Edmonton unveils Expo 2017 bid
Edmonton's bid for Expo 2017 has been officially tabled with the provincial and federal governments and will require an investment of $2.3 billion, the city announced Monday.
"Every time we've had a vote, it's been unanimous support," Mayor Stephen Mandel said of the attitude of councillors to hosting the international technology and trade show.
Edmonton's proposed theme is "Harmony of Energy and Our Future Planet," with concepts like human energy, knowledge and renewable energy displayed in the video presentation at the official launch.
Edmonton is the only Canadian city to bid on Expo 2017, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
"Edmonton will be the centre of Canada in the celebration of our 150th birthday," Mandel said.
The two main sites for the three-month event would be the University of Alberta south campus and a rebuilt Rossdale area on the north side of the river, with water taxis and the LRT to link the areas.
A study put together for the city projects that Expo 2017 could draw more than five million visitors, and contribute $2.6 billion to the Canadian economy.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation takes issue with those figures.
"There's a lot of mythology that's built around the Expo. I think a lot of people think this'll be Expo '67 or Expo '86, which it will not be," said Scott Hennig, Alberta director of the CTF.
"It'll be very focused on one specific theme, probably something to do with renewable energy and the environment and sustainable development. Not so much fun if you're a 10-year-old kid, but lots of fun if you're an ecology professor. So, I think that this is a very costly project that will not pay dividends in the end," Hennig said.
The Edmonton blueprint and financial projections will be reviewed by the provincial and federal governments, with a decision on whether to go ahead expected next year.
The International Exhibitions Bureau, which awards the event, will vote on the 2017 Expo's location in the fall of 2012. It's considered the third-largest international event, after the World Cup and the Olympics.
Canada hosted Expo, also known as the World's Fair, in 1967 in Montreal and in 1986 in Vancouver.
Between now and 2017, Expos will be held in Shanghai in 2010, in Yeosu, South Korea, in 2012 and in Milan, Italy, in 2015.