GARY GILLAN admits the backing of the Calgary community has been key as Rangers supporters get set to descend on the city for the NARSA Convention.
The Light Blue legions have been to the likes of Las Vegas, Vancouver and Ontario in recent years.
The Rangers Supporters Club of Calgary will host the event this time around as North American fans come together once again.
And Gillan, a past president of NARSA and current president of the Calgary RSC, is confident the combined efforts will pay off for those that attend.
He told SportTimes: “This is our second convention that we are hosting, the last one was in 2008. We partnered with Tourism Calgary, the local tourism authority here, in 2008 and they provided help and support and guidance on organising the convention.
“We sat down and spoke to Tourism Calgary and they were very supportive again and jumped at the chance to partner with us and provide all the help and support they could.
“Part of that came in a $10,000 grant to enable us to spend on local things that would enhance the experience of our attendees.
“It is about the convention but also western hospitality as we call in here and, essentially, showcasing Calgary.
“We didn’t have to raise any further funds and we have since had sponsorship help. We had what we needed and then we got on with the enjoyment of organising the event.
“Every year we are looking to enhance the experience and there is a friendly competitiveness and people thinking ‘that was a great idea, I wish we had done it’. We are immensely proud to say we are on track for a brilliant convention.
“There are events around it that will enhance the experience. There is a Rangers Charity Foundation event, there is a golf day, there is a western experience excursion, there is a football match and a leaving do on the Sunday.
“It adds up to a better class of event that we are able to provide than we would have been if we had not had that grant funding. You can partner with organisations, this is a model that can work.”