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Town of Innisfail reviews offers for major sports events

Town of Innisfail reviews offers for major sports events

Community Services Standing Committee reviewing invitations to host 2024 Alberta Winter Games, the 2024 Alberta Summer Games or Alberta 55 Plus events

INNISFAIL – The Town of Innisfail has received two offers to submit bids to host large-scale winter and summer games.

On Feb. 1 the town received a letter from Alberta Culture inviting Innisfail to submit a bid to host either the 2024 Alberta Winter Games or the 2024 Alberta Summer Games.

On Jan. 21, the town also received an invitation from Alberta 55 Plus, an Edmonton-based multi-sport and recreation non-profit organization for seniors over the age of 55, to host the organization’s future winter and summer games, which can attract up to 900 participants and also be an economic boost to the host community.

Both offers are now being reviewed by the town’s Community Services Standing Committee.

The Feb. 1 letter from Ron Orr, the minister for Alberta Culture, said the Alberta games provide an economic impact of about $3 million to host communities, and an opportunity for them to showcase its assets and talents to about 3,000 participants from all regions of the province, along with numerous spectators and special guests.

Orr’s letter also said communities with populations of less than 10,000 are encouraged to collaborate with neighbouring communities to submit a joint bid or consider the smaller, modified games format. The community that is awarded the 2024 Alberta Games will receive a $420,000 operating grant from the province.

A letter of interest to host either the 2024 Alberta Winter or Summer Games, together with a letter of support from the municipality must be received by March 25. Completed bids must be received by April 29.

At council’s regular meeting on Feb. 14, mayor Jean Barclay noted that preliminary discussions with administration questioned if the community had enough capacity to hold an event on the scale of the 2024 Alberta Winter or Summer Games. However, Barclay added that a “regional approach” might be better suited.

Meghan Jenkins, the town’s director of community services, told council she has requested additional information to better understand the scope and what facilities would be required to adequately accommodate the event.