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If Calgary proceeded with submitting a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there were a number of projected benefits, risks and opportunities that hosting the Games may have had on affordable housing, accessibility, arts and culture, and volunteerism.


Calgary's 2026's Draft Hosting Plan Concept

Affordable Housing

Calgary 2026’s Draft Hosting Plan Concept (draft hosting plan) proposes a housing plan that invests in affordable housing for low and moderate-income households, including:

  • Affordable housing developments in Calgary and Canmore
  • Subsidized seniors’ housing development
  • Potential for Indigenous peoples’ housing


The draft hosting plan includes venue designs to make it easier for people of all abilities to enter, leave and move around.

Upgrades to the Games venues would have made them more accessible. The Paralympic Winter Games also promotes an inclusive community by creating awareness about equality.

Arts and Culture

The draft hosting plan includes many cultural activities. All Olympic and Paralympic Games must feature a Cultural Olympiad which includes:

  • The Games’ opening and closing ceremonies
  • Medal ceremonies
  • Torch relays
  • Live entertainment
  • Community and sporting events

The Cultural Olympiad would begin a few years before the Games and include cultural events throughout the city, province and country.  

Traditionally, the cultural programming kicks off with the Flag Handover Ceremony at the closing ceremonies of the previous Games. It’s followed by a Cultural Olympiad, educational events, and youth programs, which can take place over the next four years, leading up to and during the proposed 50 days of celebration during the next Games.

In addition, live sites could have cultural elements. Live sites are free or low-cost events for participants. These events could include large screens for people to watch live coverage of the Games, entertainment stages with artists, as well as recreational, cultural and community activities. Local and national talent could have featured.

Calgary 2026 presented information on culture and education​ to the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee on November 7, 2018.


The draft hosting plan describes ways to increase volunteerism and community spirit, by bringing people together around a common goal. In the past, our community spirit has been highlighted in a number of events including the 1988 Games, Grey Cup Finals, and recovering from the 2013 flood.

Potential benefits and risks of hosting the Games



  • Focusing and investing in the Games may reduce investment in other Council priorities and City services
  • Potential impacts on community not-for-profits: focusing on the Games may distract businesses from other community priorities, resulting in lower investment and sponsorship
  • The Games may impact other City lines of services
  • May impact The City’s future operating and capital budgets
  • City costs related to hosting live sites and entertainment programing are undetermined

Aligning with City priorities

The City reviewed the draft hosting plan to see how well it fits with Citizen Priorities, Council Directives, City policies, strategies and long-term capital and financial plans.

We wanted to see if the Games matched with our views of a community and whether they will help us or prevent us from being a safe and healthy city. The City’s culture needed to be reflected in the bid. Our vision for Calgary is to ensure it is great place to make a living, a great place to make a life. Our common purpose is: Making Life Better Every day.

Imagine Calgary  is our long-range plan on how we’re growing Calgary.