Ag-Event Centre receives large monetary support

  • Mar. 3, 2009 5:00 a.m.

The plans for Ponoka’s new Ag-Event Centre have been going smoothly and more support has helped the Centre’s committee move even closer to its $8.5 million campaign goal.

A $500,000 donation from EnCana has been invested in Ponoka’s Ag-Event Centre and the contribution will help with the construction of the centre. This construction will not only serve and benefit the residents of Ponoka and area, but will also serve residents throughout Alberta.

The unique partnership of four local groups has been an inspiration to the province and is helping this project to move along smoothly. The Ponoka Agricultural Society, Ponoka Stampede Association, Ponoka County and the Town of Ponoka have partnered together to form the Ponoka Ag-Event Centre Society (PAECS) to work towards building the new Ag-Event Centre.

Chair of PAECS, Charlie Cutforth, was pleased with EnCana’s support and commitment to the project and is encouraged by the donation.

“It is so encouraging to have a corporation like EnCana support our community with an investment of $500,000 in the Centre,” said Cutforth. “We are grateful for EnCana’s important contribution that clearly illustrates its commitment to the communities it serves.”

The new Ag-Event centre is designed to be a first class agricultural building with the purpose of providing a place for the equine and agricultural industry to promote recreation, education and entertainment in Ponoka.

With features including an indoor arena with a dirt floor surface and seating for 1,500 spectators, a warm up area attached to the arena, a banquet area seating up to 500, three barns and 200 box stalls, 50 camping sites, stock pens, indoor and outdoor wash racks, administration offices and much more, it has the opportunity to generate almost $4 million per year in non-local spending.

The new Ag-Event Centre will be built adjacent to Highway 2A, south of the Ponoka Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion on about 15 acres of land donated by the Ponoka Stampede Association.

The site plans and building have been executed by Beardon Engineering and the project is estimated to be $8.5 million. Presently the PAECS has committed over $5 million in capital funding.

Appropriate xoning, development and servicing preparations are already underway.

The centre is expected to be a major tourism and economic advantage for Ponoka that will attract the public all year round.