Canmore’s Town Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve its involvement in Calgary’s plans to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Conditional on confirmation that the federal government will grant CAD $3.2 billion to cover essential services during the Games, the town will allow the use of its Nordic Centre that was originally constructed for the 1988 Winter Games. In 2026, the venue would stage biathlon and cross-country skiing, and provide a celebration centre accommodating 5,000 people for the Paralympic Games.
Games operational cost would be covered through funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The town would also receive a 1,250 bed athletes village that would be converted to affordable housing post-Games, estimated to be worth about CAD $116 million but costing only CAD $4 million plus the land value, after government partners foot the balance of the bill.
The Nordic Centre will also receive significant upgrades to prepare for the Games including course improvements, and increased accessibility.
Wednesday marks the second day of advance polling for the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid plebiscite scheduled for November 13. Long line-ups were reported across the city Tuesday as residents weighed-in on the possibly-decisive vote.
The total project will cost CAD $5.2 billion with CAD $2.875 billion coming from public sources.
Calgary is competing against Stockholm in Sweden and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Bid books are due January 11 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose a winner in June.