Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman has said that “The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics offer an opportunity for Alberta to engage with South Korea, not only as a priority trade and investment market, but as an important cultural partner.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism has said that “In addition to observing and gaining valuable information about the Olympic Games operations in real time, this mission allows us to support Alberta athletes participating on Team Canada, build stronger cultural ties with our sister province and promote Alberta throughout South Korea.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The Deputy Premier will visit Seoul, Gangneung City and PyeongChang County, South Korea, with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi from Feb. 6-14. Gangneung and PyeongChang will host nearly all of the Olympic venues.

Highlights will include meeting with Korean government officials, promoting Alberta and Alberta business at several investment and trade meetings, participating in a sustainability roundtable and visiting the Olympic Park with the PyeongChang Organizing Committee.

Both Deputy Premier Hoffman and Minister Miranda will join Calgary city officials during sessions as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Observer Programme. The sessions focus on venue concept, medical services, press operations, technology planning, security operations and athlete and spectator experience. While in PyeongChang, delegates will also meet with IOC and Canada Olympic Committee officials and staff, athletes, parents, spectators and other representatives who use the Olympic Games as a common ground to connect and discuss economic development, tourism, sustainability and innovation.

PyeongCheng is in Alberta’s longest-standing sister province, Gangwon. The twinning relationship was first signed in 1974. The mission presents an opportunity to deepen ties with the Korean province and the Olympics offer a global stage to showcase the relationship. Hoop dancer Dallas Arcand Jr. from Alexander First Nation and the acapella Cree duo of Wendy Walker and Dawn von Arnim – under the group name Reconciliation – will perform at the Cultural Olympiad Art Performance Festival.

The estimated cost of the mission for the deputy premier, minister, one political staff and one department official is $45,413.