Gateway Gazette

Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park welcomes the world

Canmore - Ski Tour CanadaThe Canmore Nordic Centre will host the world’s top cross country skiers for Ski Tour Canada from March 8 to 12.
This is the first time the Federation Internationale du Ski has hosted its final World Cup event of the season outside of Europe.

The four days of racing will decide the winners of the final stages of the men’s and women’s World Cup circuit 2015-2016 season – the largest event of its kind hosted in Alberta since the 1988 Olympic Winter Games.

“Each time we host an event of this magnitude we demonstrate that Alberta is becoming Canada’s leading sport tourism destination. This prestigious international competition inspires and teaches our young athletes that success in any sport, at any level, can be attained through commitment, hard work and dedication. Cross country skiing is a sport that builds character and teaches discipline—valuable lessons for living a life of excellence.”

~ Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

“Alberta is very proud to be hosting the world’s top athletes in Nordic skiing, and to share the natural beauty of our provincial park system. Events of this kind shine a global spotlight on our province, and prove the economic benefits of building and maintaining world-class recreational facilities.”

~ Cameron Westhead, MLA, Banff-Cochrane

The Alberta government, through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is providing $875,000 in grant funding toward the planning, staging and delivery of the event. This funding is being matched by Sport Canada.

Event organizers predict the economic impact will be comparable to the 2012 Cross Country Ski World Cup. Direct visitor spending and event operational expenditures were approximately $3.52 million in 2012. These expenditures resulted in a net provincewide economic impact of approximately $3.98 million and a net regional economic impact of approximately $2.41 million. The 2016 event is expected to reach 12,000 spectators and 60 million TV viewers worldwide.

The 2016 World Cup season has brought Ski Tour Canada and the IBU World Cup Biathlon to the Canmore Nordic Centre in partnership with the Alberta World Cup Society, important milestones in ongoing efforts to attract large-scale winter sport competitions to Alberta. Both events have boosted community vitality in Canmore, and have brought added economic impact to winter-season tourism.

Built to host the 1988 Olympic Nordic competitions, Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, with its 60 km of groomed trails, is one of the premier ski facilities of its kind in the world. It’s both a comprehensive regional recreation facility and an elite training centre for Olympic-calibre international athletes.

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