The Town of Canmore is taking its first official step toward working with Calgary on a 2026 Olympic bid.
Town council voted Tuesday to spend $200,000 to look more closely at whether a bid would benefit the community.
The money will be used to hire a consultant, set up public consultations and put a snow sports expert at the table with Calgary as it moves forward to consider a bid.
Coun. Joanna McCallum isn't yet convinced that hosting the 2026 Winter Games is the right decision, but says she knows Canmore must start participating more formally in the process.
"Because, at the end of the day, that in some ways if the City of Calgary makes this choice, that we can work alongside them and negotiate hard for what it is that we need to make it worthwhile for our community. Or we can just let the train drive through our community," she said.
"It makes sense to play nice in the sandbox and to try and understand the consequences and the benefits of such a decision and try to make the best decision for our community."
Some of the money will also be used to send Canmore's mayor to Pyeongchang in February to observe the games — something that the International Olympic Committee now requires of potential host communities.
Mayor John Borrowman says the 1988 Olympics put the struggling coal town on the map. But in the three decades since then, the games have grown considerably in size and cost, he noted.
"We're going to have to have a separate conversation, perhaps, with the province around the kind of revenue-generating tools we will need to be a successful bidder and host of a big chunk of the 2026 Olympics," he said.
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