Mayor Mandel suggests city received lack of exposure at Winter Games
Published Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:33PM MST
The provincial government has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on creating Alberta House, a pavilion designed to showcase Alberta at the Olympics. But Edmonton's mayor now suggests our city may be getting short-changed in the promotion.
Alberta House sits right at the foot of Robson Street, in front of B.C. Plac in Vancouver.
And it's designed to offer a taste of western hospitality to thousands of Olympic visitors.Wednesday marked Alberta Day at the the Winter Games, but Mayor Stephen Mandel says he's frustrated that Calgary appeared to get more recognition.
"Much more was pushed about the Calgary Stampede," said Mandel.
But the Minister of Culture and Community Spirit insists the entire province is on display.
"We're promoting Alberta, we're not promoting Calgary or Edmonton or Medicine Hat... we're promoting everything," said Lindsay Blackett.
Mandel says he asked provincial officials why Calgary appeared to be the centre of attention Wednesday.
"They're explanation was that Calgary participated more in yesterday's event because they put some money into it, but I don't know whether that's fair or not," he said.
Edmonton's exposure during Alberta Day was limited to promotional videos, and EXPO 2017 pins, which were handed out to promote the city's bid to host the event.
The province continues to defend spending more than $14 million in taxpayer money to promote Alberta at the Games.
"We are well aware these are taxpayer dollars," said Alberta Tourism Minister Cindy Ady."We think we're getting the return on investment."
During Alberta Day, some of the province's most well-known entertainers were featured, including Edmonton's poet laureate Cadence Weapon, and country singer Paul Brandt.
Brandt was the headline act at Wednesday night's victory ceremony at B.C. Place.
Visitors can still stop by Alberta House throughout the Games to view Aboriginal art, dinosaur bones and learn more about the province's history.
With files from Joel Gotlib