Canmore town council looks at joining Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid

Canmore looked at the potential merits and pitfalls that come with being part of Calgary's Olympic bid at a town council meeting on Tuesday. The biathlon shooting range at the Canmore Nordic Centre is pictured above. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Jeff McIntosh

Canmore looked at the potential merits and pitfalls that come with being part of Calgary’s Olympic bid at a town council meeting on Tuesday.

Calgary 2026, the Olympic bid corporation, pitched the draft hosting plan to demonstrate how Canmore could be included with sporting events and venues.

“The draft hosting plan presented is a fairly comprehensive document at 80 pages or more,” Canmore Mayor John Borrowman told The Morning News on 770 CHQR. “A lot of the preliminary questions that council had have been addressed at some level of detail. There’s certainly more detail that’s required yet.”

The town would hold two events in its bounds: biathlon and cross-country skiing.

READ MORE: Calgary city council approves Olympic bid plebiscite 12-3

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In the plan, an Athletes’ Village would be built from scratch and the Nordic Centre would be upgraded.

“For a long time, I’ve been thinking that the Games could be a catalyst for the town to accomplish many of our existing high-priority community projects, but at a reduced financial burden to the community. Housing is, by and large, our first priority and has been for several years,” the mayor said.

“So the opportunity to see approximately 248 units of housing created on town-owned lands is a really strong benefit to the community.”

The mountain town won’t be holding a plebiscite — like Calgary plans to on Nov. 13 — but council wants to hold a public hearing to get feedback from residents on issues including sustainability, accommodations, wildlife impacts and Indigenous relations.

LISTEN: Canmore Mayor John Borrowman joins The Morning News to discuss the conversation he’s had with the Calgary 2026 Bidco

At the upcoming Oct. 2 meeting, Coun. Joanna McCallum intends to bring forward a motion that asks whether or not it’s “prudent for the Town of Canmore to participate in the City of Calgary’s bid to co-host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

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The town is expected to make a decision on whether to join the bid on Nov. 6.

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