Calgary Stampede to make full-scale come-back with major funding from the Government of Canada; four other tourism experiences in southern Alberta to benefit from federal investments

·8 min read

PrairiesCan Minister Daniel Vandal announced nearly $12 million to support the return of a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede and new or enhanced tourism experiences that attract visitors and support quality jobs in southern Alberta

CALGARY, AB, June 30, 2022 /CNW/ - Calgary is a globally renowned tourism destination that supports a resilient Alberta economy. In addition to its outstanding urban experiences and attractions, the city is a launching point for domestic and international visitors wanting to explore the southern ranges of Canada's Rocky Mountains, Alberta's Badlands, the Cowboy Trail, and enjoy western hospitality at other southern Alberta attractions. The city is also home to the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the Calgary Stampede; the famed summer rodeo, exhibition and festival that takes place across Calgary for 10 days every July.

Calgary Stampede to make full-scale come-back with major funding from the Government of Canada; four other tourism experiences in southern Alberta to benefit from federal investments (CNW Group/Prairies Economic Development Canada)
Calgary Stampede to make full-scale come-back with major funding from the Government of Canada; four other tourism experiences in southern Alberta to benefit from federal investments (CNW Group/Prairies Economic Development Canada)

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a federal investment of more than $10.1 million to support a full-scale Stampede in delivering authentic western experiences, while representing Calgary's unique community spirit, and attracting visitors from Canada and abroad to the region to experience Western hospitality.

PrairiesCan is delivering $10 million through the Government of Canada's Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative to help the 2022 Calgary Stampede bounce back stronger after a scaled-down 2021 event. An additional $150,000 through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will support adaptions to the BMO Centre and training for staff that enables the facility to exceed health and safety protocols. The total federal investment of $10.15 million through PrairiesCan will enable this year's Stampede to reignite Alberta's visitor economy, attract visitors to explore southern Alberta, and spur economic benefits for the region.

In addition, PrairiesCan is providing $1,832,500 through the Tourism Relief Fund to support four tourism projects in southern Alberta. This funding will help tourism organizations and attractions to create new experiences, or reimagine existing ones that draw visitors and position Alberta's tourism economy for long-term growth.

In total, PrairiesCan is investing more than $11.98 million to support a strong recovery for southern Alberta's tourism industry. This investment is expected to help create or maintain more than 1,600 jobs and attract more than 1.13 million domestic and international visitors to Alberta over the next several years.

Quotes

"Festivals large and small were hard hit during the pandemic. They are events where families and friends come together, and take in the exciting atmosphere. The tourism industry is facing a strong comeback providing quality jobs across the country, showcasing stunning landscapes and offering exciting experiences right here in Alberta. Through today's investments in the Calgary Stampede and attractions in southern Alberta, our government is helping tourism operators to reimagine existing experiences and create new ones attracting more visitors from Canada and abroad to experience what Alberta has to offer."

-     The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan

"The hospitality of Albertans is world famous. Our tourism partners are at the heart of Canada's economic recovery, and today's announcement will welcome back tourists for the summer season with engaging tourism experiences in Calgary including another incredible Stampede celebration."

-     The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

"The Calgary Stampede is a proud reflection of our city's community spirit and resiliency. Today's funding will help ensure the Stampede remains at the heart of our city's tourism sector by supporting the return to a full-scale event that draws tourists to our city and generates economic activity for local businesses."

-     George Chahal, MP for Calgary Skyview

"A year-round district which not only hosts the greatest outdoor show on earth, but also serves as a cultural and economic venue 365 days a year, the Stampede plays a critical role in our city's travel and tourism sector. The investment announced today supports the vision of continuing to build a best-in-class venue that adeptly hosts visitors and residents alike as we continue on our path of economic recovery."

-     Jyoti Gondek, Mayor, City of Calgary

"We are grateful to the Government of Canada for recognizing the cultural importance of the Calgary Stampede and our positive economic impact on the tourism industry in the Calgary region. As we emerge from a challenging two years to be Together Again, Stampede 2022 will help contribute to the economic recovery by creating jobs and filling restaurants, hotel rooms, taxis and rideshares. We look forward to using today's investment to further enhance our experience offerings for guests coming from here and around the world as we continue to put on The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."

-     Steve McDonough, President & Chairman of the Board, Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd.

"We're grateful for funding that recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and helps as we build back from the impacts of the pandemic. It will be an immense help as we grow tourism-related experiences and create an amazing digital library of photos and videos to showcase Calgary and all it has to offer. This funding also provides resources that will help us elevate and expand Chinook Blast - a new anchor festival for the city."

-     Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary

"Innovation Crossing is an opportunity for guests to discover how the history of energy can help us navigate the present and future of energy. Today's announcement supports our vision to use immersive experiences to spark a connection to Alberta's energy history in context of today's society. By doing so we can broaden the possibilities of what Alberta's story will be."

-      Lindsey Galloway, President and CEO of Heritage Park

Quick facts

  • The Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative funds major Canadian festivals and events hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) helps tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services facilitating their future growth.

  • The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides assistance to businesses and communities that may require additional support to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Today's announcement complements the $17.5 million in federal funding announced May 24, 2022 to support tourism initiatives in Alberta.

Backgrounder

Funding includes more than $10.1 million to support a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede and more than $1.8 million to enhance tourism experiences to attract more visitors to Alberta

The Government of Canada is providing $10.15 million to Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited to support a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede that delivers authentic western experiences and attracts visitors from Canada and abroad to Alberta. In addition, PrairiesCan is investing more than $1.8 million to support four tourism organizations and attractions in southern Alberta to launch new or enhanced experiences. Combined, this investment of nearly $12 million will help drive Alberta's economy forward, support tourism businesses, and ensure a resilient Alberta tourism sector.

Funding for these projects is through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative

The MFESI supports major Canadian festivals and events hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19, to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers. One Alberta MFESI recipient receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today is:

  • Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited ($10,000,000)
    Support activities for the continued operations and enhancement of the Calgary Stampede, including COVID-19 adaptation measures, website upgrades, and reconstruction of the grandstand.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

As part of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the RRRF is assisting businesses and organizations across Canada to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic. Through the RRRF, the Government of Canada is providing over $2 billion to help keep people employed, and to sustain employers for recovery. One quarter of the RRRF is targeted to support the tourism sector. One Alberta RRRF recipient receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today is:

  • Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited ($150,000)
    Support COVID-19 adaptations to the BMO Centre and administer training that enables the facility to meet and exceed health and safety protocols, including the adoption of touchless technology and bio-risk cleaning management accreditation.

Tourism Relief Fund

Launched in July 2021, the TRF helps organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements and offer new or enhanced innovative products and services to help the sector attract more domestic and international visitors and prepare for future growth. Four Alberta TRF projects receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today are:

  • Charmed Resorts Inc., Charmed Playhouses Inc., Charmed Brands Inc. ($500,000)
    Introduce eight fairy tale themed ''glamping'' cottages in Crowsnest Pass to expand the region's unique accommodation offerings and attract more visitors to the area.

  • Cochrane Tourism Association ($32,500)
    Deliver a Tourism Product Mentorship Program to a maximum of 12 local businesses within the Town of Cochrane to guide and mentor them through the process of developing and implementing new tourism product offerings.

  • Heritage Park Society ($500,000)
    Create two new digital exhibits that highlight the history of Alberta's energy sector at Innovation Crossing, the new natural resources building within Heritage Park.

  • Tourism Calgary - Calgary Convention & Visitors Bureau ($800,000)
    Enhance Calgary's tourism recovery by supporting the 2022 Chinook Blast winter festival and the creation of a digital asset library that is accessible to tourism operators promoting tourism experiences in the Calgary area.

Associated links

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SOURCE Prairies Economic Development Canada

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