A year after the Alberta Winter Games came to Airdrie, a presentation made to City council demonstrated how successful and beneficial the games were for the municipality.
The 2020 Alberta Winter Games’ final report was presented to council during a regular meeting Feb. 16. The games marked one of the last large-scale community events to take place in Airdrie before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.
“We are very proud of the outcome of the games and the opportunities it has left within Airdrie,” said Shauna Quinn, who was the executive chair of the Games’ host society.
The Alberta Winter Games took place in Airdrie from Feb. 14 to Feb. 17, 2020. The weekend featured a plethora of sporting competitions and more than 1,000 teenaged competitors from across the province,
According to Quinn’s presentation, accommodation costs alone generated more than $100,000 in revenue for Airdrie’s hotels over the four days.
Special parent programs, multiple community events, digital ad revenue and engagement campaigns were other reasons she cited the event as being successful.
“We modernized how we could deliver a multi-day, multi-sport, multi-location event with volunteers,” she said. “We needed to be innovative to ensure people would remain engaged.”
According to Quinn, the games utilized 93 per cent of an allocated budget of more than $1.9 million. Through grants alone, she said the event raised more than $1.2 million.
Separately, the City’s opening ceremony celebration brought more than 3,200 spectators. The opening ceremony generated 608 ticket sales, with 480 tickets being sold within 72 hours of release.
Now that the final report has come through council, Quinn said the host society is ready to pass the torch on to a new board that can continue to advocate for and support amateur sport development in Airdrie.
Following the presentation, Mayor Peter Brown praised Quinn for her and the host society's work over the last five years to bring the event to Airdrie.
“It was really a first-class event from the opening to closing ceremonies,” he said. “It wasn’t great economic times, but we were still seeing tons of generosity from our community. Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm – you were the driving force behind these games.”
Deputy Mayor Tina Petrow echoed Brown’s sentiments.
“I have been lucky enough to see the process go from the very beginning until the end here,” she said. “It has been wonderful to watch how you put this together and how you coordinated it.”