Westerner Park CFR grant spurs rural tourism
The Alberta government is pitching in to ensure the Canadian Finals Rodeo inaugural year at Red Deer’s Westerner Park is a huge success.
The Westerner Exposition Association is receiving $250,000 through the Major Fairs Program to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo championship Oct. 30 to Nov. 4 at the park’s Enmax Centrium arena. The investment will help attract over 75,000 rodeo fans and visitors to the region and generate more than $25 million in economic activity.
“We’re proud that rodeo is part of our culture and the CFR is one of the premier sporting events in Canada, attracting top athletes and fans from across Canada and beyond. Our government’s support of the CFR in Red Deer will help spur growth in rural tourism, build strong local economies and make life better for families living in central Alberta.”
“Westerner Park is very appreciative of this generous financial support of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. This funding will go directly into our CFR programming which will return benefits to our guests, rodeo participants and our community.”
The Westerner Exposition Association is in the first year of a 10-year agreement with the CFR, announced in January 2018, to host the annual event. Canada’s top rodeo athletes will compete in a full slate of rodeo events, including bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, team roping, tie down roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. A youth event with winners and top competitors from the Westerner’s Rising Stars of Rodeo event in August will also be featured.
- The Major Fairs Program, administered by Culture and Tourism, helps agricultural societies host events, with a portion of funding allocated to support the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
- 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the national championship.
- CFR competitors earn points at rodeos across the country to secure a spot at the CFR championships. Competitors must be in the top 12 of their discipline by the end of the circuit to earn a chance to compete at the event.
- In conjunction with the rodeo events, a 130-booth tradeshow at Westerner Park’s Prairie Pavilion will showcase local and national businesses to an expected 10,000 guests.
- Westerner Park generates more than $150 million in annual economic activity with more than 1.5 million visitors attending more than 1,600 unique events.