WebStamp January 10, 2018
Calgary's Sesquicentennial Review
Canada’s 150 years of Confederation was quite the year to remember. The majority of Canadians participated in the many great events and activities nation-wide sponsored by the government, corporations, and citizens alike. The theme of the Sesquicentennial was to bring communities and cultures together and getting Canadians involved by contributing with gifts and community participation. You were asked “What do you as a Canadian hope or wish for our country?” to encourage us to invest in Canada’s future and ensure that we will continue to be a great nation.
Our own Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, began the M.A.D. Movement 3 Things for Calgary challenging Calgarian’s to do at least 3 things that will make Calgary better. This lead to a nationwide movement 3 Things for Canada where Canadians generated more than 100 million gifts giving back to Canada for its 150th birthday. During 2017 Calgarians participated and enjoyed the many events, fundraisers, and activities connecting with their neighbours, discovering Calgary’s diverse culture, and making a difference in the community.
New Year’s Eve began with Olympic Plaza lit up with ice carvings, fire spinning, skating, and music Midnight arrived with a bang with fireworks ringing in the Sesquicentennial. A few days later the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid Calgarians a visit. Many enjoyed GLOW, a free family-friendly interactive light festival, Family Day, and Pink Shirt Day to Help Stop Bullying.
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Most of these 150 Celebrations led up a to spectacular Sesquicentennial Canada Day. Iconic pancake breakfasts followed with many events throughout the city of an amazing array of music, and events happened during Canada Day. This was topped off with the most spectacular fireworks Calgary has ever seen. There were also many events connecting cultures and communities and embracing the diversity Calgary has to offer.
The economy also began to improve as we continue to recover from the 2014 financial crisis that hit the oil industry. Even though many businesses folded and many lost their jobs, especially in the oil sector, there was a slight increase in the number of people employed. Instead of looking for work many became entrepreneurs. There was a boom of micro-breweries starts and many festivals to promote it, beginning with St. Patrick’s Day, the Calgary International Beerfest, YYC Beer Week, and Oktoberfest. We also saw an explosion of food trucks on the streets and in events and festivals with a cultural integration.
We had a civic election with the highest voter turnout in 40 years and still elected basically the same city council. The higher than normal turnout caused a shortage of ballots at several voting stations. This led to the debate on doing automated electronic balloting, replacing the current manual paper system. We did, however, have a very successful first time run with drive-in voting.
There was the elimination of affordable housing with the closing down of the Midfield Trailer Park by city council with broken promises. The city began changing and simplifying ways to approve laneway homes and secondary suites making it safer for renters. We had a big discussion on building a new stadium. The proposed Next Arena seemed too much of a daunting task for city council and would rather just replace the iconic Saddledome with a trimmed down version.
There was so much more, but these I feel were of some significance in 2017. If you think that there are some other events or activities worth mentioning, then go to WebStamp.ca tell us what it is. Overall, I feel that 2017 was a very productive year for Calgarians and the Sesquicentennial has helped with positive change to a successful prosperous future for Calgary.
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