On November 13, Calgarians will get to shape the future for our city when they vote whether we put our name forward to the International Olympic Committee as a possible host of the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
I am a firm believer hosting the Games would help accelerate Calgary’s Economic Strategy and will give Calgary the boost it so desperately needs both in terms of creating opportunities and showcasing our city on a very large global stage.
Over the past month, Calgary 2026 has engaged with thousands of Calgarians, listening carefully to what they feel are important considerations to put us in a position to host the Games. They reached out to many business leaders, Aboriginal elders, entrepreneurs, athletes, hospitality and retail providers, sports facilities and others in every corner of the city. As a result, they have created a plan that focuses on sustainability and optimized fiscal responsibility.
They have created a fiscally responsible draft hosting plan that invests in upgrading many of the existing sports facilities from the ‘88 Olympics that will extend their expected lifespans so future generations can continue to benefit from them after the Games.
The plan would also provide desperately needed housing solutions for many at-risk populations in our city. The Government of Alberta and Treaty 7 First Nations have expressed their support. Further announcements by the federal and municipal governments are expected soon.
The benefits from the Games are clear and will bring economic advantages to our region at a critical time for Alberta by creating jobs, driving tourism, encouraging investment, providing much-needed affordable housing solutions in Calgary and Canmore, and leaving a sports legacy for future generations.
A “yes” vote means municipal dollars invested will be leveraged to build new facilities previously identified as a priority for our community – namely, a field house and a community arena.
These Games offer our community a chance to shine on a world stage. It is a chance to showcase our volunteer superpower, to develop niche industries that support sports innovation, to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and sustainable development, to profile our guardianship of the environment, and to be proud again.
The time for action is now. How can Calgary’s business community’s help realize this dream?
- Show your support by speaking out publicly, by writing a letter of support and sending it to Calgary’s Business for publication, by leveraging your organization’s social media channels and by reaching out to your network to ask for their support.
- Engage your employees in town halls, on your company intranet or in the lunchroom. Share the plan with them, encourage them to visit the Calgary 2026 website or engage in the Together 2026 online community where they can contribute to shaping Calgary’s hosting plan.
- Vote on November 13 and encourage your colleagues and teams to get out and vote as well.
We have a short time to share the benefits of hosting for Calgary, and we would like to ask you – members of our business community – to help spread the word.
The 2026 Olympics is an incredible opportunity for our community. Let’s make sure we take advantage of it.
Steve Allan is President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.