Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association

Our Future


WELCA and the City of Edmonton have an exciting Riding Arena Replacement project planned!

WELCA is currently operating at full capacity, which means many children and adults cannot access our varied programs and services. New facilities will help us reduce our waitlists and allow us to expand our lesson programs. Due to the current condition of the buildings, many of our programs cannot run during the winter. The existing indoor riding arena is unheated, not insulated and has a leaking roof. Many of the buildings are several decades old, including deteriorating trailers initially installed in the 1970s as short-term solutions for offices and training rooms. Washrooms are outside and difficult to access.

The goal of the Riding Arena Replacement project is to replace the critical infrastructure that has reached the end of its lifecycle. The cost to repair the current arena is extensive and the facility will be demolished in late 2016. In order to continue programming at WELCA, City Council passed a motion in July 2014 to support a project budget of $6.5 million to replace the most crucial program spaces. Within this budget, the approved scope includes:

  • One (1) riding arena
  • Horse and grooming stalls
  • Indoor washrooms
  • Classroom space
  • Administration space
  • Demolition of the old arena and reclamation of the land.

Highlights of the replacement project include:

  • An access lane with a concrete drop off area so that persons with disabilities can disembark safely and enter the building.
  • Designated disabled parking.
  • A bright welcoming foyer and classroom space with direct viewing to the front entrance and drop off area so that customers can wait in comfort.
  • A riding arena 40% larger than the existing arena so that it can easily be divided into two teaching areas and of suitable size to hold small schooling shows, clinics and para-dressage testing. The arena is also designed to have natural, diffused lighting and climate control to a comfortable 5 to 10C for riding.
  • The built-in wheelchair ramp and ceiling-mounted lift provide safe transfer areas for Little Bits riders. And, the close proximity of the accessible washrooms plus a universal washroom for those customers requiring assistance is a much-needed amenity.
  • The spectator viewing area is raised to allow for good sightlines and will have the added comfort of radiant heat for cold days. The classroom also has windows facing the arena.
  • The teaching barn is equipped with modular stall walls so that WELCA can easily configure the barn to suit future programming needs. The proposed configuration shows 12 tie-stalls and 16 box stalls. The tie-stalls will be used as grooming/tack stalls for programs and clinics.
  • Hot and cold running water in the classroom, washrooms, barn, feed room and wash rack will add comfort and convenience for people and animals alike!

To download a document comparing the existing facility with its replacement click here.

As WELCA is located in Edmonton’s river valley park system, the redevelopment includes planning for environmental impact as well as a design that is architecturally harmonious with our surroundings. Appropriate consultants will assess the impact of construction, proposed drainage for summer rain and spring thaw, storm water management, the demolition process for existing structures and other potential impacts.

The Riding Arena Replacement project includes the costs of required studies on the impact of the new building on the environment, geotechnical, parking, and traffic management, as well as the various permits and design consultants. City of Edmonton design and project management requirements are also included.

The City of Edmonton has provided $4 million towards the WELCA Riding Arena Replacement project. This project is considered to be Phase 1 of a multi-phased redevelopment project.

We hope that federal and provincial governments will help to fund Phase 2. WELCA will launch a capital campaign to raise the remainder of the funds. The full redevelopment project is expected to cost $16 million (2011 dollars). If you are interested in donating, becoming a corporate sponsor or helping with fundraising activities, please contact us!


Upcoming Events

Little Bits Spring Session

11 week program starts April 1

Balanced Rider Put Into Practice

April 29 6pm - classroom

Corrective Exercises by Jenifer Parks, Equiletics

Presented by EAADA $30/session or $50/both
April 26 7-9pm Classroom
May 3 7-9pm Classroom

Breath Work Clinic with Karl Faes (16+ only)

May 4 5-9pm Classroom

Pony Poop Compost Sale 10am-2pm

May 5 & 6
May 20 & 21

Edmonton Kubota Demo Days

May 12 & 13 - show grounds

J Percy Page Career Day

May 16

Edmonton Classic Horse Show

Cancelled for 2018

AB Green Certificate Testing

May 30 and 31

Moonlight in the Meadows

Technology networking conference - show grounds
June 8

WELCA Horsemanship Year End Show

Kids, Hounds & Homecooking
June 23 & 24

Pony Up Half Day Summer Camps (ages 4-9)

July 9-13 FULL
July 23-27 FULL
August 6-10 FULL

Horse Rider Summer Camps (ages 9-14)

July 2-6 FULL
July 16-20 FULL
August 13-17 FULL

Feathered Horse Classic Show

July 20-22

Equine Massage Therapy Long Course

August 6 - September 14

Edmonton Kennel Club Regional Dog Show

August 8-12

AB North Pony Club Show

August 22 - 26

Chasing the Wind - Story of Horses

Documentary Viewing Party
September 16, 8pm - Classroom

Horse Racing Alberta

p. 780.435.3597
e. info@welca.ca

Map to WELCA