Leading up to pro rodeo week in Airdrie, the local Agricultural Society gave the public a glimpse of the future (see page 14). The future looks good.
The Society outlined plans for an exciting 150-acre project which will include several urgently needed facilities. Obviously, a new rodeo grounds will be the focus of much attention in the coming years. Yes, the current location will be missed by the thousands who come out every year to enjoy sunny days on the grassy hill. But the truth is, the event has outgrown its present home. One of the largest of its kind in Canada, the Airdrie event gets better every year. Just imagine what a new arena and seating could do for what is undoubtedly the region’s largest annual tourist attraction.
The project is also slated to eventually include an indoor ice arena. Depending on how this facility is built, it could become one of the area’s best-used venues. The City is currently looking at adding another twin arena facility onto the Genesis Place recreation centre, and that will help alleviate the lack of available ice for minor hockey, ringette and figure skating. However, that facility will not address the need for a large-scale multi-purpose arena, good for major events like rock concerts, agricultural shows and possibly even upper-tier hockey.
In addition, one of the first components the Agricultural Society will look to complete is a campground facility, the like of which is sorely lacking in the Airdrie region.
It may take years, or even decades, for the Ag Society’s project to live up to its grandiose plans, but the vision for this kind of project should be audacious. We draw inspiration from the pioneers who settled this land. Look what they accomplished in just 100 years.
Maybe, someday, future generations will look back at us and ask, “How did they do so much with so little?”