Western Financial Place receives accessibility funding

Western Financial Place was a topic of conversation at city council on Nov. 2.

Arne Petryshen

Western Financial Place was a topic of conversation at city council on Nov. 2, with talk of the recent Bare Naked Ladies concert, as well as a grant of $13,796 to cover some accessibility upgrades.

Both items were in the administration updates for the regular council meeting.

CAO Wayne Staudt said the city was successful in obtaining the Enabling Accessibility in Communities program grant. The grant will cover two-thirds of the cost of upgrading the public washroom doors at Western Financial Place to allow for accessibility upgrades.

The grant was secured through the Enabling Accessibility in Communities program which is run through Employment and Social Development Canada.

It will also provide an aquatic wheelchair and a disability lift to assist patrons into the pool, wrote city staff.

On Oct. 26, Western Financial Place hosted the Bare Naked Ladies, and with Blue Rodeo announced for Jan. 23, 2016, councillors took the opportunity to talk about the venue.

Coun. Norma Blissett said it was great show.

“I don’t think it was quite sold out, but there was good attendance, and it was a fantastic show,” Blissett said.

Blissett noted she grew up in Toronto and compared the venues there to here.

“To be able to attend a concert and have such great seats, really there aren’t bad seats in the whole place,” she said. “To be that close to the band is such a privilege, and we get great shows here.”

Coun. Tom Shypitka concurred that the show was entertaining.

“It was excellent; a really good show,” Shypitka said.

He also agreed with the great venue here. He recently was at a game in Calgary’s Saddledome.

“We were literally, in the Saddledome where the top of the bowl is, we were at that top,” he said. “Nosebleeds for sure and those were $59 tickets. We get the luxury of seeing these concerts up close and personal. I don’t think people realize the value-added that we have on that.”

Coun. Danielle Cardozo added that George Thorogood is also coming to Cranbrook in April.

She said Paul Haywood deserves thanks for his work in developing a relationship with the promoters and bringing in those big shows.