Whatever you are in the mood for, chances are, downtown Red Deer has something to tickle your fancy! The last few years has produced exciting new developments and opportunities with the revitalization of the downtown district.
Speciality shops, expanding arts and entertainment and most importantly, the emergence of variety of restaurants has given this area a new vibrancy and energy.
Our ‘small town yet urban city’ can unequivocally boast about its fine upscale restaurants, unique cafes, gourmet coffee shops and flavour focused multi-cultural eateries.
To get people reacquainted with the ‘new’ downtown, the Red Deer Downtown Business Association is running a ‘Time for Lunch’ campaign where restaurants are featuring their promotional lunches during the month of June.
Knowing my love for food, I was asked to take a culinary tour through downtown. Over the next few weeks, I’ll relate my experiences and share my gastronomic journey through downtown Red Deer.
Unless, perhaps, you’re eating in downtown Red Deer this month and have a flare for tweeting.
The Red Deer Downtown Business Association has joined with 11 restaurants in the city’s core to organize a Time For Lunch campaign.
The lunch crowd is being encouraged to sample the offerings of the participating restaurants, each of which has four feature items. Customers who tweet about their experiences will have a chance at winning a meal for their efforts.
“We are harnessing the power of Twitter and the hashtag #Timeforlunch to get people to tweet what they eat and win gift certificates for free food,” said DBA promotions director Janice Shimek.
(Red Deer, AB) – For the third year running, the Downtown Farmers’ Market will once again provide an opportunity for market enthusiasts and foodies to shop local.
Starting May 30 and continuing every Wednesday until October 3, the market will be open from 4-7pm. This year, the market will move to little Gaetz Avenue and span from Alexander Way (48th Street) to Ross Street, keeping 49th Street open to traffic. Businesses along Ross Street have been buzzing with excitement for the markets’ anticipated move. Many will extend hours on Wednesday nights and open their doors to potential new business. Candace Dunning, owner of Hot Pot Studio agrees. “We at Hot Pot Studio think that the Downtown Market will be an exciting way for customers to paint a piece of their imagination and kick off the summer fun that we already enjoy on Little Gaetz.”
As a recent officially approved farmers’ market, the market welcomes back local and fresh producers from around Central Alberta. As well this year, new vendors such as ice cream trucks and flower shops offer a diverse and delectable sampling of Red Deer’s bountiful producers. There is something for everyone: local fruits and vegetables for heath enthusiasts; perogies, kettle corn, and waffles for comfort food indulgers; flowers for the green thumbs; ice cream for everyone; and much more.
John Hull will sit in the jury box every day until he retires.
It may sound like a long trial is ahead of him, but he’s actually doing it for work.
The Red Deer architect has just moved his office into the former courtroom of the old Red Deer Courthouse at 4836 50th St. He, along with staff from four other firms, are now in the second floor space where they can work corroboratively on architectural projects.
Hull, who recently worked on the Ronald McDonald House-Central Alberta construction project, teamed up with another architect for this latest business venture.
Grace Zhang recently started her own firm Grace Architecture. She leased the space as part of her working partnership with Hull.
They are excited to be working in a room with its own macabre place in Alberta’s legal history.
Bev Krausher from Great Strides started in hockey before she elegantly walked into the land of gorgeous footwear. Rebels hockey. She was part of the management group responsible for bringing our beloved WHL team to Red Deer. Wanting a change, she knew she was going into business, though she didn’t know what that would look like. It took nine months from conception of the small business idea to birth Great Strides, a Red Deer institution on Little Gaetz. A savvy businesswoman, she just saw a need and was able to meet it. “It would be the same as if Safeway was out of bananas,” she remarked casually. Many women in the area and beyond have gone bananas over her shoes, purses, and accessories in the ten year life-span of her baby.
For the second year, the façade and shopfront improvement program will help businesses of downtown renovate their store fronts.
The Board of the Downtown Business Association believes in the program and wishes to continue the successes from last year. They have decided to expand the program by increasing the funds available by $10,000 to a total of $40,000.00.
The program is aimed at business owners that have store fronts that face streets in the downtown BRZ. The DBA has set aside funds to encourage commercial building owners and business operators to invest in façade renovations and storefront upgrades by providing grants to cover a portion of renovation costs.
The program is intended to:
• Make streets a more inviting and interesting place to walk and shop by enhancing curb appeal
• Develop the natural assets of downtown by restoring the uniqueness, character and integrity of building’s street facing signage or facia
• Help building owners attract and retain tenants and promote the marketability of downtown businesses
• Contribute to the quality of life for residents, workers, visitors and to build civic pride
• Be a catalyst for larger scale building improvements and downtown investment
The program can provide a reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible renovations, up to a maximum of $5,000.00. With the increase in funds set aside, more businesses are eligible for these grants and therefore downtown will continue to be the vibrant and welcoming area that Red Deer citizens have grown to love.
The DBA’s façade and shopfront improvement program has been extended for another year. The project was initiated in 2011, and in this time was a huge success, seeing approximately 90% of the $30 000 allocated to the program being claimed in 2011.
MNP is sending in the clowns. The established accounting, consulting and tax firm has signed on for the presenting sponsorship of Downtown Red Deer’s Centrefest, “MNP is extremely proud to sponsor Centrefest 2012. Red Deer is a great city, and we are fortunate to host such a premier event for families and residents to attend,” said Dustin Sundby, Regional Managing Partner Central Alberta, “We look forward to working closely with the organizing committee, and our volunteers to make this very special for everyone who attends. The weekend of July 27-29th is going to be amazing, and we can hardly wait to share it with you.”
Centrefest is the largest outdoor festival in the central region of Alberta, boasting almost thirty thousand visitors last year alone. Eye-popping and show-stopping contortionists, jugglers, musicians, and entertainers will come together and thrill crowds outside on the streets for this tenth anniversary celebration July 28 and 29, 2012.
MNP sets a precedent for community-building by providing affordable entertainment, fostering local talent and bringing visitors into the area’s economy through sponsorship. Centrefest will present their tenth anniversary celebration to Red Deer’s downtown and continues to grow with the support of their local partners.
Some of the best in the cycling world will race to Red Deer as part of the inaugural Tour of Alberta Pro Cycling Event in September.
The host communities for Alberta’s first international professional cycling event were revealed in Red Deer on Tuesday. The five-stage race begins on Sept. 3 in Edmonton and wraps up on Sept. 8 in Calgary.
Red Deer will host the Stage 2 finish on Sept. 5, when cyclists will ride in from Devon, 185 kilometres north of Red Deer.
The Red Deer route will be finalized in the next few days. The route will be announced officially in April.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the city is absolutely delighted that Red Deer was chosen as one of the stops on the tour.
“As an active bike community, we have just initiated a bike lane pilot,” Flewwelling said at the press conference. “We are in the thrones of adapting our community to commuter cycling. We have always been in recreation cycling. Now we’re in commuter cycling. This couldn’t come at a better time. Another part that makes it absolutely perfect for us is that this is the year we are celebrating our 100th anniversary as a city . . . We will always be able to remember the first annual Tour of Alberta happened in our centennial year.”
Flewwelling added the city is a seasoned host at putting on huge events like the Brier, Memorial Cup and Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“We have a wonderful volunteer community here,” said Flewwelling. “We are delighted to showcase our community to the entire world in this whole new venture for us. It will have a huge economic but also cultural spinoff for our community.”
Over the next day or so, the 11 host communities will participate in a symposium in Red Deer to learn more about their responsibilities and logistics of the race. The city has committed to $77,000 help with the logistics.
George Berry, local organizing chairman for the Red Deer stage, said the biggest thing about this is race is that it is going to be a cultural event. Berry said it would be relatively easy to bring a bike race to Alberta but the committee will be working with the city, Red Deer County, local school boards and various groups to make it a true cultural event highlighting what Central Alberta has to offer.
“There’s going to be a huge call for volunteers here,” said Berry. “We will be looking at needing a couple hundred volunteers just in the Red Deer area alone.”
Each host community will put on a festival with activities related to fitness, food and education displays. There will also be a chance to mingle with the athletes.
An estimated 15 professional cycling teams with eight riders per team, from more than 20 countries, are expected to compete. Teams will be announced in the coming months.
The festivals will be unique in each community, reflecting the local character and attractions.
Brian Jolly, chairman of the Alberta Peloton Association, organizers of the event, said they hope to have the race in Alberta for several years in the future. Jolly said they chose a route and communities with strong reputation for hosting cultural and community events. Jolly said there was a long list of communities to choose from and there will be opportunities for communities that were not selected this year.
The race kicks off in Edmonton on Sept. 3 with a prologue, a short time trial to determine who wears the leading jersey on the first stage. Stage 1 of the five-staged race will begin in Strathcona Country and finish in Camrose. On the third day, Stage 2 begins in Devon and ends in Red Deer. Stage 3 begins in Strathmore and finishes in Drumheller. The fourth stage begins in Black Diamond and ends in Canmore. The final stage begins in Okotoks and ends in Calgary.