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History of the Calgary 2026 Winter Games Bid

Calgary’s potential bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has been underway since 2016.

The bidding process for the 2026 Winter Games is different from previous bids. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has implemented a new strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic movement, called Olympic Agenda 2020. Its 40 recommendations include a more host-city-friendly, lower-cost process to bidding on and hosting Olympic Games.

On March 29, 2018, the  Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the City of Calgary announced their support to establish a bid corporation that will continue the development of hosting plans and an event budget that will inform a bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

On June 7, 2018, the Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation/La Société de la candidature de Calgary 2026  (Calgary 2026) was incorporated with the sole mandate of the development and promotion of a Bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On June 23, 2018, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Session voted to unanimously approve the candidature of Calgary as a potential host of the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The 2026 Winter Games will be the 25th edition of the Winter Olympic Games and 14th edition of the Winter Paralympic Games. Canada hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988 (Calgary), the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010 (Vancouver) and the Summer Olympic Games in 1976 (Montréal).

If a Calgary bid is successful, it will be the first time that Calgary will host a Paralympic Games.


The bidding process for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has three stages:

  • July 2016 – September 2017: The Exploration Stage
  • October 2017 – October 2018: The Dialogue Stage
  • November 2018  – September 2019: The Candidature Stage

The Exploration Stage (July 2016 – September 2017)

Calgary began investigating the possibilities of a potential 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid in 2016. The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) was assembled to determine if it’s feasible for Calgary to successfully host the 2026 Winter Games and, if so, whether Calgary should enter the Olympic bid process.

CBEC’s final report is available to review.

After receiving the report, Calgary City Council needed more information to decide whether Calgary should bid for the 2026 Winter Games. Beginning in August 2017, the City continued researching the costs, risks and benefits of bidding and hosting the Games.

The Dialogue Stage (October 2017 – October 2018)

We are currently in the Dialogue Stage. This is a time to listen to citizens and gather input.

The Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (Calgary 2026), the City of Calgary and the Town of Canmore are continuing to explore the potential vision and legacy of bidding for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Discussions with citizens, community and sport organizations and all levels of government are continuing as we build the potential hosting plan for 2026 Winter Games.

We want to hear from you. Stay connected with us as we build the plan together.

On November 13, 2018, the City of Calgary will ask residents if they are in favour of hosting the 2026 Winter Games. Details about the City of Calgary’s plebiscite are available here.

Find out more about the Town of Canmore’s exploration of participating in a 2026 Winter Games bid.

Calgary 2026 is committed to developing the most robust and comprehensive budgets for venue development and hosting the Games. We will provide full financial information when we are confident we have the right numbers. We are committed to sharing numbers that we know are correct, reliable and accurate and are asking the public to be patient with us for a few more weeks while we finish our projections and estimates.

The Dialogue stage is ongoing. In October 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will invite a select number of cities to join the next stage, the Candidature Stage.

The Candidature Stage (January 2019 – September 2019)

If the IOC invites Calgary to become a Candidate City and Calgary City Council approves the City’s participation in this stage, Calgary 2026 will prepare its proposal to the IOC.

  • October 2018: IOC invites cities to participate in the Candidature stage
  • January 2019: Candidate Cities submit bid proposals to IOC
  • Early 2019: IOC Technical Expert visits and Evaluation Commission Visits
  • July 2019: Candidate City Briefing 2026 for IOC Members and International Sport Federations. This briefing provides the opportunity for an open dialogue between the Candidate Cities, the IOC membership and the Winter Sports Federations
  • September 2019: Candidate Cities present to the IOC, followed by election of the Host City at the IOC Session currently scheduled in Milan, Italy.

Next Steps

If the bid moves forward, Calgary 2026 will prepare a Candidature Questionnaire.  Essentially, this is Calgary’s proposed hosting plan (in the past known as a bid book) that describes how Calgary would stage the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

From sport and venues to accommodation and transportation, the Candidature Questionnaire is like a job application that answers 132 questions.

The 120-page plan, including tables, maps and drawings, to be presented to the International Olympic Committee on January 11, 2019, will feature six sections:

  • Vision and Games Concept
  • Games Experience
  • Paralympic Winter Games
  • Sustainability and Legacy
  • Games Delivery
  • Guarantees

Through initiatives developed out of the Olympic Agenda 2020 strategic framework, the IOC is seeking to make the Games more accessible, easier to operate and less expensive. One such initiative is a measure outlined in the IOC’s New Norm report, which encourages sustainability of the Games through the use of existing infrastructure; if new infrastructure is required, it should reflect the needs of the community and leave a positive legacy of the Games.

Bid Cost

The cost of preparing a bid for the 2026 Winter Games is estimated at $30 million, with funding from these sources:

  • The City of Calgary: $9.5 million
  • The Government of Alberta: $10 million
  • The Government of Canada: $10.5 million

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