Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in Calgary for a major international conference in 2025.
The city was selected to host the Rotary International Convention after “stiff international competition” for the event, said Clark Grue, the president and CEO of Meetings + Conventions Calgary, who called it “an amazing accomplishment for our city.”
The convention takes place annually in different cities around the world. The Calgary event will take place June 21-25, 2025, and is expected to draw 20,000 to 40,000 attendees from more than 100 countries.
Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary, said events of this scale are a significant boost to the tourism economy when visitors spend time in the city, in addition to the benefits created when people go home and tell others about their experience.
“Sometimes, the best people to talk about your brand are those who come and visit,” she said.
Ady said Tourism Calgary will be involved in the host committee work to prepare for the event.
“What we are is we’re tremendous hosts,” said Ady. “That’s why … we always say ultimate hosts, ultimate host city. Hosting’s in our DNA.”
The bid to host the convention was a collaborative effort, said Craig Stokke, co-chair of the Host Organisation Committee.
“We literally turned our city blue and gold – Rotary’s official colours, for three days in August during the site selection visit,” he said.
“The Rotary International site inspection team could not help but feel the passion and investment Rotary has had in Calgary since we first hosted one of our most popular conventions in 1996.”
Participants in the bid included the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Hotel Association.
Dan DeSantis, chairman of the Calgary Hotel Association, said the economic effect of a convention this size “will be felt for years to come.”
“We know that once Rotarians have an opportunity to experience Calgary and area they will share their stories with friends and family, which we believe will result in increased leisure visits in the future,” he said.
The convention will take place at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park and at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Facts about Rotary International:
According to Rotary International, Rotary brings together more than one million volunteers from more than 200 countries. Rotarians come from a range of professional backgrounds.
Rotary volunteers contribute to long-term projects in communities around the world, focusing on issues such as peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
There are 1,900 Rotary members in District 5360, representing Calgary, southern Alberta and western Saskatchewan.
Source: Calgary Herald