Calgary, Alberta, — The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, on Friday announced that Canada’s New Government will consider the Centre of Sport Excellence in Calgary, Alberta as a priority for funding of up to one-third of eligible costs, to a maximum federal contribution of $40 million, under Building Canada, the new long term infrastructure plan of Canada’s New Government.
Minister Prentice was joined by the Dave Rodney, MLA for Calgary-Lougheed and Chair of the Calgary Caucus, Jim Younker, acting President and CEO of the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), and Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada.
“As part of its Building Canada infrastructure plan, Canada’s New Government is investing in priority infrastructure projects that support a growing economy, a cleaner environment, and stronger communities,” said Minister Prentice. “Major sport infrastructure projects, such as the Centre of Sport Excellence, are an essential part of healthy Canadian cities and communities and contribute to the physical well-being of Canadians and excellence in sport. This project will provide an important national facility benefiting athletes across Canada and internationally, while generating important economic benefits for the region.”
Upgrading the legacy of facilities funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, while adding new ones, CODA’s vision for the Centre of Sport Excellence was a plan launched in 2001 to make Canada the world-leading winter sport nation by 2010. The made-in-Canada solution was developed after in-depth study of institutes built by leading sport nations around the world including Australia, Europe and the United States, which have resulted in increased athletic performance and participation in those countries.
The core new facility to be added to the Centre is an Athletic and Ice Complex at Canada Olympic Park, which is the hub location of the planned developments in southern Alberta. The Centre will provide the necessary resources athletes need to train and win.
Financial support is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under the Building Canada infrastructure plan, successful negotiation of a framework agreement under the plan between the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, and the subsequent negotiation and signing of a project funding agreement.
“The Province of Alberta will work closely with the Government of Canada to set the stage for excellence for athletes from our province and across the country,” said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. “Together, we will create winners for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.”
"This is an unprecedented day for sport in our country. Canadian athletes just won more Olympic and Paralympic medals thanks to this generous, and critically important financial contribution by the Government of Canada,” said Jim Younker, acting president, CODA. “This investment allows CODA to turn its long-term vision into the facilities athletes need to be the best in the world. Athletes for generations to come will thank the Government of Canada for this funding, and we are so grateful for their support."
The Athletic and Ice Complex will be the new permanent home to Hockey Canada, which has outgrown its existing facilities. CODA, in partnership with Hockey Canada, has designed this complex so it can be built in stages.
“This great announcement ensures we will finally have a permanent home where our national teams can train. It provides a competitive advantage which will allow us to be the best in the world,” said Bob Nicholson, president, Hockey Canada. “The pursuit of excellence and medal performances at all levels is a common goal in sport and the Centre of Sport Excellence gives Canadian athletes access to world-leading training and programs.”
Friday’s funding announcement by the Government of Canada, along with the $69 million contribution by the Alberta government which was announced earlier this year, kick-starts the project.
Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will support a stronger, safer and better country. Over the last several months, the Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal sector to discuss the Building Canada infrastructure plan with a view to signing agreements and begin funding projects under the plan.
CODA is a national leader in creating Canadian Olympic winter sport excellence from the grassroots level to the country's best athletes. A not-for-profit organization, CODA supports national sport organizations, encourages educational opportunities and subsidizes the operation of unique training and recreational facilities used by the nation's top athletes and the general public For more information on CODA please visit us at www.coda.ca on the Internet.
For further information contact:
Office of the Industry Minister
Director of Communications
Calgary Olympic Development Association
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities