Mary Moran, president and chief executive officer of Calgary Economic Development, will champion the city in a new role over the upcoming months.
On Tuesday at Canada Olympic Park, Moran was announced as the CEO for Calgary 2026 – the organization working on a potential bid for the city to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Moran confirmed she will take a leave of absence from her current role to assume the new position.
Calgary 2026 is headed by former alpine skier and local real estate executive Scott Hutcheson, and supported by a board of volunteers. The board of directors, once finalized, will consist of more than 20 representatives, including government officials, members of the surrounding Indigenous communities, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Town of Canmore.
The City of Calgary is currently in the dialogue stage of the bidding process, which began in October 2017. This stage involves determining the feasibility of hosting the Games, identifying citizen perspectives, and evaluating the long-term cultural and economic impacts of hosting the Games.
A plebiscite is expected to take place later this year to formally receive community feedback. The City of Calgary, along with its key partners – the federal government, the provincial government, the Town of Canmore, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee – will decide this fall whether to submit the bid for the January 2019 deadline to the International Olympic Committee.
According to the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee, the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has the potential to generate millions of dollars for the local economy through job creation and increased demand for services.
Hosting the Games will also come at a cost, however. An initial estimate by the committee anticipated a $4.6-billion price tag. The bid alone will cost $30 million, and will be split by the municipal, provincial and federal government.
Citizens are encouraged to submit their input through the City of Calgary website.
Kristen Spruit is a Calgary-based Troy Media business reporter.
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