1. What are the timelines that led up to today’s announcement of this year’s Westerner Days being cancelled?
- We’ve been planning for 2021 Westerner Days since 2020 and adapting as AHS restrictions dictated.
- Endorsement of our Westerner Days plans were received on June 15th, 2021.
- March 1 – we began publicly communicating “We are optimistic that Westerner Days Fair and Exposition will be held in some form this summer.
- May 28 - “The Alberta government’s Open for Summer plan is a promising step towards returning to in-person events. We are planning to host Westerner Days Fair & Exposition in some form this summer, however, we cannot yet announce official information about the Fair.
- June 18 – Officially announced, “we will be hosting a modified Westerner Days this summer, and plan to announce full details on Monday, June 28th".
- June 23 – North American Midway Entertainment notified us that they are unable to deliver on their contract and will not be providing a midway this year
2. How long have you known about this?
We were notified on Wednesday, June 23 that our midway provider, North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) are unable to deliver on their contract and will not be providing Red Deer a midway this year?
3. Will there be any Westerner Days this year?
By losing the core of the Fair, North American Midway Entertainment’s choice has unfortunately led us to cancel this year’s event.
4. Is it possible to hire another midway company?
With less than 30 days notice to the start of Westerner Days it was not realistic to source another provider. We are managing the circumstances we’re currently dealt with. We are in a multi-year contract with North American Midway Entertainment and have a long-standing relationship with the company. We will work together to avoid these circumstances in the future.
5. Will the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships continue to run?
After only receiving this news late last week, Westerner Park is planning to adapt as quickly as possible and hope to better answer that question in the coming days.
6. Why can’t you host some other event on the same dates? Will there still be fireworks?
After only receiving this news late last week, Westerner Park is planning to adapt as quickly as possible and move forward in our commitment to serve the community. We hope to better answer that question in the coming days.
7. Can the Fair’s dates be postponed?
No, the scheduling for Westerner Park and routing for North American Midway Entertainment does not allow for another date to be rescheduled.
8. What is the financial impact?
At this time it is difficult to quantify the exact financial impact of losing Westerner Days this year. Westerner Park is non-profit agricultural society, and Westerner Days is one of our largest annual events. At a time when our financial state hinged on a successful Fair and the return of in person events, this is a difficult blow.In a normal year, The overall impact is estimated in excess of $7 million dollars. Of that total, approximately $5 million is spent by visitors, exhibitors, and contractors in Red Deer and area.
9. What is the financial impact to the City of Red Deer?
Westerner Park will likely need access to the operating grant that the City of Red Deer approved for this fiscal year on May 11, 2021.
10. Will there be more layoffs because of this?
Staffing costs specifically related to this event were fortunately minimized. With the easing of restrictions, we are continuing our reopening efforts and do not anticipate layoffs at this time.
11. Are you open for business?
We are open for business. Our team will adapt and we continue to support our event organizers and will create new and innovated ways to allow us all to gather and celebrate again very soon.
12. Will the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) still happen this year?
We are actively planning CFR 2021. With re-opening plans moving ahead in Alberta and across Canada, it is reasonable to believe we should be able to operate the event at a limited capacity, if not full capacity, by the time November 2021 comes.
Although the outlook for pandemic restrictions are positive, we will not take them for granted as there are still many unknowns as of today's date. We are evaluating all event delivery services (such as lineups, payment options, seating layouts, etc) to determine how we may change, or pivot should any restrictions exist at the time of the event.
Regardless of the limitations we are faced with, there will be a CFR in 2021.