Members of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation are working to determine if the city should submit a bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and a new CEO was appointed to lead the team on Tuesday morning.

Calgary 2026 was established in June 2018 to produce a candidature file that would be submitted to the IOC in January if the city decides to move forward with a bid for the games.

Scott Hutcheson was chosen as BidCo's Chair and Olympians Hayley Wickenheiser and Catriona Le May Doan are among the 21 members who will work to clarify details of a potential bid.

“Our mandate is clear and it is focused to develop an informed, transparent hosting plan, a responsible budget and to engage our citizens to answer the question of what would a successful winter and Paralympic games be for you?” said Hutcheson.

On Tuesday, Mary Moran was announced as the new CEO for the Bid Corporation and she is the first woman to take on the role for a Canadian Olympic bid.

Moran is taking a leave of absence from her position as president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development to lead the team.

“It’s just too easy to just say no. I have spent the better part of the last decade of my professional life focused on the health and prosperity of this community, in good times and in bad times. From my perspective, I feel it is very important for us to do the hard work of exploring this opportunity and ask ourselves, what could we achieve together and does it make sense to us at this time? We will find those answers and we will have a heathy dialogue,” she said.  

She will serve as a primary strategist for Calgary 2026 and will ultimately decide if Calgary will make a bid for the games.

“It is an absolute gift for me to have the opportunity to marry my passion for sport and business and continue the exploration of building off the success of the Olympic history in Canada to shape a brighter future for our next generation of community leaders. All while making a big difference in this city, this province and this country that we all care so deeply about,” she said. “In the short-term, Calgary 2026 will be focused on driving the conversation with the citizens of our communities and asking and answering very tough questions about the economics of this project and does it align with our values and our priorities that we have today."

She says the number one priority for her team is to collect and distribute factual information to allow citizens to make an informed decision.

A community engagement plan will be rolled out in September and a plebiscite will be conducted in November to gauge public opinion.

Late Tuesday afternoon, city council approved the plebiscite question and set a date for Calgarians to vote.

The question will be “Are you for or are you against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?”

The options will be: I and for Calgary hosting and I am against Calgary hosting.

The date for the non-binding plebiscite, should it get passed at an upcoming city council meeting, will be Tuesday, November 13th.

An external consultant went over the language and the city clerk says it’s more neutral than a yes/no question.

For more on Calgary’s potential bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, click HERE.