2.01 – The Concept and Partnership
Calgary Rotary Challenger Park (“CRCP” or the “Park’) is a unique concept of multi-purpose area constructed on 23+ acres of land donated by the Calgary Airport Authority to ensure that all citizens have equal access to recreation, sport and play. The idea was conceived in 1997/98 by the caring and community focused Rotary Clubs of Calgary, the City of Calgary and the Calgary Airport Authority. From inception this Park has been built with the idea that it is inclusive so people with disabilities and seniors can participate and experience recreation and sport and all it has to offer with friends, family and community members in a barrier free environment.
The primary objectives of the Calgary Rotary Challenger Park are:
Provide affordable opportunities and experiences for persons with disabilities and seniors in recreation, sport and wellness in an inclusive environment.
Provide community agencies, sporting organizations and citizens with a healthy and safe environment.
Operate an organization that is financially sustainable.
Create opportunities for sponsorship and partnerships with donors and other business stakeholders.
The philosophy of an inclusive environment requires special costs both for capital and operational expenditures. The former cost (to completion of Phase 3D) is over $15M dollars and the latter will require an annual budget of $650,000+. The operational budget is augmented by both a facility lifecycle program and an operating reserve (created in 2006). User fees will not be sufficient to cover the Society’s operating costs. Many of our users, including organizations, have limited financial resources and may not have the ability to pay market rates for our facilities and programs.
Realizing that resources will be limited the Park will require focused community based marketing and fund development plans. These plans will require the forging of partnerships, the hosting of special events, the creation of special funds (i.e. including an Endowment Fund) and strategies to maintain public support. Financial stability will be one of the organization’s biggest challenges over the next few years.
Partnerships and alliances will continue to be a strong focus for CRCP. Our business model will focus us on providing quality facilities, at affordable rates and excellence in service. For the most part we will attempt to bring other agencies and organizations onsite to host their programs here at the Park. In some special circumstances we may involve ourselves in program development. However collaboration and partnerships will be our focus to create greater utilization of the Park’s facilities.
The Calgary Airport Authority provided the land for the project through its’ head lease arrangement with the federal government. The Authority has signed a sublease agreement with the City of Calgary with the understanding that the Park will be operated for the above purposes. The City in turn has signed a Management and Operations agreement with Calgary Rotary Challenger Park Society to develop and subsequently operate and manage the Park. The agreement is for fifteen (15) years with a fifteen (15) year renewal term. The initial term expires 2017.