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Council endorses 2015 Airdrie Regional Air Show

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 11:13 am

Team Oracle's Sean D. Tucker performs some air acrobatics at the 2013 Airdrie Regional Air Show. City council has given their support to the 2015 show.
Team Oracle's Sean D. Tucker performs some air acrobatics at the 2013 Airdrie Regional Air Show. City council has given their support to the 2015 show.
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie City council gave a vote of support to the 2015 Airdrie Regional Air Show during the June 16 council meeting.

The City will support the air show through gifts-in-kind to the tune of approximately $150,000. The majority of that support comes in the form of fire services to ensure the safety of both performers and attendees.

“Fire services are the biggest aspect of our request for support from the City,” said Doug Francoeur, chair of the Airdrie Air Show Society.

“It’s very difficult for us to outsource these services so we look to the City for help with that.”

Francoeur said with the 2015 air show, he and his team will likely be looking for help from the Crossfield Fire Services to provide auxiliary support.

“There’s just not enough manpower to go around from AFD to man the air show while providing a significant level of protection to the city,” Francoeur said.

AFD will provide both manpower and the use of their fire engines to hose down gravel paths to reduce dust.

The City will also be providing the air show with gift-in-kind of municipal enforcement for traffic control and crowd management.

Mayor Peter Brown said supporting the request of the Air Show Society was a no-brainer and spoke highly of the event.

“It’s a phenomenal two-day event that brings in around 10,000 to 15,000 people per day,” said Brown.

“It’s very easy to support a group that puts on an event like this that has such a positive impact to our community.”

The amount of money spent in Airdrie over the course of the event is tough to pinpoint, according to Brown, but he estimated that it is in the 100s of thousands of dollars.

“Last year for hotels alone, we had 70 rooms booked just for the performers and their teams,” said Brown.

“Add to that their meals while they’re in town.”

For the 2015 show, Airdrie Community Developer Kim Harris will be working with the air show and the Economic Development department to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the economic benefits of the event.

Last year’s ARTember event was the first time the City conducted this type of analysis and they will be doing more of these with events that impact the City’s economy.

“We’ll be taking surveys of people who are visiting the air show,” said Harris.

“On top of that, we’ll also be surveying businesses in town to see if they see an increase in business during the peak times of these events.

“We want to be able track all of our events to see how they benefit the community, our residents and our businesses.”

The 2013 show earned $202,710 in ticket sales and after expenses were paid, the profit was $31,978, attendance fell from 18,000 in 2011 to roughly 12,000 in 2013.


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