Thursday, May 31, 2018

RECAP: 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Meeting - May 15

There are lots of moving pieces on the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid project. We'll be publishing blog posts about the regular 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee meetings, to give you more insight into the work being done on the project.

The committee's purpose is to provide guidance to Administration, as we explore a potential 2026 Games bid. Administration has met with the committee bi-weekly through May and will meet weekly through June. 

The May 15 meeting discussed:
  • Information flow and updates
  • Transparency
  • Value of reputation
  • Budget
  • Personnel
  • Engagement and Advisory Sub-Committee membership (in-camera)
  • Bid Corporation (BidCo) Chair Recruitment verbal update (in-camera)

Information flow and updates
Our goal is to get accurate information to Councillors and Calgarians as quickly as possible. Administration will meet with Councillors who are unable to attend the committee meetings as required, and will work with ward offices to address constituent questions.

Because information on this project moves quickly, Administration meets with the committee frequently to ensure Councillors have the most up-to-date information. At every committee meetingAdministration will provide a progress update, including what we know and what we don’t know at the time.

Value of reputation and reputational risk
We’re proud of Calgary’s and Canada’s values and international reputation, and it’s important to us that we maintain that reputation. We want to make sure these values are represented in the relationship we’re building with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It’s also important to the committee, Administration and citizens that we remain objective and balanced through this process. A report by the Ipsos Global Reputation Centre about unlocking the value of reputation was discussed, as a perspective to keep in mind as we move through this process.

From summer 2016 to end of April 2018, we've spent $5.2 million of the total $30 million BidCo budget. The work done to-date includes:

a.       Venue Use & Infrastructure:
b.       Operational Themes & Bid Book Development
c.        Finance
d.       Security
e.       Vision, Legacy, Sustainability, Governments Submissions & Guarantees
f.        Coordination with Canadian Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee
g.       BidCo Development

2.       City Administration Work Streams:
a.       Planning and Reporting
b.       Communications/Issues Management
c.        Legal
d.       Financial

A cost estimate of hosting the games is being developed, including operating budgets, capital budgets and impact to Calgary’s debt. We're preparing a government submission for the end of June, which will be circulated to all members for their review. The numbers will be made public in early July.

We need the right people with the right skills overseeing the work. There’s been a mix of City staff and consultants working on the project. Consultants have provided as little as a few hours of support to as much as full-time support on the project. There are several report attachments that include more information about project personnel:

We’re now focusing on staffing a permanent City team, called a City Secretariat. The members are also working together to recruit the BidCo Chair, CEO and Board of Directors.

Moving forward, The City and the BidCo will work together with citizens on the potential bid. While we are ultimately accountable to Council and our citizens, BidCo is the expert team developing and submitting a bid, if Calgary and its partners decide, and are invited by the IOC, to bid.

Closed session agenda items
Some items need to be discussed in a closed session, because they relate to specific personnel or other confidential information. At this meeting, the closed session items included:

  • Engagement and Advisory Sub-Committee membership
  • BidCo Chair Recruitment (verbal update)
Since this meeting, committee met on May 29 and will meet next on June 5. Stay tuned for the May 29 recap.

For more information about the Olympic bid project, visit

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