Canmore and Whistler could both play host to events for a possible Calgary Winter Olympics, but as cost-sharing negotiations continue the potential price tag for the mountain communities remains a question mark.

The plan released by the Calgary 2026 bid corporation this week proposes Olympic events spread across Calgary, Canmore, Whistler, B.C., and possibly Edmonton.

Calgary city council voted Tuesday to continue with a planned November plebiscite on hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, with three councillors opposed to moving ahead.

Lisa de Soto, chief administrative officer with the Town of Canmore, said Canmore has been participating in the bid corporation’s multi-party agreement negotiations with various levels of government.

“We’ve been a party to all of that, and those negotiations are ongoing and not concluded, so with regards to cost-share, there’s nothing I can provide that’s firm or a commitment at this point in time,” de Soto said.

She said Canmore will be looking at what its costs would be without the Olympics and how hosting the Games could help the town to complete community projects at a reduced cost.

“We’re certainly expecting to contribute, but looking at the opportunity to get government funding where previously that would have been uncertain,” she said.

That includes the possibility of repurposing an athletes’ village in Canmore to more than double the town’s current inventory of affordable housing, de Soto said.

“Affordable housing is our No. 1 concern in Canmore,” she said. “We have an affordable housing corporation that has an objective of building over 1,000 affordable housing units. Our current inventory sits at around 200.”

Under the draft plan, the Canmore Nordic Centre would host biathlon and cross-country skiing events. Canmore would also host medal ceremonies for the Paralympics — a possibility the town is excited by, de Soto said.

“From a community accessibility perspective, we have priorities around mobility and …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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