Calgary

Canmore Nordic Centre to see substantial upgrades amid provincial cash infusion

The province announced last week that the Nordic centre in Canmore, Alta., will be getting a multi-million dollar cash infusion, something its former manager says is much needed. 

Site to receive $17.5M, province announced last week

Canada's Scott Gow skis during the World Cup biathlon men's short 15 km event at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The province announced last week that the Nordic centre in Canmore, Alta., will be getting a multi-million dollar cash infusion, something its former manager says is much needed. 

It's been about two decades since the facility, which was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, was last upgraded, says Michael Roycroft, the regional director for Kananaskis with Alberta Environment and Parks, and former manager of the Canmore Nordic Centre. 

"As one of the premier Nordic venues of its kind in North America — and even the world — it has fallen behind in terms of standards and functionality in terms of World Cup hosting," Roycroft told the Calgary Eyeopener Monday. 

"We expect that ultimately without these upgrades, we would have lost that ability to host regular Biathlon World Cups moving forward."

"From a tourism perspective, it is massive and it presents Alberta as really an amazing place to visit."

In 2019 the centre lost its ability to host international biathlon events for at least three to four years due to its aging facility.

In its 2022 budget the province said it will be investing $17.5 million for upgrades to the Canmore Nordic Centre to modernize the facilities, replace the biathlon building and the stadium and to refresh infrastructure to maximize snow making and storage capacity.

Paul Hamnett, press secretary to Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon, said the province is investing in the facility to ensure it meets international sports standards.

"In addition to serving as a training and competition centre for athletes from around the world, the CNC is a major four-season economic driver for the Bow Valley Corridor and the Town of Canmore," Hamnett said in an emailed statement. 

"Major events are already being planned at the site, including the International Biathlon Union World Cup and the 2024 FIS Ski World Cup." 

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