YES 2026 Canmore is made up of a local group of longtime citizens in support of the bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We look forward to engaging with our community around the opportunities that hosting the Games will bring to Canmore.
Rocky Mountain Outlook – CANMORE – Canmore’s elected officials have officially adopted 10 guiding principles to guide decision makers as they participate in the process of developing a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Manager of communications Robyn Dinnadge presented the principles to council at its June 5 regular meeting, along with an overview of the process the municipality used to engage the community to develop and evaluate them.
“This feedback was integrated with the work council did earlier this year during their strategic planning to identify the preliminary principles that information was used to create the recommended principles,” Dinnadge said.“The Explore 2026 principles were designed to provide general direction for future decision makers and to clarify they are not goals that have measurable targets. “The intent behind creating these principles is that they can be used by Canmore’s leaders to help evaluate the community’s participation in a possible bid for the 2026 games. But these principles do not in any way presuppose that a bid will occur and these principles can be used as a guide for decision making in the short and long term.”Administration began with 13 principles and eventually recommended the adoption of nine, including the foundational statement that “The Town will advance Canmore’s future vision, help resolve current challenges, and preserve the roots we cherish as a community today.”Mayor John Borrowman said council and the community still have unanswered questions around the potential for an Olympic bid, and the principles are a framework through which they can get the information they need to make a good decision.“This set of 10 principles now provide a really strong lens, a Canmore-centric lens, through which council can consider the information and proposed bid details that come forward and make a decision that meets the expectations of our community,” he said.Borrowman noted the aspirational nature of principles like setting a new global standard by hosting the greenest Games in history. “I appreciate the process we have gone through to get here, but the principles are to some extent aspirational if you take them at their face value,” said the mayor. “While that is a worthwhile principle and I support that as a guideline … the decision makers won’t know for certain the Games would be the greenest until post-Games.” Dinnadge said the principles are about setting the bar high for the community’s decision makers as they go through the process and there are significant concerns that residents have and it is the municipality’s responsibility to capture those concerns and help mitigate them. “There is a concern about the environment when it comes to hosting the Games and writing this principle in the way it was written, while there may be a criticism that it is aspirational, I think it behooves us to set the bar high,” she said.Councillor Joanna McCallum put forward a motion to place a principle back into the list that was removed since they were presented in draft form. The principle set out that Canmore leverage its Olympic legacy to set a leading standard throughout the Games planning process toward clean and ethical sport.She noted that local Olympic athletes like Beckie Scott and the entire Canadian cross-country team have been directly and personally affected by athletes that cheat.“To be robbed of a gold medal is devastating,” McCallum said. “I think this is something we should demand through whatever leverage we have with the Bid Corporation.”McCallum supported the principles and the report into how they were developed by administration. She said she is quite proud of Canmore’s public consultation process. However, she reminded council there is a need to have a bigger conversation around whether or not an Olympic Games in 2026 would be good for the community.One of the principles sets out that Canmore should achieve legacies that resolve current community challenges such as affordability and accessibility. Dinnadge said the principle is worded broadly because there are a number of legacies being considered that could help address current community challenges.“We know today our challenges are around affordability and accessibility, especially when it comes to housing,” she said. “But the principle also stands if there are new challenges our community may face in the coming years and looking at what legacies we can put in place to solve those challenges.”Dinnadge said administration was happy with the public engagement process it undertook beginning in February to incorporate community input into the process. She said 1,234 participants took part in two online surveys, open houses, stakeholder meetings or workshops and the website was viewed 3,596 times, as well as 1,346 Facebook engagements.However, she said the future of public engagement on the 2026 bid process would be through the Bid Corporation.“When talking about future public engagement, the BidCo that is being formed in Calgary will take the lead on information sharing in advance of Calgary’s plebiscite on the potential Olympic bid,” Dinnadge said.