Royal Couple with girls

Photo credit: University of Calgary

Royal Visit – University of Calgary

The goal:

To position the University of Calgary as a leading post-secondary institution on a global scale, and to increase funding and awareness opportunities for the University and the W21C initiative.

The project:

In July 2011, Prince William and his bride, Kate, visited Calgary as part of their Royal Visit to Canada. Lisa Rushka was engaged by the University of Calgary to manage the logistics surrounding the couple’s visit to the University of Calgary’s Ward of the 21st Century – Research and Innovation Laboratory (W21C).

Lisa worked with a small but integrated team of individuals responsible for security, protocol and government relations; media relations; staff of W21C and internal University communications.

The challenges involved with the Royal Visit were due to the top-secret status of the event, with only a select few individuals knowing specifics during the seven-week planning phase. This complicated dealings with suppliers, and compressed the timelines, as we were only able to provide certain details to key individuals two weeks before the event.

The result:

The event was a huge success. With hundreds of citizens looking on, the President, Board Chair and Chancellor greeted the royal couple, a member of the University’s swim club presented flowers to Her Highness and 60 W21C staff gathered in the lobby to be addressed by the Royal Couple. The couple was thoroughly engaged in the tour of the Research and Innovation Laboratory, interacting with staff and even performing CPR on a robotic patient. The presentation of a commemorative plaque by the Premier of Alberta was seamless, and though time did not permit for an official “meet & greet”, the media coverage of their tour was international in scope and accurate and informative in content. The University of Calgary’s W21C has seen a significant increase in interest since the Royal Tour, and continues to explore opportunities that resulted from that exposure.