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Federal government announces $3.4M to revitalize Calgary’s downtown

Click to play video: '‘Insulting after-thought’: Mixed reviews of Alberta’s funding for Calgary downtown revitalization' ‘Insulting after-thought’: Mixed reviews of Alberta’s funding for Calgary downtown revitalization
The Government of Alberta has committed $5 million towards downtown revitalization efforts in Calgary. As Adam MacVicar reports, the money is welcomed but some in the city were hoping for much more. – Feb 25, 2022

The federal government is committing $3.4 million to help revitalize Calgary’s downtown and economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister Responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada Daniel Vandal made the announcement in Calgary on Wednesday morning.

“Our government is investing in community spaces where residents, visitors and businesses can come together to connect and engage with each other. Our public spaces are where we come together as a community – something we need now more than ever as we recover from the pandemic,” he said.

Read more: Federal government announces $38M to build affordable housing units for Calgary seniors

The funding will support 13 projects in Calgary with the goal to help re-animate key gathering spaces and assist the city’s economic recovery. Projects receiving federal funding include:

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  • Arts Commons is receiving $200,000 for an accessibility enhancement initiative at the facility.
  • Beltline Neighbourhoods Association is receiving $200,000 to upgrade High Park with an outdoor stage, fire pits, seating, murals and activity stations.
  • Calgary Science Centre Society is receiving $637,500 to revitalize and expand the outdoor park at Calgary’s Telus Spark centre with spaces for Indigenous programming.
  • Calgary Zoological Society is receiving $750,000 to install a bison habitat.
  • Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta is receiving $94,305 to renovate the second floor of its Life without Limits Centre to address accessibility barriers.
  • The City of Calgary is receiving $562,500 to help revitalize an under-utilized portion of a city park with a bike pump track, which aims to provide a safe activity space for everyone of all riding experience levels. It is also receiving $75,000 to turn an underutilized downtown parking space into an accessible outdoor event location and another $75,000 to install permanent seating at seven parks in northeast Calgary.
  • Edgemont Community Association received $200,000 to construct a community hub in the Evanston neighbourhood in northwest Calgary.
  • Heritage Park Society is receiving $438,750 to build a fully accessible antique railway car at Heritage Park.
  • North-East Centre of Community Society is receiving $142,500 to enhance outdoor gathering spaces at the Genesis Centre.
  • Willow Ridge Community Association of Calgary is receiving $37,695 to upgrade green spaces in the Willow Ridge neighbourhood in southeast Calgary.

The funding comes after the Government of Alberta allocated $4 million to the City of Calgary and an additional $1 million to the Calgary Downtown Association for downtown revitalization as part of the 2022 budget, which received sharp criticism from Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

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Read more: ‘Insulting after-thought’: Mixed reviews of Alberta’s funding for Calgary downtown revitalization

“This investment begins to address the gaps within our communities. The pandemic highlighted the need to meet people where they are at, providing the important social and physical infrastructure that is critical to building complete communities,” Gondek said on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to see many diverse organizations and projects being funded for the benefit of all Calgarians.”

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