Federal Government Announces Funding for Calgary WinSport Day Lodge Renovation – Calgary


The Government of Canada is investing more than $17.4 million in the renovation of the WinSport Day Pavilion at Canada Olympic Park (COP).

According to an announcement Monday morning, the money will be used to improve the experience of visitors and guests at the day lodge for the next 40 years.

Renovations include plans to improve accessibility, improve internal circulation, expand the day lodge layout and optimize the building’s environmental footprint.

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According to WinSport, the day lodge has not undergone a major renovation since 1987. The organization said it will continue to secure more funding for the project, which is estimated to cost between $39 million and $43 million depending on the final design.

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“It was built for the ’88 Olympics and it opened in ’87 as a media center, so it was never really intended as a lodge,” said Barry Heck, president and CEO. from WinSport, to Global News.

“It will become more accessible, more inclusive… It will have better flow and it will also be built to a net zero standard. So this is a great leap forward in the functionality of this important community facility.

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The planned accessibility improvements to the day lodge will also benefit many families, children and athletes with disabilities, Heck said.

The proposed improvements are intended to remove barriers so that people with disabilities can easily access the parking lot, day lodge and recreational facilities.

“It will be much friendlier for athletes with a disability to go straight from the parking lot to the snow. The stairs will come out and it will just be a world-class, inclusive and accessible facility that will allow a wider range of athletes to take part in the hills,” Heck said.

WinSport estimated the project would take 18 months.

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Jason Rebeiro, a sports advocate and researcher at the University of Calgary, welcomed the news but said investment was needed to renovate and improve desperately needed sports infrastructure.

“Renewing Calgary’s legacy infrastructure from 1988 is essential if we are to continue to develop the next generation of winter sports athletes and attract events that bring positive economic and social benefit to the city,” said Ribeiro.

“The Winsport ski resort and sliding slope were directly designated in the 2026 hosting plan as investment priorities and would have improved the hosting capacity for a wide variety of events.

“If we want to use these facilities safely in the future for training and community use, they need investment.”

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Rebeiro said Calgary is losing a generation of athletes to places like Whistler, where facilities are updated and better maintained.

“For a city that propelled the Canadian Olympic Movement, this should be of deep concern,” he said.

WinSport is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping people discover the joy of physical activity and helping athletes recognize their potential. The organization owns and operates Canada Olympic Park as well as the Bill Warren Training Center in Canmore.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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