areas of focus



strategies + actions

1. global energy

Calgary is an undisputed global energy centre. Our international reputation attracts new people, investment and businesses as we strengthen the energy value chain.
Build on Calgary’s position as the centre for responsible energy development and leadership.
  • Promote the social, environmental and innovative advancements in the energy industry

Leverage the strength and international reach of the energy industry to grow high potential energy-related sectors.
  • Collaborate to enhance the effectiveness of international investment and trade missions

  • Collaborate with high growth, energy- related industries to maximize investment and trade opportunities



2. entrepreneurial energy

Calgary is a magnet for businesses fostering pathways to purposeful economic diversification and growth.
Build on our business strengths, infrastructure and location to strategically grow non energy-related sectors.
  • Make Calgary more competitive and maximize growth opportunities by increasing local intelligence outreach.

  • Build financial services capacity to grow and attract international financial institutions (banks, fund management, investment firms, private equity).

  • Maintain a sufficient, available supply of future industrial and employment land for development within Calgary and the region.

  • Solidify the region’s position as western Canada’s premiere distribution and logistics hub.

  • Grow the creative industries and the digital economy.

  • Grow tourism through enhanced local attractions and better collaboration with world-class regional destinations

  • Support opportunities emerging from agriculture and bio-industry in support of a healthy regional economy. (New)

Provide business and entrepreneurs the support to grow.
  • Support continued improvement in development approvals and red-tape reduction initiatives.

  • Improve the business support system to early stage businesses and entrepreneurs.

  • Develop pathways to entrepreneurship for future leaders and youth.


3. Innovative Energy

Calgary fosters a culture of innovation where problems are solved through a systems approach harnessing the power of technology.
Leverage the strength of the energy industry to establish Calgary as a preferred location in Canada to successfully start, build, and grow early stage technology companies.
  • Establish and strengthen linkages between the energy and technology sectors.

  • Build connections, capital flows and knowledge transfer between the energy finance and technology finance communities.

  • Attract foreign direct investment and trade opportunities for the technology sector.

Promote a culture of innovation throughout industry, the public sector, educational institutions and community agencies.
  • Establish new and support existing hubs of innovation, providing virtual and physical spaces where communities of interest can exchange ideas.

  • Enhance guidance, mentoring and coaching available to technology and innovation entrepreneurs.

Integrate technology entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship content in post-secondary education programs to meet the future labour force needs of the technology sector.
Celebrate and promote innovation.

4. people energy

Calgary embraces social inclusion and shared prosperity.
Invest in equal opportunity and prosperity for all Calgarians.
  • Maximize the opportunities of all Calgarians to capitalize on their full potential. (Revised)

  • Support the implementation of ‘Enough for All’ (the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative) in generating economic activity that provides strong social benefits. (Revised)

  • Collectively map, develop and implement a welcoming program for newcomers to Calgary.


5. community energy

Calgary is a vibrant, urban and prosperous community that offers people friendly neighbourhoods, diverse housing, and inspirational spaces.
Build Calgary as a model city for sustainable development and affordable living.
  • Build a range of housing options for all ages, income groups and family types and to meet the needs of residents today and tomorrow.
  • Direct future growth in a way that fosters more compact and efficient use of land, creates complete communities, allows for greater mobility choices and enhances vitality and character in local neighbourhoods.
Build and promote Calgary as a city to live a creative, active life.
  • Develop an integrated, multi-modal transportation system that supports a prosperous and competitive economy.
  • Address greater connectivity between Calgary’s primary cultural, recreation and commercial districts in the Centre City (Stampede Park to Calgary Zoo and Inglewood to Downtown West Village).
Establish Calgary as an artistically vibrant city and cultural destination in Canada.
Build a city where all Calgarians can participate in sport and recreation to the extent they choose.


6. collaborative energy

Calgary is the best place to live in Canada, with strong collaboration between public, private and non- profit sector partners in building a great city.

Tell Calgary’s unique and compelling story with a unified approach.
  • Position Calgary as the location of choice to live, visit, meet, start a business and invest.
  • Showcase Calgary’s urban assets to the world and increase citizen participation in events and festivals.
Connect organizations and individuals to build collaboration, leadership and reporting on the activities of the Economic Strategy for Calgary.
  • Implement the Economic Development Strategy.



success stories

area of focus: global energy

area of focus: entrepreneurial energy

  • Civic partners Brand Committee conducted best practice into designing ambassador programs.

  • In the first five years the Global Business Centre served 40 companies, half of which established a permanent office in Calgary.

  • Three outbound trade and investment missions to China in Q1 2016.

  • Hosted 51 inbound trade missions at the Global Business Centre.

  • Beginning to develop a destination strategy for Calgary, examining which elements Calgary needs to be a premier destination.

  • In 2015, District Ventures was launched as consumer products accelerator.

  • In 2015, the Business Link returned to Calgary placing a local staff resource to support local entrepreneurs.

area of focus: innovative energy

area of focus: people energy

  • 10 Kinetica Ventures clients advanced to deep engagements.

  • COSIA launched the $20 million Carbon XPRIZE .challenging the world to reimagine what can be done with CO2 emissions.

  • Mount Royal University Launched a Social Innovation Hub.

  • Co led the creation of WCIO – the Western Canadian Innovation Offices, a consortium of 36 post-secondary tech transfer offices.

  • Community Social Workers work in 23 priority neighbourhoods to increase the social and economic participation of citizens. 

  • Calgary Economic Development has initiated the Re-engage Speaker series to provide information and networking opportunities to those laid off in the recent downturn.

  • Calgary Economic Development with Bow Valley College launched the Connector Program to expand networks of qualified, marginalized workers.

area of focus: community energy

area of focus: collaborative energy

  • The City of Calgary allocated additional funding to the Calgary Housing Company to increase the supply of affordable housing to low income Calgarians.

  • This is My Neighbourhood completed engagement with the 14 participating neighbourhoods in developing their visions.

  • Through Q1 Calgary Transit conducted a major review of 12 bus routes in the northwest and inner city resulting in new transit routes coming into effect 2016 September.

  • Calgary Economic Development received additional funds in the amount of $6.675 million for the Opportunity Calgary initiative from the City of Calgary to accelerate the implementation of the Economic Strategy for Calgary.

  • Calgary Economic Development hosted the second Economic Summit with almost 200 participants.

up next: reporting

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