We helped attract, expand and retain 67 companies in 2017 – compared to 37 in 2016 – which supported the creation of 5,719 direct and indirect jobs in Calgary. That’s more than a three-fold increase in the number of jobs from 2016. Our work contributed $520 million to Calgary’s GDP.
The six trade agreements signed in 2017 – up from one a year earlier – are part of a greater focus on developing new markets for Calgary companies. We participated in government trade and investment missions to Asia, Middle East and U.S. markets – including Silicon Valley – to recruit growing companies as well as investors in our major sectors.
Calgary continues to offer exceptional value to companies as a source of high quality and available talent and economical real estate, low cost of doing business and high quality of life. Calgary’s ever-resilient economy created 16,000 jobs in 2017 and we are working with numerous stakeholders to ensure our workforce has the right skill sets for the new economy.
The speed at which technology is transforming our primary industries continued to accelerate. The convergence of numerous technologies, including: artificial intelligence, cyber-security, blockchain, advanced sensors, autonomous vehicles, and 3-D printing is creating opportunities for established companies and startup ventures. We continued to support the growth of an innovation ecosystem as members of Rainforest Alberta and the Calgary Innovation Coalition.
Our activities included enabling Startup Calgary to enhance their services, collaborating with industry to identify the skills gaps and connecting companies with local talent through human-resource events, like PivotTECH. In addition, we attracted Silicon Valley accelerator RocketSpace into the Calgary market.
Within creative industries, film and TV production reached a record $178 million in Southern Alberta in 2017 and the Calgary Film Centre continued our tradition of excellence when the FX Networks’ Fargo won Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
To showcase some of Calgary’s high-growth sectors – agribusiness, logistics and supply management, creative industries, and all forms of energy – we collaborated with governments and industry to host the annual Stampede Investment Forum in July.
We worked to ensure Swoop, WestJet Airlines' ultra low-cost carrier, and the Amazon Distribution Centre were based here. We also advocated for Calgary to be home to the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the National Energy Board. While the CIB ended up going elsewhere, the awareness of what Calgary offers, and our role in the Canadian economy continues to grow.