Alberta has a strong history of hosting world-class sporting events. These events create opportunities for Alberta athletes to experience the excitement of competing in front of a hometown crowd and to inspire the next generation of Alberta athletes.
In 2023-2024, the government is providing $2.5 million in funding through the Major Cultural and Sport Event (MCSE) grant to support sport events across the province. Through the grant, Alberta’s government has committed more than $1 million to help support six international and national competitions. These are a sampling of the many events funded annually through the MCSE program and span a diverse range of winter sports, including ski-cross, cross-country skiing, biathlon, snowboard half pipe, speed skating and curling. The six events are estimated to have a total global viewership in the tens of millions across 80 countries.
“Albertans won’t want to miss these thrilling events happening in our own backyard, celebrating athleticism at its finest. Supporting world-class sporting events is about more than just creating successful tournaments and vibrant communities. It’s about building a legacy of sport infrastructure, providing opportunities for local athletes and driving economic growth and tourism.”
The MCSE provides funding of up to $250,000 to eligible sport events for costs associated with hosting national and international scope competitions, including facility rentals, venue enhancements, promotional and marketing campaigns, broadcasting, and ensuring top-notch accommodations for athletes and attendees.
Hosting these events has an economic impact in the millions per event and builds upon the province’s reputation as a premier host for major events and an attractive travel destination for visitors from around the world.
“Supporting these major sporting events is not only essential to our province’s economy, but they bring communities together while inspiring our youth to get outdoors and try new sports. With Calgary and our Rocky Mountains on display across these six events, it will help our province attract new visitors from around the world and put Alberta on the map as a premier destination for tourism and sport.”
“We are incredibly proud to showcase the world-class facilities at WinSport as we gear up to host several premier events, including the FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup and the prestigious Scotties Tournament of Hearts. WinSport has a rich history of hosting successful events, and we are excited to not only showcase the talent and skill of the athletes but to highlight the unparalleled quality of the facilities at WinSport.”
The first of these events to be hosted by the province is the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) Ski Cross World Cup, which runs Jan. 18-21. The five-day international event is receiving $250,000 from the government and is being held at Nakiska in Kananaskis Country, which is internationally known for its trails through the province’s picturesque Mount Allan and for hosting a variety of events during the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Canada boasts an outstanding track record in Olympic ski cross, with Canadian women having clinched an impressive tally of three gold and three silver medals over the last four Olympic Games while Alberta athlete Brady Leman secured men’s gold in 2018. This event will feature about 100 athletes from more than 15 countries and will have an estimated 2.2 million viewers watching the global broadcast.
“We are thrilled to host the redtag.ca Ski Cross World Cup at Nakiska, where we have made significant investments in a National Ski Cross Training Center for our national, development and international athletes to train in preparation for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. This weekend, fans will get to see the exciting speed and skill of head-to-head ski cross racing as Canada’s ski cross team looks to defend its Nation’s Cup title from last year awarded to the best overall team. We deeply appreciate the support of the Government of Alberta and the City of Calgary for this event and thank all the passionate and dedicated volunteers for their efforts.”
- Upcoming international and national sporting events:
- FIS Ski Cross World Cup – Kananaskis – Jan. 18-21
- FIS Cross-Country World Cup – Canmore – Feb. 8-13
- FIS Snowboard Half Pipe World Cup – Calgary – Feb. 15-17
- International Speed Skating Union Speed Skating Championships, single distances – Calgary – Feb. 15-18
- Scotties Tournament of Hearts – Calgary – Feb. 16-25
- BMW International Biathlon Union World Cup Final – Canmore – March 14-17