Scott Hutcheson named chair of Calgary Olympic Bid Corporation

An active member of Calgary's arts, culture and sports scene has been named chair of the 2026 Olympic Bid Corporation.

Hutcheson is a co-founder of Aspen Properties and is board chair of Arts Commons and WinSport

Scott Hutcheson was named chair of the Calgary 2026 Olympic Bid Corporation. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

An active member of Calgary's arts, culture and sports scene has been named chair of the 2026 Olympic Bid Corporation.

Scott Hutcheson is a co-founder of Aspen Properties and is chair of the board of Arts Commons and the board of WinSport.

A member of the Canadian alpine racing team from 1978 to 1982, Hutcheson also serves as co-chair of WinterStart Events, which operates the men's and women's alpine ski races at Lake Louise.

The bid committee is looking into the logistics of whether the city should make a bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

The group still needs to pick a vice-chair and hire a CEO.

"I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves to move us forward with bidding for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Hutcheson.

"Meetings start tomorrow and there is so much to learn and so much to move forward."

Scott Hutcheson speaks to reporters along with Olympic champion speed skater Catriona Le May Doan. Hutcheson was named as chair of the Calgary 2026 Olympic Bid Corporation. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

Next steps include incorporating the bidco, which Hutcheson said should happen in the next week. The search for a CEO has already started.

"We need to determine our vision, our mission and our values," said Hutcheson.

"What kind of Olympic and Paralympic Games would we be proud to host? What kind of Calgary, Alberta and Canada would we want to show the world? What do we dare dream about and can we unite our nation, our province and our city in this dream?"

The announcement was made Wednesday at the Olympic Oval, which was home to speed skating events during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

"This legacy facility helped me realize my Olympic dreams," said Catriona Le May Doan, a two-time gold medallist in the 500 metre event who introduced Hutcheson.

Fans cheer and wave flags as the Canadian delegation (lower right) parades during the opening ceremony of the XVth Winter Olympic Games in 1988. (Jonathan Utz/AFP/Getty Images)

"We've had many athletes come through these doors, many athletes achieve greatness, but more than just high performance sport, this facility has taught young kids their first steps on skates. My kids learned how to skate here. We have students that are in this building who come and skate ... whether its hockey, ringette, track groups, this facility is always full."

Whether the city should bid for the 2026 has been a contentious issue in recent months.

City council voted in April to hold a public plebiscite on the issue — which is expected to cost $2 million — and needs to happen between October and February.

Members of Team Canada during the 1988 Games in Calgary. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

An initial estimate by the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee put the cost of hosting the Games at $4.6 billion, with games revenues covering almost half.

A bid alone is $30 million with the city, province and federal governments willing to split the cost.

Hutcheson said public consultation will begin this summer, which will include the launch of a website. Detailed estimates on the cost of hosting the Games are also being prepared.

In October, the International Olympic Committee will invite selected cities to submit bids, which will be due in January 2019. 

The host city for the 2026 Games will be announced in September 2019.