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Alberta 55 plus 

President's Message

14 Nov 2022 10:26 AM | Anonymous

Good day fellow members,

It has been a day or two since the last Presidents message was posted and as this year draws to a close, it is time for another one. Thank you in advance for choosing to read it.  

It has been a whirlwind couple of months culminating with over 600 of you attending the Canada 55 games in Kamloops, BC. We managed to host the Provincial Winter games in Edmonton. Zone 6 (1200 participants) and the Provincial Summer games in Peace River. Zone 8 (1100 participants)  All three of these games occurred within a five month time frame, which in and of itself, is a major happening. This could not have been done without the herculean efforts of the Provincial Board, the Provincial Activity Directors and your respective Zone Boards. All are to be applauded and thanked so when you see them, please let them know and show your appreciation.

Each set of games were not without their share of issues but I can tell you that our very own Provincial Games fared better than the Canada 55 games in many aspects. As it was my very first Canada 55 games as the new Alberta Director, I had the opportunity to view first-hand how the games were run and where the issues might arise. Making the comparison between the events was important for me so that we (Alberta55 plus) can ensure our members are treated fairly and that we continue to provide an exceptional event for everyone going forward.

There is a Board meeting planned for the Canada 55 executive on November 24/25 where the entire event will be discussed good, bad and indifferent. I have received many emails from members detailing their experiences in Kamloops and I will be compiling and sharing this information with that Board. Admittedly, there is much work and several recommendations that need to be addressed before the 2024 Games in Quebec. It is my intent to post another Presidents Message in the January/February timeframe with news and updates in that message.

Looking ahead, we are only ten months out from hosting the 2023 Provincial Summer Games in Brooks, Alberta (August 17-20)  Preparations are underway as we speak and games meetings are occurring monthly which your provincial games committee members are  attending. There have been qualifying events already in several zones across the province and more are definitely planned for the near future. I encourage all of you to view your zone webpages/updates, as well as viewing the provincial website for special announcements about upcoming qualifiers.  

The Provincial Winter Games have posed a completely different problem for us this go-round. There was no successful bid package put forward by any community (which we have extremely limited control over) so the Board has met, discussed, and decided on a new, somewhat novel course of action. Zones from across Alberta have agreed to parcel out the events with Zones making proposals to the Board asking to host certain events, or in some cases, maybe only one event. There are many issues that are still being worked on and figured out. Some events will be occurring as early as in the next few months (hockey, alpine and X-country skiing) while others could be occurring as late as early January, 2024. Like you, we all have many questions about what all of this will look like and I would ask for your patience and understanding as we progress through this new initiative. We, collectively, will provide updates as we move forward to ensure that members know what is happening with the Winter Games. Rest assured, this is not the new normal and we certainly hope to be back to having a community/city/town hosting the entire Winter Provincial Games in 2025.  

One of the biggest issues that will arise is the cost breakdown for these Winter Games and what that means to you as a member. There are no definitive answers right now but a few things I can share are: there will be no formal opening ceremonies, no parade of athletes, no banquet. With the games being dispersed across the province, it would be impossible to have all of these occurring. I appreciate that this is not an ideal situation and many of you, including me, will be disappointed by this news. Our option was to not have any games at all…a really bad option in my opinion.

Each event will be hosted and run on a cost recovery budget whereby there is a zero balance when the event is over. What this means for members is that depending on the event you participate in the fees could be different. There will be some events that are more costly to run and therefore your fees could be higher. There are other events that are low cost and that would be reflected in your fees to participate in that event. Each Zone will be coming up with and proposing a budget to the Provincial Board for approval. There will be many more updates as we go forward from your Provincial Board, your Zone President and most likely your Zone Activity Directors.

As you can see, and I hope also appreciate, the dedicated people in your respective Zones are continuing to meet and chart a course for members across the province to ensure that you have the opportunity to participate, stay active and socialize with fellow members. None of this could take place without the tireless efforts of a great group of volunteers. These are trying times we find ourselves in and not every decision or course of action we choose will meet with 100% approval. We will however, continue to try our best to afford you all the opportunity to participate, compete and qualify in your chosen event.

Remember to mark your calendars as a reminder about the AGM being in May, 2023 in Red Deer, Alberta. There will be several vacancies on the Board and this would be your chance to have a voice and share your ideas as an active Board member.

Please continue to beat the drum…

Dave Finn


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