With the distant, snow-capped Rocky Mountains as a backdrop to the west, the groundbreaking was presided over by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy. Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department conducted the ceremony on the temple site adjacent to the Calgary Alberta West Stake center. Sister Diane Hallstrom and Sister Vicki Walker accompanied their husbands. Elder Richard K. Melchin, Area Seventy from Calgary, joined the other authorities in the event he has personally labored diligently to bring about.
Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose home residence is within a couple miles of the temple site, sent a personal letter that was delivered at the groundbreaking by special envoy Lee Richardson, a member of Parliament from Calgary. The prime minister described the Calgary temple as "an inspiring landmark and a fitting tribute to the Mormon community's long and proud history in the province and in Canada."
The Calgary Alberta Temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson on Oct. 4, 2008. It is situated roughly midway between the Cardston and Edmonton temples in Alberta.