Calgary city councillors are hoping to bring back a historic committee that will help connect citizens with the military community.
The item came as a Notice of Motion at Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting and asked for the reinstatement of the Calgary Salutes Committee. It was approved on technical merit and will head to a full meeting of council for debate.
The Calgary Salutes Committee built community awareness and support of Calgary soldiers, sailors and aviators deploying overseas, according to the Notice of Motion, until it was disbanded after the closure of CFB Calgary in 1998.
There are still more than 1,000 full- and part-time military members living in Calgary, plus thousands more veterans, according to information provided with the motion.
“Calgary has a strong history of supporting the military and its veterans through organizations such as the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), The Military Museums, Field of Crosses and dozens of other community organizations,” the motion read.
Calgary also shares a unique relationship with the HMCS Calgary.
Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner said they were approached by Colonel Chris Hunt, Commander of the 41st Canadian Brigade Group, which is headquartered in Calgary, to reinstate the committee.
“I think this is really about trying to connect with that military community at the local level and helping bring awareness, and then again, the coordination of those events and activities,” Penner said.
She said it was a great opportunity to build relationships and foster greater awareness of the city’s connection to current military operations, but also the city’s rich military history.
“I would say that global conflicts across the world unfortunately aren’t lessening and we see calls for reservists, we see national defense putting calls out for people to apply and this is a way that we can support them,” Penner said.
The Notice of Motion calls for the establishment of a parent Calgary Salutes Committee, plus sub-committees to support HMCS Calgary, build military history and education programs, and coordination of local employment and social programs.
The structure of this group would come back in late July 2023.