Since 1891, Westerner Park has been a place for Central Albertans to gather and celebrate community events.

From its roots in agriculture to its present status as one of Western Canada's finest multi-use facilities, Westerner Park embodies the pioneer "can-do" spirit of the region.

As a community minded non-profit organization, we are committed to creating sustainable environments and sustainable business models to ensure the long term continuation of the organization and the land from which our spirit was born.

Each year, more than 1.5 million visitors come through our gates to celebrate over 1,500 unique events. From weddings and banquets to hockey games and agricultural shows, we continue to be there as Central Albertans join to share in their most memorable moments.

It's an honour to have been the hub of such a large and dynamic community for so many years. It's our legacy, and it's always in mind as we work to ensure Westerner Park remains Central Alberta's "destination for celebration" for generations to come.


The History of Westerner Exposition Association

  • The Red Deer Agricultural Society was organized on October 31, 1891, with Rev. Leonard Gaetz as the first president. John Jost Gaetz was the first secretary-treasurer.

  • Red Deer's first fall fair was held in the Wilkins Block on Ross Street on October 11, 1892.

  • In May 1894, the Red Deer Agricultural Society helped to organize a statute labour and fire district, the region's first form of rural local government.

  • The Red Deer Agricultural Society purchased the first permanent fairgrounds on the southeastern edge of the Red Deer valley. It was named Alexandra Park, in honour of Queen Alexandra.

  • The Red Deer Fairgrounds were also used as a military training camp during the First World War between the years 1915 to 1917.

  • Katherine Stinson made the first airplane landing in Red Deer's history in front of the grandstand during the annual Red Deer Fair, 1918.

  • The first annual Red Deer horse sale held was held at the fairgrounds, March 1927.

  • The Red Deer Agricultural Society becomes a new legal entity under a private member's bill passed by the Alberta Legislature on March 29, 1949.

  • The Red Deer Agricultural Society was replaced by the Red Deer Exhibition Association, a limited liability, not-for-profit, organization on December 4, 1965.

  • The Red Deer Silver Buckle Rodeo was staged for the first time, April 1966.

  • On April 6, 1976, the shareholders of the Red Deer Exhibition Association voted unanimously to relocate the fairground to a large new site on the southern edge of the City.

  • The Red Deer Exhibition Association was replaced by the Westerner Exposition Association, a limited liability company formed under the provisions of the Alberta Companies Act, 1979.

  • 115 acre land lease agreement signed with The City of Red Deer in 1980. The official sod-turning took place on the site of the new fairgrounds, April 25, 1980.

  • The new Westerner Exposition grounds were developed. The Alta-Plex multi-purpose building was constructed. The Chalet and a number of smaller buildings were moved from the old site to the new location. 1981-1982.

  • The official opening ceremonies for the new facilities took place on December 12, 1982.

  • The first Agri-Trade, a partnership between the Westerner Exposition Association and Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, was staged in October 1984.

  • The Westerner Exposition Association celebrated its 100 year anniversary and construction of the Centrium on the northside of the Alta-Plex complex was completed.

  • Began their partnership with the local WHL team, the Red Deer Rebels.

  • 34,000 sqft addition was added to the Agricentre in 1995 for a total of 40,000sqft of space under one roof and a total of 250,000 sq ft of exhibit space at Westerner Park making them the 3rd largest facility in Alberta and in the top 5 of all of Canada west of Toronto.

  • 1998 was marked as the most successful year in the 107 year history.

  • Seeing the need for smaller exhibit space and meeting rooms, the Harvest Centre was constructed in 2000, adding an additional 18,500 sq ft of meeting and exhibit space.

  • In 2001 the Westerner Exposition Association was facing financial hardship with the deregulation of electricity pricing in the province of Alberta – through this an opportunity was born and a long term partnership was developed with ENMAX Energy Corporation to secure a source of electricity and provide naming rights to the Centrium.

  • A 99 site full service recreation vehicle park was added in 2003.

  • Agri-Trade celebrated it's 20th year in 2004, growing from 70,000 sq ft of exhibit space to 400,000 sq ft.

  • $6.1 million was awarded to the Westerner Exposition Association from the Alberta Lottery Fund for capital funding. $2.1 million was used to complete the Agricentre, and the remainder was used add stabling barns and show rings increasing the stabling capacity to 700.

  • 2006 saw the creation of the Long Term Land use master plan and the completion of the east end race track development.

  • 2007; Jack and Joan Donald donated $1.5 million for the building of an Administration Building.

  • 2009; Economic impact of Westerner Days Fair & Exposition is an estimated $7.3 million, $5 million in spending by non-local visitors. Westerner Park generates $150 million in economic activity, hosts over 1,500 events and welcomes 1.5 million visitors each year.

  • 2010; Hundreds of new trees (225) and shrubs (1,200 were added as part of the Westerner Parks green initiatives.

  • 1891

    The Red Deer Agricultural Society was organized on October 31, 1891, with Rev. Leonard Gaetz as the first president. John Jost Gaetz was the first secretary-treasurer.

  • 1892

    Red Deer's first fall fair was held in the Wilkins Block on Ross Street on October 11, 1892.

  • 1894

    In May 1894, the Red Deer Agricultural Society helped to organize a statute labour and fire district, the region's first form of rural local government.

  • 1895

    The Red Deer Agricultural Society purchased the first permanent fairgrounds on the southeastern edge of the Red Deer valley. It was named Alexandra Park, in honour of Queen Alexandra.

  • 1915

    The Red Deer Fairgrounds were also used as a military training camp during the First World War between the years 1915 to 1917.

  • 1918

    Katherine Stinson made the first airplane landing in Red Deer's history in front of the grandstand during the annual Red Deer Fair, 1918.

  • 1927

    The first annual Red Deer horse sale held was held at the fairgrounds, March 1927.

  • 1949

    The Red Deer Agricultural Society becomes a new legal entity under a private member's bill passed by the Alberta Legislature on March 29, 1949.

  • 1965

    The Red Deer Agricultural Society was replaced by the Red Deer Exhibition Association, a limited liability, not-for-profit, organization on December 4, 1965.

  • 1966

    The Red Deer Silver Buckle Rodeo was staged for the first time, April 1966.

  • 1976

    On April 6, 1976, the shareholders of the Red Deer Exhibition Association voted unanimously to relocate the fairground to a large new site on the southern edge of the City.

  • 1979

    The Red Deer Exhibition Association was replaced by the Westerner Exposition Association, a limited liability company formed under the provisions of the Alberta Companies Act, 1979.

  • 1980

    115 acre land lease agreement signed with The City of Red Deer in 1980. The official sod-turning took place on the site of the new fairgrounds, April 25, 1980.

  • 1981

    The new Westerner Exposition grounds were developed. The Alta-Plex multi-purpose building was constructed. The Chalet and a number of smaller buildings were moved from the old site to the new location. 1981-1982.

  • 1982

    The official opening ceremonies for the new facilities took place on December 12, 1982.

  • 1984

    The first Agri-Trade, a partnership between the Westerner Exposition Association and Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, was staged in October 1984.

  • 1991

    The Westerner Exposition Association celebrated its 100 year anniversary and construction of the Centrium on the northside of the Alta-Plex complex was completed.

  • 1992

    Began their partnership with the local WHL team, the Red Deer Rebels.

  • 1995

    34,000 sqft addition was added to the Agricentre in 1995 for a total of 40,000sqft of space under one roof and a total of 250,000 sq ft of exhibit space at Westerner Park making them the 3rd largest facility in Alberta and in the top 5 of all of Canada west of Toronto.

  • 1998

    1998 was marked as the most successful year in the 107 year history.

  • 2000

    Seeing the need for smaller exhibit space and meeting rooms, the Harvest Centre was constructed in 2000, adding an additional 18,500 sq ft of meeting and exhibit space.

  • 2001

    In 2001 the Westerner Exposition Association was facing financial hardship with the deregulation of electricity pricing in the province of Alberta – through this an opportunity was born and a long term partnership was developed with ENMAX Energy Corporation to secure a source of electricity and provide naming rights to the Centrium.

  • 2003

    A 99 site full service recreation vehicle park was added in 2003.

  • 2004

    Agri-Trade celebrated it's 20th year in 2004, growing from 70,000 sq ft of exhibit space to 400,000 sq ft.

  • 2005

    $6.1 million was awarded to the Westerner Exposition Association from the Alberta Lottery Fund for capital funding. $2.1 million was used to complete the Agricentre, and the reaminder was used add stabling barns and show rings increasing the stabling capacity to 700.

  • 2006

    2006 saw the creation of the Long Term Land use master plan and the completion of the east end race track development.

  • 2007

    2007; Jack and Joan Donald donated $1.5 million for the building of an Administration Building.

  • 2009

    2009; Economic impact of Westerner Days Fair & Exposition is an estimated $7.3 million, $5 million in spending by non-local visitors. Westerner Park generates $150million in economic activity, hosts over 1,500 events and welcomes 1.5 million visitors each year.

  • 2010

    2010; Hundreds of new trees (225) and shrubs (1,200 were added as part of the Westerner Parks green initiatives.

As has been the practice for over 125 years, and will continue for generations to come, Westerner Park Continues to grow resilient connections, allowing our partners to achieve their business and marketing objectives while ensuring Westerner Park remains Central Alberta’s “destination for celebration”.


Our Future

At Westerner Park, we feel strongly that in order to honour the past, we need to have a plan for the future.

That's why we've embarked on a bold and innovative long-term redevelopment project. In May of 2008, our Board of Directors approved a Strategic Development Plan that outlines an exciting new vision, acting as the blueprint for Westerner Park's growth over the next 40 years.

In 2009, we proudly completed Phases 1 and 2 of the Strategic Development Plan, opening several great new facilities and outdoor spaces. And that's just the beginning. Even more beautiful park areas, pedestrian-friendly walkways and corridors, improved parking and traffic access, and clustered 'neighbourhoods' of related spaces and facilities are still to come.

So when it comes to the future of Westerner Park, you could say we've got a lot to celebrate.

Strategic Development Plan Key Features

  • Long-range goals. The plan includes goals for the short term (10 years), medium term (20 years), and long term (40 years).
  • Flexibility. We will respond to changing demands and priorities over time. The plan also addresses infrastructure needs through multiple stages of development.
  • Green focus. New parks areas, environmental sustainability, and cost savings through resource conservation are all part of the plan.
  • Community partnerships. Area residents, corporate partners, and governments will all be involved.
  • New opportunities. Our plan will create new prospects for Central Alberta citizens and groups.

Already Completed

  • The new, one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, Harvest Gardens (complete mid-July 2014).
  • The ENMAX Centrium expansion which includes 14 more luxury suites and an additional 1,000 seats added to the 6,000 seat facility (2012).
  • The new Donald Administration Building (opened July 2009).
  • Two new entries to Westerner Park on the north and west sides (2009).
  • A new 50-year land lease agreement between The City of Red Deer and Westerner Park, expanding our total lease amount to 320 acres.
  • A new slogan – Your Destination for Celebration™ – and a refreshed graphic identity to reflect the facility's vision and direction.

To keep you informed, we post all our expansion project information on our website. For more information on these strategic developments check out the Expansion Updates page.