Community Event Grant Program
Community Recreational Event and Sport Tourism (CREST) Investment Program
This program aims to boost sport hosting in Strathcona County. An incentive program that will aid local sport and community organizations to build sport hosting capacity and stage major sport competitions and related events in Strathcona County. We see this as an investment in the growth of sport tourism for our community and an opportunity to increase tourism revenues in Strathcona County. This program is intended to assist groups in hosting events at the provincial through to international event level.
1. Eligibility Permanent link to Eligibility
Registered not for profit community sport associations operating within Strathcona County, which are in good standing with Alberta Corporate Registry, are eligible if they have been incorporated for at least one year.
Eligibility is to be limited to one event per association or organization per calendar year. Events are to be held within Strathcona County, within County facilities.
The Guidelines for Sanctioned Events with Bid Process are as follows:
These types of events are sanctioned (approved) events of provincial, western Canadian, Canadian or international magnitude. They require interested associations to make application or complete a required bid proposal. Bids are reviewed by their respective sport governing body eg. Hockey Alberta and the winning association is advised. Definitions are provided below for each level of event.
- Provincial Event – A provincial sport governing body approved event, secured through a bid process by a local sport or community association to host a provincial level competition in Strathcona County.
- Western Canadian Event – A provincial and/or national sport governing body approved event secured through the required bid process by a local sport or community association to host a western Canadian competition in Strathcona County.
- Canadian Event – A provincial and/or national sport governing body approved event, secured through the required bid process by a local sport or community association to host a Canadian competition in Strathcona County.
- International Event – An international sport governing body event, secured through the required bid process by a local sport association to host an international competition in Strathcona County. The ability to bid would denote that provincial and national governing bodies have provided their sanctions to proceed.
2. Open/invitational sanctioned events Permanent link to Open/invitational sanctioned events
These events are endorsed and approved/sanctioned by the appropriate sport governing body. There is no bid process for events of this nature, but rather are of a scope and magnitude they often bring more players, spectators and create promotion and revenue for the community rivaling a bid for event. Current examples include the Phoenix Soccer Tournament, Sherwood Park Ringette’s Platinum Ring Tournament and the Provincial Dog Agility Competition.
The Guidelines for Open Events/Invitational are as follows:
- Provincial Sanctioned Open Event – Using the eight provincial zones created by Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation (see Alberta Provincial Sports Zone Map). Any open event that has confirmed participation from three of the eight zones and has a written endorsement from its provincial sport governing body to host the event, are eligible.
- Western Canadian Sanctioned Open Event – Any open event that has confirmed participation from three western Canadian provinces or northern territories and has a written endorsement from its provincial and western Canadian sport governing bodies to host the event, are eligible.
- Canadian Sanctioned Open Event – Any open event that has confirmed participation from a minimum of nine provinces or territories and has a written endorsement from the provincial and/or Canadian sport governing body to host the event, are eligible.
- International Sanctioned Open Event – An open event that has confirmed participation from a minimum of three other countries and has a written sanction from the respective Canadian or international sport governing body to host the event, are eligible.
3. Notification requirements Permanent link to Notification requirements
Strathcona County, Recreation, Parks and Culture are to be notified prior to making applications or requesting sanctioning of an event to confirm availability or space.
Notification can be made using the CREST program form and submitted to Recreation, Parks and Culture at 2025 Oak Street, Sherwood Park or call780-467-2211 and enquiring about the Community Recreational Events and Sports Tourism Investment Program (CREST).
The needs for notification prior to bidding for or sanctioning an event are necessary to:
- Ensure the date(s), time and location of proposed events are available for use
- Verify the eligibility of the event
- Provide for a formal letter of municipal support for the bid application
- Establish a Strathcona County marketing and promotion partnership in the bid process and activities leading up to the event
Events not meeting the notification requirements run the risk that venue space and the Community Recreational Events and Sports Tourism Investment Program may not be available.
4. Investment eligibility Permanent link to Investment eligibility
For programs that are successful in the bid process or open sanctioned/endorsed events that have met the CREST program requirements, the following financial investment will be made available:
- Provincial Event – upon successful bid and/or sanctioning up to a maximum of $1,500.00
- Western Canadian – upon successful bid and/or sanctioning up to a maximum of $2,500.00
- Canadian – upon successful bid and/or sanctioning, up to a maximum of $4,000.00
- International – upon successful bid and/or sanctioning, up to a maximum of $5,000.00
- Annual Sports Tourism Program Budget – $15,000
Approval – Director of Recreation, Parks and Culture and /or designate.
Program Review – after the first year
- Arts and cultural events have the opportunity to apply through the Arts, Culture and Heritage Community Investment Program.
- Funding support for agricultural community based events will increase from $500 to $750, as the three local agricultural societies for an event each year would be grandfathered into the CREST. Groups may apply for funding for one event per year.
Strathcona County reserves the right to reduce established event funding levels based on the number of applications received, the number of participants expected, the magnitude of the possible event recognition, coverage it may create (the event draw) and overall costs to host.
5. Benefitting Strathcona County Permanent link to Benefitting Strathcona County
Events eligible for CREST investment has the potential to provide print, radio, television or web exposure to our community, provincially to internationally. Events of this nature bring participants and spectators from across the province and around the world, to our community. Many benefits occur through these events, from local business economic spin off, to the Strathcona County Strategic Plan Capstone Policies, including community wellbeing, economic viability, service delivery and resource management. They bring recognition to our local sports associations and demonstrate our community spirit through volunteering and competition. Furthermore, for RPC the value of visitor feedback on guest services and facility amenities, provides benchmarking from a provincial to an international level.
6. Promotion and marketing guidelines for community events and tournaments Permanent link to Promotion and marketing guidelines for community events and tournaments
Many community associations and minor sport organizations work to host unique events and tournaments in Strathcona County. Each group, many volunteer-based, seek information and resources required to attract, promote and host their events. Their efforts economically benefit Strathcona County in many ways, including increased visitors to the community and increased facility/park rentals. These events also create opportunities to generate awareness of Strathcona County across Alberta, Canada and internationally (eg. Olympic Women’s Wrestling Trials attracted potential Olympic competitors from 24 nations).
7. Marketing support for events/tournaments Permanent link to Marketing support for events/tournaments
Economic Development and Tourism in consort with Recreation, Parks and Culture, provide the additional subject matter expertise through marketing support that includes:
- The development of pertinent information to complete bid proposals for hosting applications with Sports Tourism Program potential.
- Packaging approach and venue capacities, potentially creating that edge to a successful bid application.
- Successful hosts will be provided additional assistance with information/support. A helpful and comprehensive event planning tool kit has been developed to assist with planning, logistics for hosting and promotion of the event.
8. Events/tournament program advertising Permanent link to Events/tournament program advertising
Strathcona County’s Recreation, Parks and Culture and Economic Development and Tourism departments welcome the opportunity to support or advertise an event/tournament program if:
- There is a mutual benefit in terms of cross promotions
- It creates the opportunity to reach key target audiences
- It generates awareness of Strathcona County to a broad reaching market
Note: The above program is an inclusive package of marketing and promotion services to aid sports tourism opportunities. Other events and activities of varying magnitude may qualify fully or partially.
9. CREST application form Permanent link to CREST application form
Community Recreational Event and Sports Tourism (CREST) Investment Program – Application (Acrobat Reader 9.0 or higher required to submit this document)
Other grants and funding opportunities