Canadian Finals Rodeo Brings Action and Economic Boost to Red Deer



Rodeo fans were eager to return to the Canadian rodeo final after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the CFR was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Event organizers opted for the province’s restriction exemption program, which means attendees had to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

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Interpreter at the CFR in 2021.

courtesy: Covy Moore

Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen said there was a bit of pressure on the event but said he was happy with the way it went.

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“We really decided this event was a ‘go’ six weeks ago,” he explained.

“Ticket sales have started slowly because we have people on both sides of the pendulum with COVID-19. Attendance figures increased during the week. It’s pretty much a sold-out crowd for Saturday night.

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Olesen said applying the masking in the arena has been a challenge. On Saturday afternoon, a significant part of the participants did not have masks or did not wear them correctly when they went for a walk.

“The rules are pretty detailed… and confusing for people who are here to have a good time and have a beer,” Olesen said.

“We had to improve law enforcement, but we worked closely with AHS. We do due diligence, but at the same time, it’s central Alberta and it’s rodeo.

Jeff Robson, General Manager of Rodeo Canada, said that many people miss the Canadian rodeo final.

“That’s why you rodeo all year – to come to the CFR.

“You can’t even describe how (this is important),” he said.

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“After the edition (the 2020 edition was canceled), some candidates stayed at home. Some have gone down south and rodeo in the United States.

Robson added that now that things are picking up, he believes the momentum for the new city can continue. Previously, the competition was held in Edmonton.

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“We can make it a real attraction. We’ll get there. It was a small setback. Keep in mind that Edmonton has had 44 years to perfect the CFR. We are only a few years away and I think we are doing a very good job.

Edgar Durazo at the CFL in 2021.

Courtesy: Covy Moore

Red Deer’s economy will also benefit from the event being held in the city.

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Olesen estimates that $ 25-30 million will be generated by the event for the economy of Red Deer.

“It was really important to get our team back to work. It takes a team of thousands of people to set it up. It does great things for (Red Deer) and businesses, ”he said.

“Red Deer is busy. This is why these events exist and we are working so hard to organize them.

Olesen estimated that about 25,000 people in total will have attended the CFR over the five days. In 2019, 35,000 people attended.

The CFR ends on November 7.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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