Having 4+ competing western-themed heritage parks/forts/museums/stampedes is the root of the issue here I think.Would rather have a better arena on a larger lot than the opera house and smaller arena. Too bad about Fort Calgary, that place has never been able to truly become a main attraction.
it’s a weird system we have in this province about the western heritage stuff - as all the Calgary ones are dependent on provincial and municipal funding, handshakes and connections, none can really ever deviate from the western-themed, good ol’ Alberta message or risk funding. Similarly times are never tough enough to acknowledge maybe we don’t need so much of the same thing so most get funded to sustain themselves. Always too important (or too much of a headache) to kill; but never important enough to really invest at a meaningful scale to be relevant.
The result is these organization limp along, benefitting or being victim to random budget changes and political machinations, as is the case here - why dole out a few million to limp along a small Fort upgrade and a small opera/stampede upgrade? Might as well concentrate that funding to something more material to see a potential real impact.
Fort Calgary is my pet peeve, considering it’s a restoration, not original and was only created in the 1970s. 2019, before the pandemic they had 25,000 visitors - 65 a day. The river pathway right next door has 10x that at -40. But if anyone proposed a soccer stadium, major music venue or recreation centre on the Fort Calgary Site to diversify and expand the inner city offerings instead of the faux-heritage, it would be immediately rejected.
It’s not that we have too many public facilities and museums, it’s that we don’t have enough diversity in them.