Red Deer rebounding, hosting AUMA convention
Hundreds of municipal officials are gathering in Red Deer for the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Convention, giving them a front row seat for central Alberta’s ongoing economic recovery.
This is the first time in many years the AUMA Convention has been held outside of Calgary or Edmonton. It’s expected to bring more than 1,100 elected municipal officials and administrators to the city, providing a boost to local business and the Red Deer economy.
“While there is plenty of work left to do, I’m pleased to see Red Deer’s economy, along with the provincial economy, improving. Our government remains committed to making sure that everyone feels the benefits of the economic recovery. We will continue our efforts to spur economic growth in the community, while also making sure that area residents can rely on important public services, programs and infrastructure.”
“In order for a community to host an event of this magnitude, they have to demonstrate they have the facilities and resources to host over 1,700 people, including convention delegates, staff, presenters and tradeshow vendors. Red Deer has shown they are up to the task. We’re very excited to be holding our annual convention in Red Deer this year, not only because it’s a change in venue, but it shows the maturity and the potential of Alberta municipalities.”
The region was one of the areas hit hardest by the recession, but signs of optimism are emerging. One particular bright spot is the job market, as employment in Red Deer is recovering more quickly than in other parts of the province.
The city’s unemployment rate is currently below the provincial average, having dropped by more than 40 per cent – from 10.0 per cent to 5.6 per cent – between July 2016 and 2018. Job vacancies are up, providing more employment opportunity for area residents, as are wages.
“It was a proud moment for Red Deer when we were selected as the first city outside of Calgary or Edmonton in 20 years to host the 2018 AUMA Convention. We are privileged to welcome municipal delegates from across our province to our community. AUMA will not only bring important economic diversification and investment to our city, but also provide an opportunity for us to showcase all that makes Red Deer unique to our municipal colleagues.”
“We’re delighted to see the AUMA choose Red Deer to host their annual conference. On behalf of the chamber, I’m happy to provide a warm welcome to the over 1,000 delegates to our community, and look forward to the significant economic benefit to area hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.”
- The $80-million Gaetz Avenue interchange project, scheduled to be completed this fall, will improve traffic flow and safety. Over three years of work, the project will have generated a total of 300 direct and indirect jobs.
- Since August 2015, four school projects impacting more than 2,500 students have been completed in Red Deer. The Westpark Middle School replacement project is expected to be completed in August 2019, and work to modernize St. Patrick’s Community School is moving forward.
- There is over $30 million in joint government investment in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, taking place in Red Deer in February and March 2019. It’s estimated that Red Deer and Central Alberta will welcome more than 20,000 visitors – including participants and volunteers – as a result, with an estimated economic impact of more than $132 million.
- A total of $181 million over five years has been allocated for the new Red Deer Justice Centre, which is in the design phase. The new centre will provide 12 courtrooms, with capacity to expand to 16, and is expected to be completed in 2023.