A Bold Path Forward: Increasing Access to Recreation for a Strong and Healthy Community
Over the past seven years, I have championed significant investments to increase access to quality recreation facilities for Calgarians. Under my leadership, Council fully funded four new recreation centres, two of which are completed (Quarry Park and Great Plains) and two of which are under construction (Seton and Rocky Ridge). These were all completed on time and on budget.
I also initiated the creation of the Community Investment Fund, a dedicated fund for the revitalization and construction of community infrastructure. Since 2011, $252 million has been allocated for community infrastructure, including several recreation infrastructure projects which are recently completed or underway, such as renovations to Frank McCool Arena, the redevelopment of Glenmore Athletic Park, the Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre expansion and renovation, upgrades to Shouldice Athletic Park and the Village Square Leisure Centre Arena, the construction of the New Brighton Athletic Park, and the Calgary Soccer Centre expansion.
A vision for strong, active, and engaged communities
These new developments and upgrades to existing facilities have increased the availability of recreation facilities for Calgarians, but we still have more work to do. As Calgary continues to grow, we need to continue to invest in recreation to meet the needs of our diverse communities. The timing is right to set a new vision for Calgary’s recreation facilities. The City’s 10 Year Strategic Plan for Sports Facility Development and Enhancement expires in 2018 and the Civic Sport Policy is under review.
Build facilities with Calgarians in mind
Using data from the 2010 Recreation Amenities Gap Analysis and the Recreation Facility Development & Enhancement Study currently underway, I will continue to work with my colleagues at the City to improve access to recreation over the next four years by:
Developing a long-term plan to build and fund new and renewed recreation facilities to meet the current and future needs of Calgary’s communities, including new indoor facilities for sports like soccer and track and field. These facilities would be funded through the Community Investment Fund and federal and provincial infrastructure programs.
Finding ways to maintain and expand the Fair Entry program to ensure Calgarians of all income levels can access recreation services and programs; an
- Collaborating with City partners to ensure existing and future facilities are effectively used and available to the public and sport programs at times and locations that meet the diverse needs of Calgarians.
These investments will have a positive impact on the quality of life of all Calgarians, but especially for our children. We can’t compromise their opportunity to live the best life possible here in our great city. The timing is right, and they deserve it.