking out the 2015 Canada Winter Games to be hosted by Prince George, from Feb. 13 to March 1.

She is particularly interested in experiencing ‘turnaround day.’

“Turnaround day is when 1,800 athletes leave and when 1,800 arrive. That is a day you’ve got to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing,” Radford said.

Radford is also keen on finding out more about the types of events and activities that Red Deer organizers will need to host in 2019.

In about a month, the remaining board directors will be announced. They will include two members from the Canada Games Council, one member from Sport Canada, one from the City of Red Deer, and one from Red Deer College.