Roughly 900 people enjoyed a night of fine dining and dancing at the seventh annual Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off in Red Deer Saturday night.
The event featured celebrity dancers Troy Gillard, Carla MacLeod, John Young, Cindy Mandrusiak, Todd Simenson, Cari MacLean, Duane Daines and Mellisa Hollingsworth. All pairing up with accomplished dancers to help wow and entertain the audience with fun, creative and energetic dance routines.
Proceeds raised from this year’s event are going towards the Canada Games Celebration Plaza, formerly Central Elementary School and currently under construction and refurbishment in downtown Red Deer.
Once finished, it will serve as a hub for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer and following that, a community space for major arts and cultural festivals in the city.
Aside from thousands of dollars in luxurious prize giveaways courtesy of numerous sponsors, Saturday’s Gala highlighted the dancers and their extraordinary efforts over the past several months as they each trained hard for this community-building event.
Voting from the audience and celebrity judges such as Dr. Vivek Cheba, Deidra Dionne, Danielle Wothersponn-Gregg and Martin Lefebvre resulted in 2018’s Mirror Ball winner being announced as Duane Daines, an Innisfail resident who spent 17 years on the professional rodeo circuit.
“We all won tonight,” exclaims Daines. “Everybody here is having a good time and that’s what it’s all about. Red Deer is making it happen, the rodeo coming in, the winter games, this is the place to be in Canada, right here.”
Sheraton Celebrity Dance-Off Co-Chair Christine Moore says she’s grateful the community has bought-in to the Canada Winter Games Celebration Plaza as being the benefactor of the funds raised from this event.
“It’s going to revitalize downtown,” explains Moore. “Really improve that area and continue to build our community.”
“I’m so proud of all the people who said ‘yes’ to this challenge,” Moore adds. “Our dancers, our professionals, our volunteers, my wonderful committee, my cabinet that works so hard day in and day out and our people came out tonight as they do every year. They come and support this event and for that we’re forever grateful.”
Lyn Radford, Chair, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society says one of the main goals she had for the night was to highlight and talk about accessibility.
“We have four para-sports in our games,” says Radford. “We need to ‘up’ our accessibility game in the town and I think by introducing one of our dancers in a wheelchair, I think that people started to realize the impact that this Plaza can have on our community.”
For more information on the Canada Winter Games Celebration Plaza, click here.
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