Calgary's Olympic bid dies — officially

City council voted unanimously on Monday to wind up the bid corporation and direct administration to report on the details of the bid process, including how much money was spent.

Following plebiscite that scuttled dream of hosting 2026 Games, council unanimously kills bid

Members of the No Calgary Olympics campaign celebrate after the result of the plebiscite was announced on Nov. 13. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

The dream of a Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics is officially dead.  

City council voted unanimously on Monday to wind up the bid corporation and direct administration to report on the details of the bid process, including how much money was spent. 

The decision comes after a plebiscite on Nov. 13 when 56 per cent of Calgarians who voted rejected pursuing the bid. 

Speaking in council chambers, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he's proud of how transparent the process was and that it was just a part of a bigger conversation about where the city is going and how. 

"I think we will have a great deal of work to do moving forward," he said, noting the city rejected hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from other levels of government by ending the bid process. 

Vision for the future

Nenshi said he wanted to bust what he called two myths that flourished during the Olympic debate: that the conversation was divisive and that there's no Plan B for the future. 

"This council has been focused more on strategy and vision than any other government in the country," he said. 

City administration will have to determine how many documents it can publicly release now that the bid is over, but city attorney Glenda Cole did warn that some documents — including those related to personnel — would not be released. 

Future funding

City manager Jeff Fielding said final financial figures would be available by the first quarter of 2019. 

Coun. Peter Demong added his own motion directing the city to continue pressing the federal and provincial governments for funding to maintain winter sports facilities in Calgary. All but one councillor voted in favour. 

Nenshi said he has already written letters to the other levels of government asking them to outline their plans to help the city recover from a lingering hit to its bottom line from the oil price crash. 

About the Author

Drew Anderson

Drew Anderson is a web journalist at CBC Calgary. Like almost every journalist working today, he's won a few awards. He's also a third-generation Calgarian. You can follow him on Twitter @drewpanderson. Contact him in confidence at drew.anderson@cbc.ca.