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Photo courtesy Canada Games

2019 Canada Winter Games open in Alberta this weekend

By Kristy Koehler, February 14 2019 —

For those still disappointed that Calgary missed out on an Olympic bid, the next two weeks offer a chance to support amateur athletics in a big way. The 2019 Canada Winter Games open on Friday, Feb. 15. Red Deer is the official host city for the games but some events will be held here in Calgary. According to the Canada Games website, alumni of the event make up 34 per cent of Team Canada’s Olympic squad.

The event will be among the largest hosted in Alberta since the 1988 Winter Olympics, welcoming more than 3,500 athletes, managers and coaching staff and an estimated 20,000 visitors to the area. This is the third time in its 27- year history that the Canada Games will be hosted in Alberta — and the first since the 1995 iteration in Grand Prairie.

Athletes participate in 19 sports, including alpine skiing, archery, gymnastics, badminton, biathlon, boxing, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, hockey, speedskating, wheelchair basketball and ringette.

The halfpipe portion of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events will be held in Calgary at WinSport, while Nakiska Ski Resort will play host to the alpine and para-alpine events.

In addition to showcasing amateur sport, the 52° North Music + Cultural Festival will also be held during the Games, offering more than 70 performances over 10 days in addition to food vendors and local artisans. The festival is free, all-ages and doesn’t require an advance ticket. Performances are being held at the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza at 5205 48 Ave. in downtown Red Deer. Acts include the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, Trooper, The Strumbellas, Bif Naked, Walk off the Earth and Brett Kissel, among others.

Most Canada Games events have walk-up tickets available 15 minutes prior to the start of the event for between $12 and $15. Events taking place at WinSport, however, are free of charge. If the cold snap is still in full effect and you don’t want to head outside, TSN is offering 40 hours of televised coverage while a webcast offers 1,300 hours of action.

For more information visit the Canada Games website.

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