New legacy begins as RDC celebrates grand opening of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Date posted: 
Wed, 08/22/2018
Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Grand Opening - August 22, 2018

After many years of planning and almost three years of construction, Red Deer College reached a historic milestone today with the opening of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris.

“The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is an extraordinary addition to our College and our community,” says Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO. “This building is a symbol of RDC’s future – for our students, faculty, staff, community members and partners. And today we take a huge step forward on this future path as we celebrate this grand opening and continue to transition to a recognized university.”

Dignitaries and guests from across Alberta, including Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt, were at RDC for today’s celebration. “As RDC continues down the path towards becoming a degree granting university, the opening of the Gary W Harris Canada Games Centre is an important step in the growth of the College to provide great facilities and learning spaces for students and the whole community of Red Deer. The Alberta government is committed to investing in making life better for the students, athletes and citizens of Red Deer, and this incredible centre will do that for decades to come,” says Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education.

The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, RDC’s newest state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility, will also be a pivotal part of the upcoming 2019 Canada Winter Games. From February 15 until March 3, 2019, five events will take place at the Centre, including short track speed skating, badminton, wheelchair basketball, figure skating and squash. The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre has also been named the legacy building for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and it will continue to provide health, wellness and sport opportunities to community members for decades after the Games.

“This building will have a tremendous impact on our region, and community members will benefit directly and indirectly from the facility, which further positions Red Deer College and Red Deer as a destination for a wide range of activities and opportunities,” says Morris Flewwelling, RDC Board Chair. “We’re embarking on an exciting new future, and the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre simply wouldn’t have been possible without all of the work and contributions from our partners who have dedicated themselves to achieving this goal.”

With the many benefits the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will provide the region, Ward emphasizes its importance to RDC’s learners who will benefit from the building, now and in the future. “We are so honoured and excited that this facility will be used by community members and athletes from across Canada. But, teaching and learning is always at the core of what we do and who we are as an educational institution,” says Ward. “To that end, we designed this building to facilitate teaching opportunities across a wide range of programs, primarily in the fields of Health Sciences. Our new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre provides a cutting-edge facility for our current and future program offerings.”

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Photo caption (l-r): Gary Harris; Ruth Harris; Morris Flewwelling, RDC Board Chair; Russ Wlad, Executive Vice President, Stantec Canada; Paul Verhesen, CEO, Clark Builders; Chaise Combs, President, Students' Association of Red Deer College; Will Woodward, General Manager, Scott Builders; Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO; Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education; Tom Quinn, Chair, Canada Games Council; Tara Veer, Mayor, City of Red Deer; Lyn Radford, Chair, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society; Barb Miller, MLA Red Deer-South; Kim Schreiner, MLA Red Deer-North; Joan Donald; and Jack Donald. Photo courtesy 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society. Photo credit: Dave Brunner. 

For further details on the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris, please see the backgrounder

For additional information contact:

Shelley Newman    
Communications Strategist – Corporate
RDC 
403.342.3299     

Brent Forster
Communications Strategist – Corporate
RDC
403.342.3389

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