In response to the current economic environment the City of Calgary established the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund as a tool to attract and support transformative investments in the city.
The $100-million fund offers opportunities for private sector companies, non-profits and public institutions making transformative investments in Calgary that will be catalysts for economic growth, diversification, increased employment, and expansion of the property tax assessment base.
Innovative and catalytic projects don’t necessarily fit in an easily defined box. In order to promote innovation and creativity the eligibility criteria are minimal and general.
To qualify for OCIF funding, the applicant:
To qualify for OCIF funding the project must:
Eligible projects can apply for up to 50% of the project budget. Early stage operations and startup costs are not eligible for funding. For more information please see the Program Guide or contact the OCIF team.
To be successful in receiving OCIF funding, applicants must demonstrate how their project is aligned with the following assessment criteria:
Increases in direct investment, revenues, and property tax
Increase in the quantity and quality of full-time direct and indirect jobs
Strategic projects that spur and facilitate growth
Investment in key industries and emerging, high potential sectors
Align with other public and private initiatives
Benefits to citizens or the environment
For more information, please view the Program Guide.
Applicants must submit the Application Form through the portal. It will then be evaluated against the eligibility and assessment factors. Organizations are encouraged to read both the Program Guide and the Application Guide before beginning their application.
Applicants with significant OCIF funding potential will progress to the next phase and will be required to submit a detailed Business Case.
Successful applicants who are approved for funding will be required to complete ongoing monitoring and reporting on the funds received during the development phase as well as during ongoing project operations.
OCIF will be accepting continuous applications until all funds are allocated. Applicants can expect a response approximately four to six weeks from the date of submission.
We highly recommend speaking to an OCIF representative prior to beginning your application form.
Click here for a PDF copy of the application form. This is for informational purposes only, all applications must be submitted through the online portal.
All information provided in the application form and business case will be held in confidence.
Calgary’s economy was deeply impacted by a structural change the energy sector and the 2014-2015 recession. It prompted municipal and business leaders to take the bold action to support growth in key sectors and diversify Calgary’s economy. At the Downtown Economic Summit in March 2017, it was determined a business-as-usual approach wouldn’t be enough to fill vacant office space or create good-paying jobs so the Fund was proposed by City Council.
The Fund has intentionally stayed away from narrowly defining eligible projects because it’s recognized that innovation and creativity are possible in any business and sector. Successful projects will create jobs and create an economic return. Applications for projects carrying out “business as usual” growth strategies that are not catalytic and innovative for the city’s economy will not be funded.
Examples of ineligible costs include but are not limited to:
OCIF reserves the right to make the final determination on eligible and ineligible expenses.
Yes. The Fund is intended to attract business investment to Calgary but also support local companies making ground-breaking investments or creating new business lines which will spur catalytic growth and economic diversification.
All applications will be assessed on the same criteria, regardless of the size of the grant to be awarded, on the degree to which the investment creates benefits and is aligned with the assessment areas:
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary. Oversight is provided by a board of directors comprised of 10 volunteers who are prominent leaders from Calgary’s business community and municipal government.
The board of directors provides oversight and guidance to ensure the Fund aligns with the Economic Strategy for Calgary and that efficient processes, rigorous reviews and validation, transparency and accountability are maintained.
The members of the board of directors, as of April 2018, are:
Many governments in Canada and the United States have similar funds to the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. Two prominent examples are The Texas Enterprise Fund that supports business attraction in the state, and in Ontario, Waterloo used $110 million to support its highly successful economic development fund.
The program is funded entirely from the City’s existing fiscal reserves and will have no impact on property tax rates.
The City of Calgary’s goal is to support job creation and increase the municipal property assessment base. It is prohibited from providing loans or becoming a partner in commercial ventures.
The funding is intended to be a non-repayable contribution. However there are stringent reporting requirements for recipients to ensure they comply with all provisions of the funding. Recipients that do not meet all terms laid out in the funding agreement may be subject to repaying all or some of the funds.