The chair of the Calgary Olympic bid corporation — now named Calgary 2026 — is resigning from most of the other boards he sits on and the hunt for a chief executive officer is on.
"It's a busy process right now but one that we've rolled our sleeves up on and we are digging in deeply," Scott Hutcheson told reporters after updating the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee on Tuesday.
He says it's been a mad rush of meetings over the weekend, with the Canadian Olympic Committee on Friday and a CEO search committee on Sunday.
Hutcheson says he's resigning from the boards he currently sits on, with the exception of Aspen Properties and Arts Commons.
"I don't want any perceived conflict of interest, and I wouldn't put myself in a conflict of interest position but perception is everything," he said.
There are no hard dates on when the chief executive might be in place and it's a matter of finding skills complementary to his own, Hutcheson says.
"We need to figure out what our skills matrix is. What do I have, in terms of skills, and what does a CEO have? Hopefully we know how to divide and conquer."
Hutcheson says the Calgary bid book, a required document for a host city application, which is set to be published in January, is progressing quickly.
"I think it has to evolve. In general, you want to provide the information that is necessary for the public to feel comfortable and you don't want to provide information that isn't particularly relevant, but it removes your competitive advantage," he said.
That January bid book publishing date, however, will likely be after a $2-million November plebiscite to gauge Calgarians' interest in hosting the Games.
Hutcheson says the Calgary 2026 board will have the diversity Canadians expect.
"The board in constituted by three levels of government and the Canadian Olympic Committee — each has three appointees," he said.
"They are aware of what Canadians want in terms of inclusion and diversity."
The committee also heard Tuesday that Calgary is setting up an Olympic secretariat at city hall to do work that the bid corporation won't be handling, like negotiating with other levels of governments, doing research and overseeing public engagement.
The cost isn't known but committee chair Coun. Evan Woolley says it will be covered through existing city resources.
"We had a conversation, a very robust conversation at committee, around those costs. We were given total confidence that any costs associated with this secretariat would be dealt with, with existing budgets," Woolley said.
The International Olympic Committee is set to invite cities to become candidates in October 2018, and a host city will be chosen in September 2019.
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