Federal government invests $2 million to fund construction of the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont
The funding aims to help boost tourism in the region post-pandemicPhoto by: Centre National de Cyclisme de Bromont
As part of an effort to invest in tourism industries struggling through the pandemic, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) has granted $2 million to help the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont invest in its facilities including the Velodrome Sylvan Adams Centre multisport Desjardins. The cycling centre has announced that it will be moving forward with the project after reaching $19 million of its $20 million funding goal.
RELATED: The Bromont Velodrome will be the only covered track in Quebec
The assistance provided by CED under the Quebec Economic Development Program will enable the organization to construct a building for the Olympic-size velodrome (250m) and multi‑sports centre, which will include a multi-purpose gym, BMX area and cycling performance research centre.
As part of the Fall Economic Statement in Nov. 2020, the Canadian Government proposed an additional $500 million for regional development agencies. The additional funds are in response to the current importance of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in supporting local tourism businesses, which have suffered greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Cantons-de-l’Est [Eastern Townships] region is one of the most popular in Quebec,” says Francine Patenaude, CEO of Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est. “It welcomes over 10 million visitors every year, generates 6.5 million overnight stays and tourism expenses of over $909 million. Cyclists appreciate in particular the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont. It draws a vast clientele of enthusiasts at all levels who are all too happy to practise their favourite sport surrounded by a team of passionate experts. The new Velodrome Sylvan Adams and Centre multisports Desjardins will be veritable magnets for this national and international clientele.”
The $2 million provided by the government will lead to the creation of 15 jobs by the time the future centre is fully operational in 2026.
A long-lasting track
The Velodrome, now located in Bromont, has undergone a number of changes in its 25 years of existence. Originally built for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the velodrome was constructed in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia. After the Olympics, it was disassembled and put in storage from 1996 to 2000.
The open-air velodrome was then moved to Bromont, Qc. (85km from Montreal). Due to Quebec’s long winters, rainy springs and windy days, it was only operational about 70 days of the year. The track had a good run, but after 20 years of outdoor use, the wood surface had reached the end of its life.
Two years ago organizers launched a campaign to fund the the renovation of the track into a fully covered velodrome. Currently, the velodrome is once more completely disassembled and is being stored on the future site of the Bromont National Cycling centre, where construction will soon begin.
In late February, Sylvan Adams announced he would donate $2 million to the velodrome. Adams, who used to train at the Bromont velodrome, is the Co-owner of WorldTour team Israel Start-Up Nation and is already hugely embedded in the cycling community. The retired 62-year-old has also funded the first velodrome in Israel and the Middle East, the Sylvan Adams Velodrome. In recognition of his recent contribution, the Bromont Velodrome will be the second velodrome to bear his name: The Vélodrome Sylvan Adams Centre multisport Desjardins.
RELATED: The two Canadians behinds one of the world’s biggest cycling teams
The Quebec provincial government will also contribute $4.5 million to the project, Bromont is putting in $2 million towards the velodrome and Desjardins has put forward $1 million. With $19 million in funding, the project is still about $1 million short, but Nicolas Legault, CEO of the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont says that he’s confident the donations will come in once the planned 15 months of construction kicks off.
“To succeed with a social project such as the Vélodrome Sylvan Adams – Centre multisports Desjardins (CNCB), we had to deploy sustained daily efforts and mobilize a significant number of supporters,” says Legault. “For two years, we have asked the community for their assistance and now, with CED’s major contribution, we have just made this large-scale project a concrete reality that will become a true source of Canadian pride. In 2020, the CNCB was able to demonstrate its ability to adapt to welcome families, athletes and other cycling enthusiasts from all horizons and enable them to discover many cycling disciplines. With the opening of the multi-sports velodrome, expected to occur immediately once the pandemic currently affecting us is over, we will be able to offer a unique experience for both the local community and Canadians and tourists from around the world.”