Langley, BC – Thunderbird Show Park gets the 2010 show jumping season underway next week as construction begins on a new spectator area overlooking the Grand Prix field. Under the federal Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP), a Canadian tourism grant of $264,350 has been awarded to the Park to assist them in further development of the world-class equestrian marquee events.
“The grant will allow us to build a spectator village, complete with covered bleachers, a children’s playground, pony ride corrals, picnic area, horseless jumping course and 12’ x 16’ digital video screen to enhance our guests interactive experience,” explained Jane Tidball, President and Tournament Director for Thunderbird Show Park. “It’s an opportunity to continue the growth of our Park and attract more visitors locally, nationally and internationally.”
With a team already in place, Thunderbird begins construction this month and expects to complete the village following the annual Summer Fort Festival. Running from August 18 to September 5, the festival welcomes the public with free daily admission, save on Sundays when a $10 fee applies. The Fort Festival features three show jumping tournaments as its key attractions, the Fort Summer Classic from August 18-22, the Fort Summer Festival from August 25-29 and the Fort Summer Finale from September 1-5.
Thunderbird Show Park intends to work with the Fort Langley Historic Site and local aboriginal artists to develop two signature jumps that commemorate this program. Funds will also be allocated to the creation of a Rider Momento area where championship photographs can be taken.
The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) was established to provide targeted, time-limited support to assist existing marquee tourism events to enhance their offering and deliver world-class programs and experiences. The program defines a marquee event as an annually recurring world-class event that is well established and has a long-standing tradition of programming and management excellence.
In addition to funding the spectator village, MTEP will provide marketing support for Thunderbird, allowing them to reach national and international markets via print and broadcast media. Working alongside Tourism Langley, Sport Langley, the Township of Langley’s Economic Development Department and the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Thunderbird will provide valuable economic impact through community events and tourism opportunities.
Thunderbird Show Park draws thousands of national and international competitors annually to their seven weeklong tournaments and festivals. Home to one of the best grand prix fields in North America, Thunderbird delivers premier events in an inviting and inclusive setting.
Thunderbird Show Park will host two FEI World Cup show jumping classes this season - the $55,000 CS12* -W BC Open World Cup Grand Prix on June 5 and the $75,000 CS12* -W Keg Steakhouse & Bar World Cup Grand Prix on August 28. Both classes provide the opportunity for competitors to take home a share of the purse while also earning points in the FEI North American League.
The full Park schedule is available at www.thunderbirdshowpark.com.