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Coming Up: October 9

Council meets on Tuesday night. Following is a summary and my take on what will be discussed. Agenda items include a potential bid for the 2022 Arctic Winter Games, discussion about a new Elder’s Caring Shelter, and a proposed Art in the Alley project.

As always, any mistakes or opinions belong to me and me alone, not to Council or City staff.

If you would like to watch the meeting or read any of its supporting material for yourself, you can do so by clicking here.


At the beginning of all City Council meetings, the community is invited to address Council. People are welcome to just show up, but we always appreciate a notice that they are coming. This week, two people have said they will be speaking.

Mr. Wayne Drysdale, MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti, will be presenting an update to Council.

Grace Murray will be talking to Council about “vulnerable residents.”

Additionally, during the delegation part of our meeting Mayor Given will be proclaiming World Cerebral Palsy Day.

Curling Club Lounge Naming: Top of the House

Under new management, the Grande Prairie Curling Club has been pursuing opportunities to increase services and revenue. One focus has been its lounge. The attached kitchen has been upgraded, a new chef was hired, and it is pursuing a change to its AGLC license so it can serve drinks to non-members. Now the Curling Club is working on branding.

It is recommended that Council approve naming this lounge after a common curling term: “Top of the House.” Below is a concept logo. I am supportive of this naming change.

top of house.png

2022 Arctic Winter Games

It is recommended that Council approve submitting a bid for the 2022 Arctic Winter Games. The funding to submit a bid would come from the 2010 Arctic Winter Games Legacy Fund.

I do not know where I stand on this. On one hand, I am convinced the Games would have a positive impact on our community: it would inject money into our economy, help us market ourselves, and create community spirit. More importantly, I know many youth who have taken part in the Arctic Winter Games and it has had a very positive impact on them. On the other hand, this would be a significant draw on volunteer labour and donations in our community. I fear the impact this might have on other local non-profits.

I have a number of specific questions I’ll be asking to decide my vote on this. They include:

  • What have other regional municipalities said as we talk to them about a potential bid?

  • How much is currently in the 2010 Arctice Winter Games Legacy Fund? How is this money currently allocated?

  • How much do we estimate submitting a bid will cost?

  • After we submit a bid, are we committed to hosting the games if we win it? When in the process do we become committed?

  • If we host the games, how much cash are local municipalities expected to contribute? (I know that there would also be large gift-in-kind contributions)

  • How much in local sponsorship will need to be raised?

  • What are the anticipated volunteer requirements to host the Games?

  • Do we expect any major facility upgrades being needed to accommodate the Games?

I’d love to hear from you about this. What other questions should Council be asking? Are the benefits of the Games worth the potential costs at this time?

Elder’s Caring Shelter

The Elder's Caring Shelter was opened in 2003 by Metis Local 1990. This is a transitional housing facility for men and women over 55. It houses up to 16 individuals. Metis Local paid to build the shelter, but is it on City owned land which was leased out for 20 years.

Last year, Metis Local approached the City asking for help in creating another Caring Shelter. They’ve been in regular contact with management and the Community Living committee. Out of these talks, two recommendations are coming before Council:

1) To extend the lease of the existing Elder’s Shelter land to December 31, 2040

2) To direct the Mayor to write a letter in support of the new Metis Local 1990 Housing Project. This letter will help the organisation begin obtaining funding for the project.

I’m supportive of both these recommendations. Additional supportive housing is a big need in our community, and the Elders’ Caring Shelter does good work.

Art in the Alley

October 8, 2018 Edit: After some great conversations, I decided to write a longer post about Art in the Alley. I used it to discuss what I think makes a community enhancement project likely to have high impact. You can find it here.

The Downtown Association has proposed an Art in the Alley project. This would give businesses within Phase 3 & 4 of the Downtown Rehabilitation Project (ie: along 100 Ave) matching grants of up to $5000 to create art in their rear lane ways.

As part of the Downtown Rehabilitation program, a communications fund was created. I made and supported the motion to create this fund. I can’t speak to Council’s intent, but my own intent with this fund was to have resources dedicated to encouraging people to visit downtown through and after the disruptions created by construction. Management has recommended that Council approve $20,000 from this fund being contributed to the Art in the Alley project.

I am supportive of this recommendation. We’ve invested grants into the Downtown Facade Improvement program- I’ve been happy with the results and have received very positive feedback from residents. Helping businesses look attractive has been good for our community. Since buildings rears receive frequent use at all times, become the main point of customer access during construction, and are very visible from 99 Ave I think it makes sense to contribute towards their beautification as well. This program is a very cost effective way to do that. Additionally, other municipalities have found that projects like this often reduce graffiti.

I’d love to know what you think, especially in regards to the 2022 Arctic Winter Games.

You can comment below. Or, you can contact me at or 780-402-4166. I'm happy to talk online or over the phone. I'm also always willing to setup a time to meet for coffee.

Thanks for reading!