Construction to begin on Agrium Western Event Centre
Calgary, Alberta, July 8, 2012 - Agriculture is the heart of the Calgary Stampede. Today, the Stampede, along with its funding partners, the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and Agrium - one of the Stampede's major sponsors - are thrilled to officially turn the sod on the new Agrium Western Event Centre.
"The Calgary Stampede is an iconic Canadian institution, and our government is delighted to help celebrate its centenary through our contribution to the new Agrium Western Event Centre," said the Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance) and MP for Macleod, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
"This new Centre will help promote Western Canadian heritage and will be an exceptional gathering place for Calgarians and visitors from around the world."
The new agricultural arena and exhibition hall will stand on Stampede Park as one of the most unique agricultural showcases in the world; a centerpiece for agriculture education, exhibition and industry in southern Alberta; and a gathering place for both rural and urban communities.
"Recognized as one of Canada's most popular events, the Calgary Stampede attracts millions of visitors from around the world and offers a unique taste of Alberta's western heritage and values that represent our past, present and future," said Premier Alison Redford.
"Our government is proud to provide funding that will help set the stage for another 100 years of Stampede success."
"We're thrilled to be breaking ground for the Agrium Western Event Centre during the historic Centennial year of the Calgary Stampede," said Mike Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Agrium, Inc.
"This Centre will be a place to celebrate agriculture and educate our guests about the earth's global food needs and what it takes to put nutritious food on the table here and around the world."
"It's always been the Calgary Stampede's vision to create a year-round gathering place and looking ahead, the Agrium Western Event Centre will definitely provide meaningful agriculture experiences throughout the year for urban and rural audiences alike," said Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede.
"The Calgary Stampede is thankful for the support of our funding partners including the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and Agrium, a major sponsor. Private donors have also contributed, and many are Stampede volunteers."
The Agrium Western Event Centre will be the largest facility of its kind in Canada and one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Stampede history.
The Governments of Canada and Alberta each committed up to $25 million toward the revitalization of agriculture buildings on Stampede Park, for which the total overall cost is $60 million. Most of this amount was dedicated to the construction of the new Agrium Western Event Centre, on which construction is set to begin shortly after this year's Stampede.
Of the federal commitment under the Building Canada Fund, approximately $18 million was allocated to the Agrium Western Event Centre, for which the total cost is $42.6 million. Remaining funds were allocated toward renovations to the Agricultural building ($2.3 million), livestock access space and other associated costs.
For more information about the Agrium Western Event Centre please see backgrounder below.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Office of the Premier
Agrium Western Event Centre
The Agrium Western Event Centre will be the largest facility of its kind in Canada and one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Stampede history. At 150,000 square feet the facility will dramatically increase the available agriculture space for holding year-round events at Stampede Park. Events are currently hosted from spring until fall, and this year-round arena will expand the number and type of events offered in Calgary. The Centre features larger spaces and amenities and will allow users of the facility to increase and expand educational, industry or entertainment programs.
The world-class assets include the Main Arena, with 2,500 spectator seats, a show arena floor measuring 125 feet by 250 feet, and generous concourse space. The centre also features an Exhibition Hall and a 20,000-square-foot, clear-span space. The hall can be used for a variety of events including livestock shows and auctions, trade and consumer shows, and can also serve as an entertainment venue. The educational portion of the facility will focus on year-round school programming for youth to learn about world food sustainability. Teachers and students will experience interactive virtual learning on topics related to global food supply and its interrelated impact on the environment, societies and economics.
The Calgary Stampede has long been recognized for its abilities to entertain and showcase through exhibition. Stampede Park is a renowned venue for high performance events drawing large numbers of people. Providing year-round programming and events for all ages allows communities to spend time together. In fact, the Calgary Stampede believes that a community is truly at its best, when it is together, and the Agrium Western Event Centre will help to attract larger audiences to events and provide increased opportunity for the rural and urban communities to come together.
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