Event Centre taking shape into spring

Society president Charlie Cutforth with an artist’s rendering of the Ag Event Centre.

By CHARLES TWEED

If you’ve driven south out of Ponoka on Highway 2A, you’ve surely noticed the new Ponoka Ag Event Centre. You may think not a lot has changed there in quite some time but a trip inside the new complex tells a different story.

With plumbing, electrical, and mechanical work ongoing, the centre is starting to take shape.

Charlie Cutforth, president of the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society, said the late spring is slowing down some of the progress they’d like to make outside of the centre.

He said the society has approximately $1.4 million set aside to build the barn that will house the pens to the east of the centre. The plan was to originally build a 200-stall barn but after speaking with many of the groups interested in using the centre, Cutforth said they might have to look at more stalls.

“The main thing is this barn because a lot of these major events require you to have the right facilities for them,” said Cutforth.

He hopes that the big events can, in a way, subsidize the building for smaller local groups who want to use it for a function. Cutforth doesn’t think finding groups to book the centre is going to be a problem.

“The demand for this is outstanding — I don’t have any doubt that as soon as we put a notice on our website saying, “we’re accepting bookings’ it be fully booked within 30 days,” said Cutforth.

Cutforth hopes the main building is complete by July 1 for the Ponoka Stampede but doubts the barn will be finished. Paving around the building is also a concern and he estimates they need to raise another $1.5 million to complete the project.

“The local support, once they understand that a component of the (MSI) grant has to be spent on joint community projects, when everyone hears that they’re right on side and it’s ideal and so suited to what we do,” said Cutforth speaking on behalf of Ponoka County.

There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up before the real roping can begin. In the coming months the PAECS will hire a manager to run the centre, and naming rights for the centre and specific rooms in the building are still up in the air.

The big concern is making sure when the centre does open it’s ready to hit the ground running.

“You don’t want to open too soon, you have to be ready and done otherwise you turn the organizations away right off the start and then you’re in trouble,” said Cutforth.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Car slides off flooded Sunken Bridge

Unknown why driver drove over bridge twice

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadian workers

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Bottle drive benefits local food bank in a big way

Ponoka company’s fundraiser showcases community’s ability to help in a crisis

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

All-time Argos selection Marv Luster passes away at the age of 82

All-time Argos selection Marv Luster passes away at the age of 82

Lions rookie linebacker Williams patiently waiting for 2020 CFL season

Lions rookie linebacker Williams patiently waiting for 2020 CFL season

‘One for the history books:’ Horse racing back but without cheering crowds

‘One for the history books:’ Horse racing back but without cheering crowds

Most Read