In 1914, a major oil discovery south of the city ensured Calgary’s future as the “Energy Capital of Canada” and fuelled the city’s growth.
With a population today of 1.1 million, the Calgary area is Canada’s fastest growing economic region and regarded as Western Canada’s business centre. Over 108,000 new jobs were created over the period of 1998-2002, representing the highest average annual increase (4.2%) in jobs among Canadian cities.
Calgary is home to the majority of Canada’s oil and gas production companies, major pipeline operators, oilfield service and drilling companies, and energy-related engineering and consulting firms. Many of these companies have significant international operations, which are directed from their Calgary headquarters. The city’s stellar economic performance is demonstrated as the key contributor to Alberta’s over C$55 billion in exports.
The city has the second largest concentration of employment and expertise in the oil and gas sector in North America, with over 2,500 petroleum engineers and more than 58,000 additional persons employed in related natural and applied sciences. Many technologies developed in Calgary for Canada’s challenging geological and environmental conditions are now deployed around the world.
While it continues to be a major centre for the global energy industry, the rapidly expanding economy has diversified far beyond this traditional strength. Transportation and Logistics, Information and Communication Technology, Financial and Business services, Film and Tourism are industries contributing to the city’s significant economic growth and to its international reputation for innovation.
Situated in the spectacular Rocky Mountain Foothills, the city rates as one of the world’s cleanest cities and was awarded two “Safe Community” designations in 2003. Calgary is also a community rich in the arts, culture, entertainment and outdoor adventure, with world-class events such as the Calgary Stampede and the famed equestrian and show jumping at Spruce meadows.