Mary Moran will carry the torch for the continued exploration of Calgary and Canmore’s bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. She becomes the first woman to take on the role of chief executive officer for a Canadian Olympic bid.
Moran will take a leave of absence from her current position as president and chief executive officer of Calgary Economic development in order to implement the strategic direction of Calgary 2026.
“At the core of our Bid group is diversity and inclusion, along with the health and wellness of our community,” said Scott Hutcheson, chair Calgary 2026, who along with Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild officially welcomed Moran to her new role during a media conference in front of the Olympic Cauldron in the heart of Calgary’s world-leading sport legacy at Canada Olympic Park.
“Mary has spent nearly the last decade of her career ensuring the well-being of our city. She is a dynamic, decisive and pragmatic leader who is a proven performer in the world of business and brings a passion for her city, province and country to this prestigious position. Canada’s Olympic bid is in good hands.”
An innovative and results-driven leader focused on delivering results in highly competitive environments that demand long-term vision, critical thinking and teamwork, Moran comes to Calgary 2026 having spent 30 years developing strategy, marketing, stakeholder relations and fund development while serving leadership positions in corporate, non-profit, government and sport, for leading brands such as TELUS, Delta Hotels and Canadian Airlines.
“It is an absolute gift to have the opportunity to marry my passion for business and sport in order to contribute and make a difference to the city, province and country that I care deeply about,” said Moran. “I truly believe we have an incredible opportunity ahead to build off the successes of our rich Olympic legacy in order to shape a brighter future for our next generation of community leaders, but we must do the critical analysis work first to ensure it makes sense.”
Since leading Calgary Economic Development, Moran has placed greater focus on Calgary’s competitiveness in the new economy, primarily in the areas of innovation, talent-development placemaking and being a business-friendly city. Moran originally joined Calgary Economic Development as vice-president, marketing, communications and research in 2010 – a period of time during which she demonstrated what it takes to build a winning team and achieve international results while helping to move the city forward.
Moran led a number of teams during a variety of brand promotions, highlighted by the flood recovery YYCisOpen campaign, and the Hey Amazon campaign that earned industry awards and global attention for Calgary.
Working with a dynamic team of professionals at Calgary 2026, Moran’s immediate priority will be on ensuring Calgarians have the information they require to make an informed decision later this year when citizens will be invited to vote on whether the city moves forward with a bid to host the 2026 Games.
“It would be easy to just say no, but I believe we have to do the tough work first, and ask ourselves ‘what can we achieve?’ We need to help all Calgarians find their place in these Games – be it capitalizing on the benefits of employment, accommodation, education, tourism, arts and culture, volunteerism, health and wellness or sport that these Games will bring with them,” said Moran, who added the team will be launching its community engagement strategy in early September to share this important information, and field the public’s questions prior to the plebiscite.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games have the power to transform a community. This is an opportunity to give ourselves the chance to be back on the world stage, but we will not do this at all costs. We will guarantee that we will do what is right, and on a budget scale, that works for Calgary, Alberta and Canada.”
Moran will officially begin her new responsibilities with Calgary 2026 on August 13.
Calgary 2026, with support from its partners, will complete the bid exploration and development work that began in 2016. Calgary 2026 will clarify the vision and details of a potential Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and will develop a more accurate hosting cost estimate. Calgary 2026 will also produce a Candidature File, which would be submitted to the IOC in January 2019, if all parties decide to move forward with the bid and the IOC selects Calgary to become a 2026 Candidate City.