Parks and Exhibition’s million dollar idea



Two groups in Lethbridge hope to get investment from the city of Lethbridge in order to fund their attempts to build multi-purpose centres.

Exhibition Park has been working for numerous years on adding to its existing facilities.

Management at the park say they are well on their way to having plans completed for the project.

“We’ve come a long way in the last few years and really what we’re left with right now is building engineering and architectural drawings, that will pretty much get us right to shovel ready,” said Rudy Friesen, Exhibition Park Manager.

They had another chance to go in front of Lethbridge city council to pitch their plans for the additions and they asked for $1.1 million.


Phase one of the plan was to build a 250,000 square foot trade and convention centre, as well as an agriplex during the second phase.

The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce has put a bit of a wrench into the plans when its president Harry Gross suggested building a multi-use arts centre.

He thought it would be more financially beneficial for the city especially if it was constructed in a high density area in Lethbridge near hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.

The chamber has consulted with the Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group about the performing arts centre in Lethbridge and they also got their chance to present their proposal to city council indicating they would like $375,000 in funding.

The group says they haven’t nailed down a placement for the new centre or designs but Dianne King, who was one of the presenters says “it’s about time” for a new performing arts centre.

Numerous amounts of supporters came to give their backing during both presentations especially for the performing arts. Several times during the session they broke out in applause.

Karla Pyrch, Executive Director at the Chamber of Commerce says they aren’t trying to outcast the park but are trying to maximize the available budget.

“Our intention is not to not collaborate with Exhibition Park, it’s to say you’ve got this project that you want to put forward, but are there other synergies that can come together or other ways this could be bigger,” said Pyrch.

Both proposals were accepted and the council will think each over the next few months before final funding decisions are made in June.


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Cole Parkinson is in his final year of Digital Communications and Media at Lethbridge College. After graduation he hopes to pursue a job in sports broadcasting, hopefully covering one of the three main teams in Toronto. His hobbies include watching and playing hockey, baseball, basketball as well as playing guitar in a punk rock band. He enjoys reading, listening to music, watching movies and TV. Favourite teams: Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors Favourite bands: Green Day, blink-182 and Against Me! Follow him on twitter at @ColeParkinson4