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Feds back Calgary Stampede site redevelopment

The federal government will put up $5 million toward a new office and operations building for the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, as well as new exhibit space.

The funding, flowing through Western Economic Diversification Canada, will go toward the new building and demolition of two buildings to clear space for a western cultural interpretive centre and, working with Treaty 7 partners, the relocation of Stampede Park’s Indian Village.

The project is a key component of a broader Western Legacy Project, the second phase of a longer-term strategy to attract visitors and businesses to the park for year-round activities such as festivals, trade shows and conferences, shopping, dining and entertainment, the government said in a release Tuesday.

The initiative is expected to showcase Alberta’s ag industry and promote province-wide and First Nations tourism, the government added.

As part of the park’s redevelopment, 30 acres along the Elbow River is to be reclaimed and transformed into a park setting, linking to neighbouring green spaces such as Fort Calgary and the Calgary Zoo.

The proposed riverbank and park project “will be the centerpiece of the Stampede Park as a gathering place for the community,” David Chalack, chairman of the not-for-profit Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, said in the government’s release.

“Today’s investment will help position this world-class attraction as a multi-use, year-round destination that contributes to the economic development of Calgary and southern Alberta,” federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice said in the same release.

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