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The Airdrie Chinook Winds Ball Park Association (ACWBPA) was a not-for-profit association that raised money to build a baseball park in Airdrie, Alberta.
The ACWBPA was formed in 1994 and became incorporated on 15 June 1995 under the Alberta Societies Act. The objective of the association was to construct four class “A” tournament ball diamonds on a portion of the land acquired for recreation facility development by the Airdrie & District Agricultural Society in 1994.
The ACWBPA was a volunteer-run group, with a president, treasurer and eight board members at their incorporation in 1995. Later years saw the association’s board diminish to three to four active members. The association’s first president was Paul Bailey, who stepped down from the role in February 1997 to be replaced by Dennis Driscoll, a local real estate agent.
The initial vision for the ball park was to be a site for adult ball players in the community. At the time of the ACWBPA’s formation, Airdrie had one dedicated ball park, Fletcher’s Field. Association members felt that adults in the community deserved a designated space to play ball, and that youth in the community would benefit from having exclusive access to the existing fields in Airdrie.
The construction of the ball diamonds was approved by the City of Airdrie in 1996 after the City received an infrastructure grant from both the federal and provincial governments to develop recreational facilities on a 1/3 cost sharing basis (1/3 federal monies, 1/3 provincial money and 1/3 municipal money). This municipal 1/3 (approximately $158 000) was to be provided by a user group, the ACWBPA. The ACWBPA agreed to participate, and received a loan from the City of Airdrie for the municipal government portion of the grant. The ACWBPA committed to a five-year repayment plan to the City.
Money to repay the loan would come from four primary sources: grants from the Alberta Community Lottery Board, received between 1998 and 2002, income from the Association’s charitable gaming license, team membership registration fees, and general fundraising through dances and community advertising rentals on the fields.
The Chinook Winds Ball Park playing fields were opened in May 1999. The concession and washroom facilities for the park were completed in 2002. The ACWBPA closed their accounts with the Royal Bank in 2006, donating the remaining funds to nonprofits in the Airdrie community.