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Creating recreation opportunities for Airdrie

Not only is Airdrie experiencing exponential growth, it's attracting active demographics such as families with young children involved in sport and play. In fact, when asked as part of the Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Needs Assessment Study (2022), 97 per cent of Airdrie residents said they feel recreation is important to quality of life and 80 per cent of residents call themselves at least somewhat active. Individual program registrations at Airdrie's sole multi-use recreation centre, Genesis Place, doubled from 8,150 in 2019 to nearly 16,000 in 2022, with many more residents engaging in programed recreation through private sport groups and local fitness-focused businesses.

Recreation is part of City Council's Strategic Action Plan (2023 - 2026), which identifies strategic priorities for the coming years. For recreation, these include:

  • Creating four-season opportunities for recreation
  • Planning and development for our facilities and amenities to meet our community's needs as Airdrie grows
Several projects supporting these strategic priorities are already underway, such as a masterplan for the Northeast Regional Park, planning for the SW Recreation Centre and the creation of an artificial turf sportsfield. 


Where we're growing: planned projects addressing our community's recreation needs

What we've heard is that recreation is important to our community and more recreation opportunities are desired. Through engagement, research and comparative reviews, we've identified Airdrie's top recreation needs for today, tomorrow and our community's future. The following projects are using this information to align priorities and inform amenity decision making:


Artificial turf sports field at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park

Conversion of Ed Eggerer Athletic Park's sports field to an artificial turf sports field will provide the community up to ~615 hours of additional prime-time play a year by extending the field's availability into the spring and fall. The synthetic turf surface will vastly reduce weather as a scheduling variable for sports groups and provide the community with the ability to host games locally and attract events.
  • Approximately 20 per cent of Airdrie households have at least one member who participates in outdoor soccer.
  • The average ratio identified in a comparative survey of similarly sized municipalties was one outdoor artificial turf field for every 68,000 residents. Airdrie was the only community of its size in Alberta to not have an artificial turf field. 

Construction converting Ed Eggerer Athletic Park's existing playing field to an artificial turf field will begin in April 2024 and the field will reopen in the early-fall of the same year. 

Learn more about the turf at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park


Northeast Regional Park

Outdoor spaces are important catalysts for recreation. Airdrie's newest regional park will be a place for organized sports, festivals, arts and culture. 
  • Outdoor pathways, trails and parks ranked as residents' top outdoor recreation priorities.
  • Survey respondents stated a higher participation in activities that involve pathways and parks than other outdoor facilities.
  • 19 per cent of citizens felt recreation facilities, parks, bike paths and dog parks were the most important issues facing the City: up from 10 per cent in 2022.
The park will be developed in stages, with passive elements such as trails and rest areas being developed first and opening to the public in fall 2024. Active recreation spaces such as sports fields are part of the park's master plan and will be developed in later stages.

Learn more about the NE Regional Park


Ron Ebbesen Twin Arenas mid-life upgrades

Prioritizing and investing in upgrading Airdrie's existing arena facilities will help ensure they can continue to meet the community's ice rink needs for the next 25 to 30 years. The improvements being made at Ron Ebbesen Twin Arenas improve accessibility to allow more members of our community to use the facility and will reduce wear and tear on the arenas' systems - resulting in less down-time for repairs and maintenance. 
  • 43 per cent of residents have a strong desire to have access to spontaneous or unstructured use of ice surfaces.
  • Utilization of existing indoor ice surfaces is recorded as 95 per cent during prime time hours.
  • User groups are booking ice times in surrounding communities to accommodate their needs.

Ron Ebbesen Twin Arenas will undergo mid-life upgrades in 2025 that will keep its ice surfaces in Airdrie's rink inventory for an additional 25 years, while improving accessibility to the facility.

Learn more about the Ron Ebbesen Twin Arena upgrades


Southwest Recreation Centre

In 2018, the City acquired a quarter section of land in partnership with Mattamy Homes and Rocky View School Division - 33 acres of which is allocated for use as Airdrie's future multi-use recreation centre. The future SW Recreation Centre will serve Airdrie's growing population and address Airdrie's largest indoor recreation gaps through a phased approach that balances our community's needs with construction affordability.  Planning for the centre is now underway, with construction expected to begin in 2025.
  • 89 per cent of households indicated that they would be more active if more recreation facilities were available.
  • Households allocated $68 out of $100 towards indoor recreation.
  • 80 per cent of households agreed with the concept of constructing a new recreation facility in southwest Airdrie.
  • Indoor aquatic facilities emerged as residents' top perceived need.

Phase I of the new southwest recreation centre, comprised of a pool, fitness centre and potential family place spaces, is expected to open in late 2026 or early 2027.

Learn more about the SW Recreation Centre

Where we've grown: projects we've implemented to create recreation opportunities for our community

  • Basketball nets in outdoor rinks:
    Basketball nets were added to several outdoor rink locations in 2023, to maximize four season play opportunities in the community.
  • Cross-country ski trail: 
    On June 22, 2021, Council approved using 2020 Alberta Winter Games legacy funds to establish the Airdrie Sport Council and create a cross-country ski loop, with additional funding for ski equipment from a provincial grant. Legacy funds, a surplus from the Games combining community, city, and provincial contributions, aim to boost local sports development through various projects and programs.
  • Active Airdrie Circuit:
    The Active Airdrie Circuit, installed at East Lake Regional Park in 2023, was designed to inspire the community to incorporate active living in to their everyday lives. The fitness circuit guides users around the East Lake pathway and offers strength training opportunities, as designed by Genesis Place fitness instructors, that incorporate the park's natural features. The circuit provides a free-to-use guided fitness activity for the community along one of Airdrie's most utilized active living amentities - pathways.
  • Priority registration:
    In 2022, the City introduced priority registration for Airdrie and Rocky View County residents to its registered programs in response to a sudden increased program attendance by out-of-area residents. Since implementation, priority registration has resulted in better alignment for Airdrie's tax supported facilities, with out-of-area resident attendance returning to an average of eight per cent* from its peak of 24 per cent in 2022. 
  • Airdrie Fair Access:
    The Airdrie Participant Support Program was expanded in 2022 to include more Airdrie residents with a sliding income scale. The program aims to break down financial barriers that prevent residents from accessing paid recreation services in the community. Most recently, the now named Airdrie Fair Access program, includes 1,735 unique clients. 

*as of September 2023 through February 2024 registrations

Engagement in action: how you're shaping the future of Airdrie's recreation

Your responses to citizen engagement opportunities are helping shape recreation in Airdrie, now and in the future. Most recently, we've asked you about recreation in the following surveys and open houses:

  • Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Needs Assessment Study (2022)
  • Citizen Satisfaction Survey (2023)
  • Budget Survey (2023)
  • North East Regional Park Site Master Planning (2023)
Interested in getting involved with future engagement opportunities? 

 Explore Airdrie's engagement opportunities