Calgary, AB,
29
March
2018
|
23:36
America/Denver

Government of Canada, Province of Alberta and the City of Calgary Announce Support for the Creation of a Bid Corporation for Potential Calgary 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid

An important milestone was reached today in Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

The Olympic and Paralympic Games inspire Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Our athletes reach for the podium, set records and personal bests, and create moments that last with us forever.

Thirty years after Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, those moments remain. Most recently, with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, we have seen how sport can bring people together.

That is why the Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta and the City of Calgary are pleased to announce their support for the establishment of a bid corporation that will continue the development of hosting plans and a fully costed event budget that will inform a bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Calgary.

Canada has a proud history of successfully hosting major international sport events and benefitting from the lasting legacies that they create. Hosting the Games presents an opportunity for social and economic benefits and legacies, and can also result in strong investments in culture, job creation, business and tourism development, and community engagement.

Today’s announcement means Calgary is one step further in the bid process. Calgary entered the Dialogue stage of the 2026 candidature process of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2017. The IOC will select “interested cities” to move from the Dialogue stage to the Candidature stage in October 2018, with the successful host city to be announced in September 2019.

Quotes

“We are always happy to see cities and sport partners showing interest in hosting national and international sport competitions, as these events support our athletes, our communities and our economy, and help galvanize a country around the power of sport. With the City and Province now on board, our government is pleased to provide support for the creation of a bid corporation for a potential Calgary 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We look forward to continuing to work with our government partners in Alberta and Calgary, as well as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“Sport is an important part of Alberta’s culture, and the province continues to gain international recognition for its ability to host successful world-class sporting events, including the Olympic Games. Participating in the bid process will allow us to further examine the costs associated with hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games and ensure they are carefully balanced around the needs and expectations of Albertans, within the greater context of Alberta’s economic recovery.”

—The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism, Minister responsible for sport

“This partnership is an exciting step towards determining if a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is right for Calgary. We have a strong legacy of sport in this city and we know we can host a great Games, and now, alongside our partners in the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada, we can continue to figure out if a 2026 Bid is the best interests of our citizens.”

—His Worship Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary

Quick Facts

The 2026 Winter Games will be the 25th edition of the Winter Olympic Games and 14th edition of the Winter Paralympic Games. Canada hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988 (Calgary), the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010 (Vancouver) and the Summer Olympic Games in 1976 (Montréal).

If a Calgary bid is successful, it will be the first time that Calgary will host a Paralympic Games. The first time that the Paralympic Games were hosted at the same site as the Olympic Winter Games was in 1992 in Albertville, France.

Both the bid and the hosting of the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games can be excellent opportunities to engage Indigenous groups in promoting Indigenous involvement in sport and in showcasing Indigenous culture as part of a broad celebration of diversity and inclusion. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Indigenous Peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in the Games..

Through initiatives developed out of the Olympic Agenda 2020 strategic framework, the IOC is seeking to make the Games more accessible, easier to operate and less expensive. One such initiative is a measure outlined in the IOC’s New Norm report, which encourages sustainability of the Games through the use of existing infrastructure; if new infrastructure is required, it should reflect the needs of the community and leave a positive legacy of the Games.

Important next steps are incorporating a bid corporation, further developing hosting plans and budgets that will inform government decisions on hosting, and the IOC’s selection of interested cities to move to the Candidature stage.

Associated Links

Olympic Agenda 2020 – International Olympic Committee

https://www.olympic.org/olympic-agenda-2020

The New Norm Report – an extension of Olympic Agenda 2020 – International Olympic Committee

https://www.olympic.org/news/the-new-norm-it-s-a-games-changer

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Annabelle Archambault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-953-1275

Marion Nader
Press Secretary
Alberta Ministry of Culture and Tourism
780-289-5944

Media Relations
City of Calgary
403-828-2954
Media.Relations@calgary.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
pch.media-media.pch@canada.ca

Backgrounder

Government of Canada, Province of Alberta and City of Calgary Announce Support for the Creation of a Bid Corporation for a Calgary 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid

Overview

The Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta and the City of Calgary today announced support for the creation of a bid corporation that will continue the work required to both bid for and potentially host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Calgary.

The City of Calgary has been exploring the feasibility of bidding for the 2026 Winter Games since mid-2016. This culminated in the City’s initiation of the 2026 Candidature Process. The City and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) signed a Candidate Cooperation Agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2017.

The IOC has redesigned their candidature process based on initiatives that were established as part of the IOC Agenda 2020 strategic roadmap. The 2026 Candidature Process aims to reduce costs for potential host cities and provides them and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) with greater support and more flexibility in developing Games concepts. The process involves an ongoing dialogue with the cities, enabling continuous improvement of their Olympic Games bid proposal.

The two phases of the 2026 bid process are:

  • Stage one, the Dialogue phase, is non-committal and will give Interested Cities and NOCs an opportunity to engage with the IOC to assess the benefits and requirements related to hosting the 2026 Winter Games.
  • Stage two, a shorter and lighter Candidature phase, will streamline and simplify the period when Candidate Cities work with the IOC to increase value propositions of their Games delivery plans.

The Winter Games is the pinnacle event on the global winter sport calendar and is of significant importance to the Canadian sport system. The 2026 Winter Games will be the 25th edition of the Winter Olympic Games and 14th edition of the Winter Paralympic Games. Canada hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988 (Calgary), the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010 (Vancouver) and the Summer Olympic Games in 1976 (Montréal).

The Winter Olympic Games are usually hosted over 17 days in the month of February. The most recent Games in PyeongChang included over 2,900 athletes, competing in 7 sports across 15 disciplines in up to 102 events. The Winter Paralympic Games have been hosted in March of the same year since 1992 (prior to that year, the events were hosted separately). The Winter Paralympic Games were hosted over 10 days this year, with more than 500 athletes competing in 5 sports in up to 72 events. Canadian athletes obtained a record number of medals in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year, and the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee both sent their largest teams to date.

Important Steps in the 2026 Candidature Process:

October 2018

IOC session to determine national Olympic committees / cities for Candidature phase

January 11, 2019

IOC deadline: submission of bid book (candidature file)

September 2019

Selection of host city by IOC members

Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacies

  • Canada has a strong history of realizing significant impacts and legacies from hosting major international sport events.
  • The 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montréal left a legacy of sport infrastructure that is used by high-performance athletes and community programs to this day. The Olympic Park is home to the Institut national du sport du Québec and continues to host national and international competitions each year.
  • The 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games continue to provide the city with a strong volunteer base and culture, as well as world-class sport infrastructure that continues to be used by athletes as training facilities and venues to host world cup and world championship events each year. Calgary is also home to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, which was founded on the legacies of the 1988 Games.
  • Sport infrastructure was also a legacy of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, along with a considerable list of social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits, along with what are still considered to be best practices for such events.
  • As an example of sport infrastructure legacies, the Richmond Oval was converted into a multiuse sport facility that continues to serve the community today. Other benefit areas were realized through the Government of Canada’s commitment to the creation of the Legacy Endowment Fund ($55 million), which was matched by the Province of British Columbia. It included funding to support legacies for First Nations ($36 million); a Canada Tourism Strategy ($26 million); international business development and protocol ($3.69 million); engaging communities in the torch relays ($24.9 million); and numerous other funded and unfunded strategic horizontal leveraging initiatives.
  • The 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games provided the Greater Toronto Area with the Milton Velodrome, Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC), and the York Track. Along with providing sport and recreation programming for the community, TPASC is also the home of the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario.

Indigenous Partnerships

  • The 2026 Games provide an excellent opportunity to work closely with Indigenous leaders in the planning and delivery of the event, in promoting sport within Indigenous communities, and in showcasing and promoting Indigenous culture in a manner that contributes to reconciliation. Indigenous culture can also be highlighted either separately or as part of a broad celebration of diversity and inclusion linked to the event.
  • If the 2026 Winter Games are hosted in Calgary, the Government of Canada will encourage all parties to build on the best practices of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. As stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report, “The 2010 Winter Games were held on the traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Lil’wat peoples, who were an integral part of the event. In the spirit of reconciliation, which aligns with the spirit of the games themselves, the Four Host First Nations and the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee formed a partnership that ensured that Indigenous peoples were full participants in the decision-making process—a first in Olympic history.”