2016 Annual Report

We Are

Calgary Economic Development is in the business of facilitating prosperity.

We are conduits, connectors, catalysts and storytellers for an entrepreneurial and innovative city. We collaborate with stakeholders to advance economic growth and diversification to create opportunities for all Calgarians and to build a vibrant, sustainable community.

As stewards of the economic strategy for Calgary, Building on our Energy, our efforts are driven by long-term goals. Our job is to connect people with the resources to help their careers and businesses, thrive in new locations or markets, and feel at home in our community.


We Do

We work with businesses, governments, educators and community partners to position Calgary globally as a location for business investment, which in turn fosters trade and supports our highly skilled workforce.

Advisory Committees

  • Agribusiness
  • Economic Strategy Leadership & Implementation Team
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Financial Services
  • Real Estate
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Services
  • Workforce


  • Promoting Calgary
  • Research & Strategy
  • Workforce Initiatives
  • Local Business Development
  • Business Investment & Attraction
  • Trade & Export Development
  • Headquarter & Real Estate Support
  • Business-to-Business, Business-to-Government Connections

Balanced Scorecard

Accelerate sector development & diversification Target Actual
Companies won 31 37
Trade and investment deals supported 13 1
Direct/indirect jobs created/retained 1,300 1,561
Film production $160 M $165.5 M
Inspire stakeholder collaboration
Completion of economic strategy tactics 20% 37%
Core indicators improved 30% 7%
Non-core funding $1.87 M $11.5 M
New employer WORKshift clients 30 2
Enchance Calgary's Image
Canadians with a favourable impression of Calgary 70% 75%
Build an authentic brand for CED
Aided awareness of CED 85% 85%
CED clients use research services 30% 40%

Opportunity Calgary Funding

Research Projects, Studies & Reports

  • Business Confidence Survey
  • National Perceptions Survey
  • Agribusiness Opportunities
  • Financial Services Opportunities
  • Green Economy Opportunities
  • Post-Secondary Economic Impact
  • Shared Workspaces
  • Talent Supply-Demand
  • Transportation & Logistics Opportunities

What We
Did in 2016

As unemployment rose above 10 per cent and over 25 per cent of downtown office space was empty, our focus in 2016 was to promote Calgary as a talent hub, accelerate diversification, attract corporate headquarters, address office vacancies and develop an innovation ecosystem.

Our efforts are being supported with $10 million in additional funding over three years from The City of Calgary, Government of Alberta and Government of Canada. The Opportunity Calgary funds will help diversify the economy and implement a strategic, coordinated and sustained campaign. As part of the changes at Calgary Economic Development to enhance organizational excellence, we put in place a three-year strategy. It establishes goals, sets performance metrics and measures progress in five key areas.

In the ongoing development of Building on our Energy: an economic strategy for Calgary, the commitment to strengthening the innovation ecosystem will support future prosperity. This aligns with our efforts to support local businesses and promote our workforce.


Case Study: De Beers

"We looked at a lot of options across Canada. Calgary came out the winner." Kim Truter
CEO De Beers Canada

De Beers considered several options when relocating its Canadian head office but chose Calgary because of the access to its operations, global travel connections, lifestyle, and quality of the workforce.



In a city renowned for energy, it’s people who power Calgary.

A young, well-educated workforce with the highest labour force productivity among Canadian cities and a track record of doing business on a global scale makes Calgary an ideal place for companies to grow.

The availability of people in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields that drive technological innovation is a top attribute in studies that evaluate Calgary’s economic competitiveness.

Even through a downturn, the population continues to grow as people see Calgary as a place of opportunity. Both labour force (907,200) and Calgarians employed (815,500) reached record highs in 2016.

Calgary's Talent

Workforce Development Study 2016

Calgary Economic Development conducted a labour study focused on remote work opportunities to meet employer needs. The Top 20 occupations available are:

  • Financial auditors and accountants
  • Information systems analysts and consultants
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Business management consulting
  • Computer programmers, interactive media developers
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electrical and electronics engineers
  • Accounting and related clerks
  • Land surveyors
  • Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
  • Database analysts & data administrators
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • Lawyers
  • Financial and investment analysts
  • Science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
  • Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
  • Biologists and related scientists
  • Architects
  • Purchasing agents and officers

Re-engaging Workers

Working with stakeholders like Alberta Human Services, we helped laid-off professionals and skilled trade workers with the Re-engage workshops. Experts provided advice on topics ranging from networking to skills enhancement to financial advice.

Making Connections

The Calgary Connector Program engaged underrepresented groups in the workforce and business leaders and led to a record 48 job offers. The Careers in Manufacturing program that provides high school students workplace tours to promote career options, became Careers in Calgary.

Youth Employment

Robyn Bews, Executive Director of WORKshift and the Talent Hub initiative, was one of eight Canadians appointed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment.


Areas of growth in key sectors:


  • Clean energy tech
  • Renewables
  • Value-added products & processes
  • Natural gas economy


  • Value-added food & meat processing
  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Crop science & animal genetics
  • Ag tech
  • Ag business services


  • Smart inland port
  • Robotics & automation
  • Geomatics data analysis
  • Unmanned vehicles

Financial Services

  • Infrastructure financing
  • Green financing
  • Global banking
  • Venture capital & private equity

Creative Industries

  • Film & TV production
  • Calgary Film Centre
  • Digital & Animation

Innovation will help diversify Calgary’s economy in the areas with the best opportunities for sustained economic competitiveness, resiliency and diversity.

With activity in oil and gas unlikely to return to previous levels, there’s greater focus on opportunities in other sectors and their related technologies. Purposeful diversification will build on the strengths of existing businesses and the skills of our workforce.

Even with diversification, Calgary remains an energy city. Working with post-secondary institutions and governments, companies are pursuing renewable energy and technology advances for greener conventional fuels.

Taking flight

Case Study: Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines’ inaugural non-stop flight from Beijing touched down at YYC International Airport in June. The connection with Hainan, China’s largest private-sector airline, will support over 600 direct and indirect jobs in Calgary.

Breathtaking Vistas

Film & TV Production

A dozen film and TV productions were shot in southern Alberta in 2016 including Fargo (Season 3), Heartland (Season 10) and Tin Star. We also hosted 22 familiarization tours for location scouts to facilitate future productions.


Calgary is at a turning point and 2016 saw the implementation of a strategic, coordinated and sustained effort to attract investment and companies.

The multi-year strategy is focused on bringing head offices, branch plants, satellite facilities and regional offices to Calgary.

Available talent and real estate, a low cost of doing business – and quality of life – are selling points for businesses to relocate. We’ve set ambitious goals to attract companies; in 2016, we got 37.

Setting up for success

Global Business Centre:

We hosted 159 events at the Global Business Centre for incoming businesses and local companies. We hosted 26 delegations from Europe, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere and provided temporary offices for 11 companies including Cotopaxi (U.K.) and CLEAResult (U.S.).

Calgary's Story

Signature Events

  • Report to Community
  • Economic Outlook
  • Soul of the City
  • Stampede Investment Forum

The Be Part of the Energy marketing campaign was expanded in 2016 and showcased the Calgarians who are creating game-changing technological advances in business or industry. The messages are inspiring – Calgary is a place where entrepreneurs, creators and innovators succeed. This is the time to invest in Calgary.

studio revolution

* Follow #lifeinCalgary for more businesses in YYC


Board of Directors

Steve Allan
Chair Corporate Director

Leontine Atkins

Eric Axford
Suncor Energy

Shannon Bowen-Smed
Bowen Works

Lori Caltigrone
Sunesis Consulting

Debra Deane

Trent Edwards
Brookfield Residential

Jeff Fielding
City of Calgary

Tom Hodson
Tiger Calcium Corp.

Hannes Kovac
OPUS Corporation

Brad Pierce
Borden Ladner Gervais

David Ross

Quincy Smith
Dentons Canada

Rollin Stanley
City of Calgary

Ward Sutherland
Councillor, Ward 1

Kevin Zimmel
Royal Bank of Canada

Senior Management Team

Mary Moran
President & Chief Executive Officer

Luke Azevedo
Commissioner Film, Television & Creative Industries

Lisa Corcoran
Vice President Marketing & Communications

Court Ellingson
Vice President Research & Strategy

Deana Haley
Vice President Business Development & Workforce Innovation

Gillian McCormack
Vice President Trade, Investment & Attraction

Sheila Will
Chief Financial Officer & Vice President Operations

Thank You Action Calgary Partners

The Action Calgary corporate partnership program engages business leaders to influence the direction of our city’s economy.




  • Aecon Group
  • Aspen Properties
  • ATCO Group
  • Birchcliff Energy
  • Bow Valley College
  • Brookfield Residential
  • Calgary Regional Partnership
  • Calgary TELUS
  • Convention Centre
  • Cenovus Energy
  • Dentons
  • DIRTT Environmental
  • DMG
  • Enbridge
  • Evans Hunt
  • GE Canada
  • Gowling WLG
  • Joe Media Group
  • JWN Energy
  • KPMG
  • Matco Development
  • Metro Calgary
  • Mount Royal University
  • Nexen Energy
  • Redpoint Media Group
  • Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
  • RGO
  • SAIT
  • Siemens Canada
  • University of Calgary
  • WMC
  • WestJet Airlines


  • Agrium
  • AXIA SuperNet
  • Bennett Jones LLP
  • Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP
  • Calgary Airport Authority
  • Calgary Folk Music Festival
  • Calgary Opera
  • Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)
  • Calgary Zoo
  • Cresa Calgary
  • First Calgary Financial
  • Glenbow Museum
  • Global Fest
  • HBI
  • Haworth
  • Kasian
  • Korite International
  • Lawson Projects
  • PwC
  • Quintaro Imaging
  • Saipem
  • Shape Properties
  • Sizeland Evans Interior Design
  • St. Mary’s University
  • Stone-Olafson
  • Theatre Calgary
  • Trico Homes
  • V Strategies
  • YMCA Calgary
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