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November 26, 2012

Government Invests in Cross-Country Ski World Cup to Draw More Visitors to Alberta

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One of Alberta’s favorite mountain towns will soon welcome thousands of spectators and visitors to the Alberta World Cup 2012. To create an even bigger buzz around the biannual event, the province is investing $220,600 in a sport tourism pilot project to attract new visitors to the region.

“All eyes will be on Canmore for the Alberta World Cup,” said Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Christine Cusanelli. “Our government understands the economic benefits of sending the message to 30 million world viewers that Alberta is the place they want to visit next. I am confident our investment in the region today will have long lasting returns for our tourism industry, and for all Albertans.”

The province is providing $70,000 to Canmore Business & Tourism to help launch a new Canmore Nordic Festival during the World Cup. The festival will include a downtown plaza with entertainment, video screens providing live coverage of the races, and local restaurants offering specialized menus. The province will also invest about $30,000 to create a cultural showcase featuring Alberta’s Aboriginal performers and local artists. In addition, promoters from Heritage Park will be on hand, adding to the festival atmosphere and showcasing other Alberta experiences.

“Hosting this world class event provides a significant economic boost to our local community,” said Wanda Shaw, Vice Chair of Canmore Business & Tourism. “Because of the amazing work of the organizing committee, the many corporate sponsors and the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, we will be able to showcase Canmore and area to an international audience.”

Cross Country Alberta has received $94,600 to develop home-grown talent and fans by bringing provincial athletes, coaches and event organizers to the World Cup. Athletes will benefit from various sport development camps, and it’s hoped that by seeing some of the world’s best cross country skiers in action, they will be inspired to set their sights on international competition.

“Thanks to the Government of Alberta, we will be sending a dedicated group of athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers from throughout Alberta to take part in the 2012 World Cup festivities,” said Joe Malmsten, Cross Country Alberta. “We have chosen Albertans based on their contributions to cross country skiing, their dedication to improving the sport, and their commitment to perseverance in striving for success.”

To help promote the World Cup, grow interest in the sport and profile Alberta athletes, the province has provided $26,000 to help the Alberta World Cup Society develop a series of ‘Gateway to World Cup’ videos. Shot on location in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the videos will feature the people and places that play a key role in an athlete’s journey to training and competition. This will include a behind-the-scenes look at the sport through the eyes of athletes, coaches, wax technicians and others. Targeting an international audience, the web videos will entice cross country ski fans and travelers to experience Alberta first-hand.

“We have held this event in 2005, 2008 and 2010 and athletes, coaches and fans from all over the world consistently comment on the quality of our races and the enthusiasm of our volunteers,” said Norbert Meier, Alberta World Cup Society. “We’re grateful to have a world-class facility, a very supportive community and committed sponsors. We’re proud to host this event and showcase our sport, our community and our province to the world.”

Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian tourism industry with domestic travelers spending about $3.6 billion each year. By investing in sport tourism, through the 2012 World Cup, the province will be able to not only attract new tourists, but also raise awareness of Alberta as a sport destination, generate new tourism business and increase international recognition for our province’s active communities, people and natural landscapes.

The world’s best cross country skiers will compete during the Alberta World Cup 2012 from December 13 to 16. More than 200 athletes from 21 countries will participate in three races at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. For more information, visit for a spectator guide and race details.

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