Thursday marked the launch of Calgary’s Food Truck Pilot program with a Taste the Trucks event held on Downtown Calgary’s Stephen Avenue. A program personally heralded by Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi, the launch event was Calgary’s first food truck festival with eight trucks participating.
Backing the event was YYC Food Trucks, The City of Calgary, Tourism Calgary and The Downtown Calgary Association. Admission was free, and trucks offered their regular menu at street friendly prices. The event has been deemed a great success.
What brought about this pilot program? Mayor Nenshi and his team wanted to create an active and healthy street life in a community that provided snacks and unique meals to the public.
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“Starting on August 11, 2011, The City of Calgary, along with our food truck entrepreneurs and various business revitalization zone (BRZ) partners, is launching the Food Truck Pilot project that will bring food trucks to our streets. We're fortunate to be hitting the ground rolling with a number of excellent food truck vendors that are ready to go now. Our goal is to understand what needs to be done—together—to best regulate and recognize food trucks as an industry in Calgary over the long term,” said Daorcey, a member of Mayor Nenshi’s team in an official statement.
To get past government barriers, Mayor Nenshi and his team collaborated with a host of City departments, the Calgary Fire Department, Alberta Health Services and vendors to transform the government and cut red tape in the City of Calgary.
To participate, food trucks will have to obtain a valid business license, meet the health, fire, insurance and code requirements and receive a special permit to operate on street locations throughout Calgary. The program, as a pilot, will be constantly evolving and the City plans to implement clear policy guidelines, identify regulations and bylaws to create a successful food truck culture for Calgary.