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World Expos: Edmonton imagines the possibilities of an EXPO 2017 bid

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Think big. Think bold. Think eight years down the road … Edmonton’s bid to host EXPO 2017 marks the start of an exciting, new journey for Edmonton, Alberta and Canada.

Edmontonians, Albertans and Canadians are invited to consider the possibilities and start imagining what hosting the world at EXPO 2017 might inspire us to become.

Tony Franceschini, Chair of the Bid Committee, announced that Edmonton’s EXPO 2017 bid documents have been tabled with the Governments of Alberta and Canada.

"It’s official. Edmonton is in!" said Franceschini. "We’ve made a powerful case for EXPO, in Edmonton, in 2017. Now, it’s time to spread the word, and grow the dream."

"With EXPO, we are not talking about today − we’re opening up to the possibilities for tomorrow. It’s about what we as a country, province and city might aspire to become and what we believe we must share with the world."

Franceschini, chair of a 14-member bid committee of community leaders, was supported by another 60 visionary volunteers who served on various advisory committees. This community effort led to a document that covers a range of elements, including a site plan and theme compelling enough to spark worldwide conversation and imagination. The Edmonton bid seems to have it all.

Edmonton’s proposed theme, Harmony of Energy and Our Future Planet, was developed to place Alberta and Canada as innovators and leaders in global discussions on energy in its different forms. With input from the community, the theme will be developed further in the next phase of bid development.

The site plan presents rich possibilities for a futuristic University of Alberta South Campus and a redeveloped West Rossdale.

With details about the theme and site plan now open for consideration, it’s time to build awareness of the bid and challenge Canadians to consider what hosting an EXPO might make possible.

"I believe the possibilities for Edmonton are endless, " said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. "The prospect of hosting EXPO in Canada’s 150th year makes the opportunity even more compelling. There could be no better place to mark this national milestone than here, in Alberta’s capital city."

According to Mandel, a successful EXPO 2017 could be the incentive we need to transform Alberta’s capital city. "I see this as a goal that would unite and align so many aspects of what we want and desire for our city and our province, " explained Mandel. "EXPO 2017 would help us realize a collective destiny through the alignment of many efforts in virtually all aspects of our city."

Mandel is not alone in his thinking of what an international event of this calibre might provoke.

"For the University of Alberta, Edmonton’s bid for EXPO 2017 is about much more than three months in the summer of 2017. It’s about creating a dream for the future that fits with and fulfills the values and aspirations of our community and the university. We are delighted to join with the City of Edmonton − and all Edmontonians − in this bid to make the EXPO 2017 vision a reality, " said Indira Samarasekera, University of Alberta President.

Hosting EXPO 2017 will require an investment of $2.3 billion. EXPO’s economic impact study forecasts a $2.6 billion boost to the Canadian economy, of which $2.3 billion would go directly to Alberta’s economy. Close to 37, 000 person years of employment could be created, generating $1.5 billion in wages and salaries.

A decision on Canada’s bid city is expected in 2010, with a vote by delegates to the International Exhibitions Bureau in fall 2012.

See also:
World Expos:Top press official calls for better Expo coverage
World Expos: USA Pavilion and USC US-China Institute Call for Student Ambassadors to Shanghai World Expo 2010

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