attracted, retained and expanded
created and retained
film production investment
The Board of Directors and leadership team approved changes to our business plan at mid-year to reflect the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. The reduction in the number of companies attracted and expanded, and lower job creation and retention numbers, reflect the reality of a constrained business environment due to travel restrictions and economic uncertainty.
There was also a strategic change within the organization to refocus efforts due to the pandemic. By both helping local companies to succeed, while also ensuring we direct our focus on bigger companies, our efforts will have a broader impact on the economy.
The commitment to measurable results helps us deliver on our mandate and implement Calgary in the New Economy.
Accelerate sector development & diversification
|Jobs created and retained||8,074||11,455||5,534|
Exceptional client service
|Film production investment||$181M||$197M||$90M|
|Trade and export deals||4||13||16|
|Favorable impression of Calgary Economic Development||NA||78%||83%|
Global recognition as a place to live, learn and do business
|CDN workers/business leaders familiar with YYC||NA||81%/76%||NA|
|CDN business leaders perceive YYC economy as diverse||63%||64%||68%|
The impact of COVID-19 was felt more significantly in our business attraction and retention efforts than any other area. In response to the uniquely challenging situation, the Board of Directors reduced the targeted number of companies attracted and retained in 2020 from 100 to 50. We exceeded the adjusted target and supported the attraction or retention of 54 companies, which translated into the creation or retention of more than 5,500 jobs in Calgary. Our focus also shifted to attracting larger ecosystem-building companies. Much of the organization’s efforts went to supporting local companies in 2020, including initiatives to attract the critical tech talent needed for organizations to execute business plans. 16 local companies that graduated from the Trade Accelerator Program signed deals to expand into new markets. With major industry events shifting to virtual formats in 2020, we adjusted our outreach initiatives to investment attraction and talent recruitment in top Canadian and international markets for our key sectors.
Calgary in the New Economy
Calgary in the New Economy was created by our community, for our community, and in 2020, it proved to be the right strategy for the times. For all the uncertainty, the last year demonstrated the world needs what Calgary companies can provide. Consider the COVID-19 world: a global pandemic requiring fast and efficient health solutions. Food security and international supply chains were threatened and needed innovative responses. Widely-distributed workforces proved their value, and the drive to cleaner energy remained a priority worldwide. These are all areas where Calgary excels.Learn More
Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund
COVID-19 and an oil price war had a significant impact on the operations of the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund in 2020. They prompted the Board of Directors to pause and refocus on providing support for investee companies in the midst of economic uncertainty with full operations resuming in July 2020. At year-end 2020, $42 million in funding had been allocated to 14 projects which supports a total investment of $636 million into the local economy.Learn More Reports
Live Tech, Love Life
Talent is crucial to economic development and was a top priority for Calgary Economic Development in 2020. To help address the demand for in-demand tech skills and talent, we focused on three specific areas: retention, attraction, and retraining. Live Tech, Love Life is a talent attraction campaign launched in 2019 to position Calgary as the one city in Canada where you can truly live tech and love life. Where you can do meaningful, disruptive work in tech, and enjoy an unparalleled quality of life.
Team Calgary is a partnership program between Calgary Economic Development and the private sector. The program encompasses the team approach to economic development for our community as we showcase Calgary as a great place to do business and make a life.
It is the support of our partners that allowed Calgary Economic Development to carry out our vision for Calgary with a renewed sense of clarity and focus.Meet our partners
COVID: CONNECTING YYC
When COVID-19 prompted governments to introduce measures to slow its spread beginning in March 2020, Calgary Economic Development, working in collaboration with Calgary’s civic partners, responded with a three-stage approach to support Calgarians and the business community – respond, rebuild, recover.
The website Connecting YYC was created to link businesses in need of talent with job seekers, particularly those immediately displaced by the pandemic. The YYC Business Marketplace was created to provide an online platform for local companies to share stories of how they are supporting their peers, the community and the economy during the pandemic. It was also created to help individuals connect to opportunities and services they had on offer. A student matching portal allowed students looking for real world experience in their field of study to help local businesses connect.
By the numbers
Jobs webpage views
Talent webpage views
YYC Marketplace webpage views
Mission to India
Just prior to the implementation of travel restrictions, Mayor Naheed Nenshi led a Calgary delegation to India (New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai) focused on technology, talent, education, advanced manufacturing, film production and creative industries. The mission laid the groundwork for an increased focus on India for Calgary.Mission Summary Mission Full Report
AN AWARD-WINNING YEAR
International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
We took home Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes in Excellence in Economic Development Awards that recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders.
Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals
We were the recipient of four MarCom Awards, one of the most prestigious creative competitions in the world that recognizes outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design, and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.