Top 15 Calgary Economic Development stories of 2022
Amid global economic challenges, 2022 was another record-breaking year for Calgary. From venture capital investment to film and tv production spend, Calgary is well-positioned for the transitioning economy as the momentum accelerates in the city’s innovation ecosystem and economic diversification.
Guiding the path towards a resilient and inclusive city is the updated economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, released at the Report to the Community event in April. The strategy sets Calgary’s vision to be the place where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to help solve global challenges.
As the New Year approaches, we’ve summarized key headlines from our newsroom over the past 12 months, which showcase reasons for optimism in the year ahead.
CREATIVE HUB OF GLOBAL INNOVATION
Sidetrade opens North American hub in Calgary: Sidetrade, a global fintech firm, opened a Calgary office in October with a plan to invest $25 million and create 110 full-time jobs over the next three years.
Infosys doubles job creation commitment: Global tech giant Infosys announced its digital centre will create 1,000 new Calgary jobs as part of its commitment to grow its Canadian workforce to 8,000 employees by 2024.
Multinational IT firm Mphasis opens Calgary office: Mphasis anticipates hiring 200 jobs in the first 12 to 15 months and plans to increase headcount to 1,000 or more within the next five years.
CALGARY COMPANIES SCALE TO GLOBAL HEIGHTS
WestJet names Calgary exclusive global connecting hub: WestJet makes Calgary its home base with YYC Calgary International Airport as the hub for its entire 787 Dreamliner fleet.
Attabotics closes Series C funding: Attabotics unveiled one of the largest fundraising rounds in Alberta’s recent history with $71.7 million USD in its recent Series C-1 round.
Neo Financial becomes $1 billion valued unicorn: After emerging from OCIF-backed business accelerator Harvest Builders, Neo Financial achieved unicorn status in May and is actively hiring over 100 positions.
OCIF ACCELERATES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
OCIF is a key tool to advance the goals of Calgary in the New Economy: The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund makes transformational investments to support catalytic economic diversification, talent development and innovation ecosystem growth.
OCIF announcements in 2022:
- Thin Air Labs Fund I (June)
- IBM (June)
- Avatar Innovations (July)
- Mphasis (December)
- Combine Venture Builders (December)
STUDIES ILLUMINATE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
Lesson’s for Calgary’s innovation ecosystem: This three-part report explored pathways for Calgary to become a top creative hub, where cutting-edge research meets real-world application to solve global challenges. With learnings from other top tech cities, it lays the foundation for HR&A Advisors and O2 Design’s Innovation District Scoping Study in 2023.
Alberta Esports Strategy | A billion-dollar opportunity: Alberta is in the game to become a global esports hub with a strong competitive video gaming community, record innovation investment and an established esports association. Launched in November, the provincial strategy harnesses regional collaboration and provides a framework to seize the $1 billion opportunity in the digital media and entertainment space.
A TOP LIVABLE CITY
Calgary ranked world’s third most livable city: Calgary rose to third place, our highest ever ranking, in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual list of the world’s most livable cities with top marks in culture, environment and education.
LIVE TECH, LOVE LIFE
Calgary rises in rankings as top tech talent city: With 22 per cent growth in tech talent and top tech jobs over the past five years, Calgary ranked 28th among the Top North American markets in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report. Calgary also experienced the fastest pace of tech workforce growth in North America in April at 2.2 per cent, according to LinkedIn Workforce Insights.
WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW
Building talent with work-integrated learning: Calgary announced a Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) pilot program to grow a skilled talent pool and equip students with real-world experience. Launched in collaboration with all seven of Calgary’s post-secondary institutions, local employers, Calgary Economic Development, the Future Skills Centre and the Government of Alberta, students will have access to a one-stop online portal for WIL.
Displaced energy professionals transition to tech: EDGE UP 2.0 (Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project) helped over 100 Calgarians displaced from the energy sector reskill for in-demand careers in tech. The program is delivered in partnership with Future Skills Centre, Information and Communications Technology Council, University of Calgary Continuing Education, SAIT, Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College, and Riipen.
CALGARY IN THE LIMELIGHT
Calgary named top city for movie makers: The Calgary Film Commission’s award-winning ESG strategy, commitment to EDIA and Indigenous Reconciliation and rank as a top 10 city to live and work as a movie maker continued to put Calgary on the global map for film & TV productions. Notable productions including Emmy-award-winning Fraggle Rock, Prey, Under the Banner of Heaven and The Last of Us – one of the largest TV productions in Canadian history – chose to film in Calgary in 2022.
ECONOMIC INSIGHTS FOR 2023
Calgary forecasted to avoid recession in 2023: Economists at Economic Outlook in October anticipated commodity price-driven growth and momentum in the long-term diversification of Calgary’s economy will propel the city in the year ahead.
Stay tuned to our newsroom and social media channels for the latest news on Calgary’s economy in 2023.
Read more about Calgary tech companies, or explore opportunities in tech with Live Tech, Love Life.
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