Monday, January 30, 2023

Lethbridge air show looks to come back this summer

The Lethbridge International Air Show Association is looking to put on its event this year, a full 12 months earlier than normal. 

Board president Dallas Harty presented to the city’s economic standing policy committee on Jan. 18 to request support for moving the show from even numbered years to odd. 

“Moving our show to odd number of years now and into the foreseeable future will prove to be really beneficial as assets, both military and civilian will be greater. We will have a bigger window of opportunity in terms of visitors since instead of competing with seven or eight other air shows, we will only compete with two or three others,” Harty said. “We have been assured by both Canadian and U.S. military personnel  that they will work with us to provide us with a considerable demo and static assets for a show in 2023.”

The show came off a four year hiatus in 2022 with a successful show — Harty said more than 15,000 visitors attended the event over the weekend in July. The biggest challenge for the show was traffic management last year, he added.

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“We have already had a number of meetings already planning for following years, 2023 and moving forward — a new game plan with that, which will help avoid that happening,” Harty said. “We did not have an abundance of volunteers for the 2022 air show. When you have 110 days to plan, it makes it kind of tough but we did succeed. For the most part we managed to work through any of the major situations without any major incidents.”

Along with moving the show to 2023, the air show association is looking to do an event in 2024 to commemorate the centennial of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Harty said it would not be a full air show, but rather a static event to honour the RCAF. 

The committee recommended council support the change with money already budgeted annually for the air show. The city allocates $17,500 each year to the show, which is normally put on every other year.

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