The City of Grande Prairie continues to actively monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and is taking measures to prevent spread in our community.
The health, safety, and wellbeing of our residents and community is our priority.
The City has a business continuity plan to ensure core services including emergency services and transit continue to operate.
Effective Monday, September 20, 2021, select City recreational facilities are participating in the Government of Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program (REP), requiring users to demonstrate proof of vaccine, a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours, or a medical exemption.
We recognize the evolving COVID-19 response has required adaptability and resilience from our community and we aim to continue to provide service delivery to the community that is as close to normal.
The options we had to choose from provided by the provincial government were to:
- participate in the REP; or
- introduce further restrictions including a capacity of 1/3 of the fire code, physical distancing, and cancelling or limiting indoor fitness and sport for both youth and adults.
By implementing the REP we can continue to keep our doors safely open for access to as many of our residents as possible within the provincial health order, and continue to serve and support our many user groups and clients that provide valuable programming for our community.
Implementing the REP for these facilities is the best alternative in order to:
- Continue to offer and host events and programs – The REP enables us to continue to offer many great events and programs and welcome other event organizers to host their events at our facilities. Without the REP, events and programs would be significantly impacted or not occur.
- Example: The Storm hockey season and all booked events at the Bonnetts Events Centre would be cancelled without the REP, as well as all indoor competitions at Eastlink and the Coca-Cola Centre.
- Reduce financial impact - The REP optimizes revenue by allowing the facilities to operate at the highest capacity permitted, supporting the financial sustainability of each facility and keeping tax-payer costs low. If operating at 1/3 capacity, facilities would still be required to be open and staffed resulting in a reduced ability to balance costs and revenue.
- Example: The REP permits 300 people in Eastlink Centre’s fitness area at one time, where only 100 would be permitted without the REP. Additionally, 23 user groups would not be permitted to continue with group activities and all drop-in fitness would have to cease without the REP.
The REP has been applied to buildings which would allow the continuation of events and recreation programming to its maximum potential. Our other facilities will continue to operate within the restrictions at 1/3 fire code capacity as some can do so with minimal impacts, and because others, such as the Montrose Cultural Centre, must remain accessible to provide services for more vulnerable populations.
We recognize the REP may present some challenges to some individuals, but we aim to continue to serve all our users as much as possible during this temporary provincial measure. Anyone who is not receiving the vaccination is reminded they are able to present a negative COVID-19 test result within the past 72 hours to attend the facilities.
Thank you all for your understanding and co-operation.
For details on the provincial response, please visit alberta.ca/covid19.
For details on the federal response, please visit canada.ca/covid19.
Below is a directory of information on our local response.