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Insider Events – Calgary impresses to win over Rotary International

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2025 Rotary International Convention
June 21-25, 2025
Calgary Stampede Park

Number of Attendees: 20,000 to 40,000

Objective of the bid

To bring the Rotary International Convention to Calgary

What was unique about your city’s offer?

Meetings + Conventions Calgary worked with local Rotary members who volunteered for the Host Organization Committee and championed the bid for Calgary.

Rotarians represent a large global community, so it is fitting that it took a community to secure the bid for Calgary. Calgary partnerships were created, organizations collaborated, and local Rotarians stepped up in droves to commit their time to making Calgary’s convention bid a success.

Biggest obstacle

As the fourth-largest city, and corporate head office capital of Canada, Calgary is a vibrant metropolitan. However, internationally, Calgary is not well known as a destination that can host large conventions. Those around the world who have heard of Calgary often associate it with the Calgary Stampede, picturing us as a small western town, instead of the prominent global city that we are. This perception is an obstacle that Calgary must overcome with its large-scale convention bids.

Biggest triumph

The connections and community built throughout this process was Calgary’s biggest win, along with the honor of hosting more than 20,000 Rotarians in 2025. Meetings + Conventions Calgary worked with local partners including the Calgary Stampede, the Calgary Hotel Association, the City of Calgary and the local Rotary International District 5360.

“The Calgary Stampede is thrilled to have been part of the successful bid that so clearly demonstrates what our city can accomplish when partners, agencies and many stakeholders work together for the common benefit of our community,” said Warren Connell, Chief Executive Officer at the Calgary Stampede. “We look forward to sharing our special brand of western hospitality with Rotarians in 2025.”

Innovation

Calgary is full of engaged and passionate citizens who are committed to the success of the 2025 Rotary International Convention. Meetings + Conventions Calgary’s Conference Champion Program connected Rotary International with two Calgarians, Mark Starratt and Craig Stokke, Co-Chairs of the Host Organization Committee, who lead the bid on behalf of Calgary.

“This was truly a collaborative effort on behalf of our whole community,” Stokke stated. “We literally turned our city blue and gold—Rotary’s official colors—for three days in August during the site selection visit. 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.”


Article submitted by Meetings + Conventions Calgary

Article compiled by Jill Garner, Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

Article edited by Melanie Hudson, National Association of Federal Retirees

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