The Alberta government said it is considering a bid to bring the Olympic Games to the province.
At a news conference about provincial funding for WinSport renovations on Wednesday, Culture Minister Ron Orr said the government is aware of a small group of people putting together proposals for future opportunities and is not ruling the possibility out.
However, the government said the proposals likely won’t be ready until the 2030 Olympic games bidding process.
“Yes, it is a possibility, but things are a long way out. There is a lot of work to be done to get there. We have engaged in some initial processes; we are exploring it,” Orr said.
Orr did not specify the group responsible for the proposals.
Calgary’s mayor said reports in the media were the first she had heard about a prospective Olympic bid.
“I don’t know what Minister Orr is talking about. I’m looking forward to the provincial government engaging with us as the so-called site,” Jyoti Gondek told reporters Tuesday afternoon, saying she has yet to receive a phone call about a bid.
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“I don’t even know if it’s real. So I’m not going to weigh into things that are imaginary.”
The bid comes after the majority of Calgarians voted in a plebiscite ballot in 2018 to not host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic winter games.
At the time, 56.4 per cent of voters chose to halt the process.
WinSport chief executive officer Barry Heck said it is not involved in any discussions about the potential bid but said the newly renovated facilities at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park will help attract world-class sporting events.
The Alberta government announced on Wednesday that it would provide more than $17.5-million in funding to renovate the day lodge at Canada Olympic park, along with $17.4 million from the federal government.
“Anytime we enhance and build a new facility that can be used for a world-class event such as an Olympic bid or a World Cup or the X Games, it enhances our city’s ability to attract those events,” Beck said at Wednesday’s news release.
–with files from Adam Toy, Global News