Something that seemed within our grasp a few short months ago was placed just out of reach for Brandonites this week as the 2017 Canada Summer Games bid for Brandon will not be moving forward as originally planned.
The bid is something many had been staking their reputations on — both politically and professionally — and this can only be seen as a blow to their morale and drive. It took a great deal of time, effort and wooing of officials to make this happen. But ultimately, forces beyond the city’s control took the bid off the rails.
As disheartening a decision as this may be for some, it should not be one that defines us as a community. The reaction to this announcement should be tempered a bit with the belief that as a city when nothing is ventured, nothing will be gained, and to me this is one of those cases. I’m not trying to downplay the disappointment and it is no doubt a loss for our city. As much as we hate to admit it, this is a blow to the psyche of Brandon, a place by many accounts headed toward making a splash on this stage.
But with that being said, as the days and weeks move forward from this I hope that we remain mindful of the fact that it was a pitch taken on by some real talented folks in our community, and they should be commended for giving it a go.
Too often some will move directly to dissecting this loss as part of a political game of football and lose focus on what the true nature of the community is and where we can grow to ensure we are a player in the game moving forward, building a better city or product in the process.
In time, politicians of all stripes will weigh in and cast a view on this decision —which truthfully is usually their job — but I believed it timely to paraphrase a note left to me by one such politician of a different stripe that has stuck: "wouldn’t it be wonderful to have all voices working to build Brandon? Fantastic concept. As far as ideology, building Brandon trumps that." Now most who want to read into that can tell who the quote came from and further to that they would know I stand on opposite sides of the fence as far as ideology, but the concept is solid and could be put in use for this instance.
I believe the best aspects of what makes up Brandon were on display in trying for the Games. Like anything of this nature, you put yourself out there and the courtship or rejection, as in life, doesn’t always fall into place the way you hope.
It takes some time to recover from losing out on opportunity, and those in place are professional and know that there needs to be steps taken to alter the plan for the future, but it can’t be understated the time commitment and drive some in our community had to make this a go. As I mentioned in a previous column, the bid committee handled itself in a fashion that should make us as a community proud of who we are.
So I extend a thank you to those out there who said yes, Brandon is a place that should be on display; yes, Brandon is a city we are proud to showcase; and yes, Brandon is made up of some of the hardest working and talented individuals around.
This is one of those moments where we pick up our boots and head back to work bringing opportunity to the community; and whether it is a flashy new announcement for potential air service or a small push to make life more affordable and comfortable for the residents of Brandon, we should take Thursday’s announcement as a learning experience and in time win as a result of that knowledge.
Two phrases of wisdom come to mind in this instance. The first is from Laozi — "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." The second is from a Canadian quasi-philosopher who prophesied to always "keep your stick on the ice."
In both cases, Brandon, remember that we are all in this together.
» Shaun Cameron is a lifelong Brandon resident. He has dabbled in politics and is now chair of Renaissance Brandon, the city’s downtown development corporation. His column appears regularly.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 11, 2013