The City of Calgary

2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid


The City of Calgary wanted to help City Council understand why Calgary should or should not host the Games in 2026, and wanted to engage the public in doing so – within a rapidly closing window. Adding to the challenge was engagement fatigue, the sheer diversity of Calgarians and distrust of available information. We had our work cut out for us.


Argyle designed a four-week engagement program consisting of online engagement, open houses, pop-ups and intercept surveys, as well as stakeholder and community-based workshops. The goal was to inform and educate the public and stakeholders, to identify issues, concerns and opportunities and to seek public input on why citizens feel that a Bid should be submitted or not.


Ultimately, we delivered the final unbiased What We Heard report in advance of the City-wide plebiscite on whether or not to bid for the 2026 Games. In the end, Calgarians voted against proceeding with a bid. But the process helped foster discussion and guide other Council-led initiatives based on what participating Calgarians said they wanted for Calgary’s future. That is a long-term win for Calgary.


The results of the engagement program were presented to the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee on November 6, 2018. Councillor Farrell commended the work for being the most inclusive (multicultural) engagement program conducted to date and an example to follow moving forward.

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