An exciting new facility that aims to highlight agriculture and the western way of life is being constructed by the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society. The society’s new Western Events Centre will be located just north of Strathmore on 146.63 acres of land at SW-30-24- 24-W4M.
A public hearing was held at Wheatland County council on Tuesday to speak about the construction of the centre, which will have a seating capacity of 1,500-2,000 and that will contain a variety of uses including an equestrian centre, entertainment venue, community and cultural facilities, and other compatible and supplementary amenities.
Ryan Schmidt General Manager of the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society speaks about what the facility will mean for promoting western heritage in the region.
“With this facility the ag. society will be able to accomplish its mission year-round by serving youth groups like 4H, Wheatland County cowboys and cowgirls, all types of groups that require facilities like that through the winter, but also will host major events at this facility huge barrel racing competitions, and cutting and reining competitions,” he said.
“We really see it as an opportunity to put Strathmore and Wheatland County really, at the heart of Western heritage in Canada. The place to go to experience real Western heritage. This facility will really take the area to a new level,” he said.
Schmidt said, “The Western Event Center and associated practical ranching school and year-round rodeo academy is an important project. And really, at the heart of the agricultural society’s strategic plan. We were very excited that yesterday Wheatland County approved our land designation request, which was an important step towards that goal.”
He said right now the society is conducting a feasibility study, “which is third party rigorous analysis of all of our business assumptions and basically making sure that the market demand is there.”
After the study, the society will move into the fundraising phase of the project. Afterward they hope to start construction in 2023.
The Western Events Centre will be located approximately 0.8 km northeast of the Town of Strathmore northeast of the intersection of Twp Rd 244 and Range Road 250.
The county meeting saw the public hearing, and the second and third reading of the bylaw pass. Bylaw 2022-06 was to redesignate the land from ag general to direct control district.
Some of the concerns from adjacent landowners were related to control and maintenance of local roadways as well as parking on site.
Another concern was related to the Strathmore Stampede and if any of the stampede activities that are normally hosted in Strathmore will be moved to the site.
The GM said that, “The Strathmore Stampede grounds in Strathmore will stay there and all the events we currently host at our AG grounds in the town of Strathmore will stay there.”
The Western Events Centre will provide for items like a commercial kitchen, livestock stalls, and enclosures, a riding arena and more. There will also be parking for up to 800 vehicles on site.
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