Nova Chemicals commits $2M to 2019 Canada Winter Games

A company described as a “community builder” is the latest to step forward for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

A company described as a “community builder” is the latest to step forward for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Nova Chemicals committed $2 million to be divided equally between the build of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness and Sport and to establish the company as a sustainability pillar sponsor.

The financial contribution was announced at a news conference at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Wednesday.

Rick Van Hemmen, Nova Chemicals manufacturing director for Western Canada, said the contribution is much more than a $2-million cheque for exciting sporting event. Van Hemmen will chair the legacy sub-committee on sustainability for the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society.

“This was our opportunity to demonstrate who we are as Central Albertans and to demonstrate how well we work together, come together for the community,” Van Hemmen told the 50 or so assembled guests.

He said Nova Chemicals is currently on its own sustainability journey and are passionate about demonstrating its commitment through its company initiatives.

“We are strong believers in going beyond what’s important to our site,” said Van Hemmen. “We are in a very focused sustainability mission of our own … It’s important for all companies to think about more than just the bottom line. It’s about having as minimal impact on your environment. It’s about helping your community in so many different ways.”

Lyn Radford, chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society, said sustainability will be a key component in the Games.

“We are going to leave as little footprint as we can with the Games,” she said.“But sustainability really goes a little further than that.” Sustainability is about leadership, recognizing the value in young people after the games and social justice.

“Those are all the components we look at the Games making sure that we leave minimal impact but a positive impact,” said Radford.

“I am not one to re-invent the wheel,” she said. “I am a person (who will) find where the best is, and isn’t it great that the best is in our community already — Nova Chemicals.”

Joel Ward, RDC president, said the largest capital project in the Red Deer’s history will be a huge pillar for the day after the Games and its push to become a polytechnic university.

“The Canada Winter Games was the impetus for us to build this great facility and to be a main partner, to host all the athletes and host some of the events and showcase the city all across the country,” said Ward. “Nova stepping up and contributing to both the Canada Winter Games and the construction of the building is extraordinary and that’s going to cause a lot more dominoes to fall.”

Nova Chemicals has donated roughly $3.5 million since 1984 to the college.

The estimated $88-million Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness and Sport is scheduled to be up and running in the fall of 2018.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com