The 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer are just two weeks away and Games officials say they are ready.
On Friday, the addition of nine new sponsors was announced along with news that a successful volunteer program and strong contingencies are in place for any unexpected changes that could arise.
Lyn Radford, Chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society says excitement is building as tickets and passes for some events are nearly sold-out.
“But ‘day of’ event tickets will be available, you just go to the venue and you will be able to purchase your tickets there,” she explains. “We’re also excited about the Canada Games Plaza - the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza. In fact the fences are now off, the dome is going up today for the festival and we’re excited to see that happening.”
Radford points-out all Games facilities are ready.
“Red Deer College just indicated to us that the residence will be ready,” says Radford. “They are just doing the final touch-ups, so we’ll be able to start commissioning in about a week and a half and be ready for when those athletes arrive.”
Radford says they are also in good shape financially.
“We have a bit of a contingency fund that if we have any problems, that we’ll be able to manage them,” states Radford. “I mean, you never know what the weather is going to throw to you so we have a Plan B in place for those kinds of things. Hopefully we don’t have to use Plan B because that maybe could be some money that’s left to our community for legacy.”
Radford encourages Red Deerians to be welcoming to the thousands of visitors that will soon be here and show their Games spirit by leaving their Christmas lights on, for example.
“Come on down to the Festival, it’s free to everybody and enjoy that,” adds Radford. “Buy tickets if you are able to, they’re not that costly and enjoy all of the sports. These athletes have worked phenomenally hard to get here, so let’s support them and show them that.”
Mayor Tara Veer says being just two weeks out from opening day is a little surreal after years of planning.
“Our community had an idea seven years ago and then it’s become a reality seven years later after many years of hard work,” exclaims Veer. “Obviously there’s been a lot that’s transpired in the community since that time but we’ve been building so much toward the Games that it’s hard to believe it’s here. I’m grateful we’ve asked ourselves as a community what’s next, what’s after the Games, so that we’re always building towards our future.”
Veer says she’s confident Red Deer will host the best Games the country has ever seen.
“The message to the people of our country is welcome,” states Veer. “We are so proud to be able to welcome our fellow Canadians to a transformed Red Deer because of the Canada Winter Games. The message to the people of our community is ‘Thank You’ and this really is our moment, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to welcome Canadians like this and to experience The Games and really there are free and accessible opportunities for all Red Deerians and central Albertans, so enjoy it.”
During today’s announcement, Sport Chek and the Canadian Olympic Foundation were announced as a National Partners; CHANDOS Construction was welcomed as a Silver Sponsor. ColossoVision, Culligan Water, Graham Construction, Marshall Construction, Turple Bros. Ltd. and WINMAR® (Canada) International, Ltd. joined the 2019 Games sponsor roster as Bronze Sponsors.
(With files from the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society)
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