Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games Bid committee is feeling confident after a positive visit with the group tasked with ensuring the proposed venues and facilities are up to standard.
Chairperson Lyn Radford said there’s still a lot of work to do but she is pleased overall with the two-day visit with the Canada Winter Games Technical Review Committee.
“Not that we had everything perfect,” said Radford. “We didn’t have everything perfect and they definitely let us know that there are aspects that we need to re-evaluate in our bid.”
While touring the facilities such as the Collicutt Centre, Westerner Park and Canyon Ski Hill, the committee pointed out the strengths and weaknesses in the proposals.
“Those were some exciting ideas,” said Radford. “Exciting ideas also bring risk management.
“And they did indicate that we need to make sure we strengthen those ties and make sure that’s happening.”
Radford said the technical crews are experienced with the games so they know what works and what does not work.
She said it was great to be able bounce ideas off them and to pick their brains.
“I feel confident we will be pushed on to the next phase,” said Radford.
“And that will give us the opportunity to strengthen those areas that they had any concerns about.”
Dena Coward, a volunteer with the technical review committee, said Red Deer’s group was well prepared and the hospitality was fantastic.
“The community is obviously very supportive of the bid,” said Coward.
“We saw a lot of that … We saw some fantastic venues. Like any community there are some challenges with some things but overall I think we saw some really good venues here.”
The technical review committee will now submit a report to the Canada Games Council’s bid evaluation committee.
By March 7, the two communities (Red Deer and Lethbridge) in the running will be notified whether or not they will proceed to the evaluation phase of the bidding.
Red Deer College president Joel Ward said he believes the technical group saw what the college can do to contribute to the bid.
“I think they were also impressed that there’s a potential volunteer base of students,” said Ward. “I think they were excited that we are looking to connect some of our student programming to the games (and) give our students a real world opportunity.”
Mayor Tara Veer said the ability to host the games is a great opportunity for Red Deer not only in terms of the profile that the games would bring in 2019 but the legacy it would leave with the new venues and enriched community spirit.
Should Red Deer advance, the bid committee will tweak the bid based on the recommendations. Final bid proposals are due to the Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee by the end of May. The community chosen to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games will be announced in September.
l Show your support for the bid with a Red Deer is Ready button. The buttons will be available free of charge starting today at the Collicutt Centre, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association. Find Red Deer is Ready – 2019 Canada Winter Games Bid on Facebook for more information.