This is the southern Alberta community that residents want Harry and Meghan to call 'home'
OKOTOKS, ALTA. -- Okotoks, a community of about 30,000 people, is making its run at attracting royalty to the town, located 15 minutes south of Calgary.
Town council unanimously passed a motion from Mayor Bill Robertson this week, inviting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, along with baby Archie, to call the community home.
“I’m sure the municipalities are sitting, thinking, 'We could certainly invite them to our municipality too,'” said Robertson.
“Little Archie needs a place to play soccer or hockey or football or whatever he might do.”
The town made headlines internationally with its tourism slogan in 2015 – "There are a number of things to do in Okotoks."
Hoping to play off that branding, Robertson hopes the family would be interested in seeing the "Big Rock", taking in a local hockey or baseball game or taking a stroll on the 85 km of pathways in the community.
Okotoks business owner Sherry Lindenback of 94 Take the Cake has seen visitors from all over the world in the last two months.
Her coffee shop has become an Instagram-worthy stop for many visitors who come to take a look at her unique interior design.
The shop walls are painted black and white to look like a colouring book.
“It’s a fresh new look inside but it's in an old heritage house, of course we would love to see people from all over the world and visit us,” said Lindenback.
“The Royals especially. We are Canada, so we’ve always loved our Royal family.”
Mark Hamilton, from Liverpool, England, is visiting family in Okotoks and says the town’s invitation to the family is a friendly one.
“You’ve got to live your own life, you can’t always have people running your life,” said Hamilton. “They’ve made their decision to move, they really need to be left alone.”
Okotoks has applied to host the 2022 Alberta Summer Games, and the mayor already has plans.
“If we should be awarded those summer games, what better people to come and open the summer games for us, than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” said Robertson.
Robertson added that he plans to sign off on the letter, officially extending the invitation, next week.
“We could certainly send it to Buckingham Palace and then they could forward it to them,” he said.
Although highly unrealistic, Robertson has some sense of optimism.
“You never know. There are all kinds of possibilities in life.”