This article is part of the Bright Leaders of Calgary series, which features prominent corporate leaders and their insights on the local business community and vision for the future.
Currently home to 1.6 million people of over 300 ethnic origins – and counting – Calgary is emerging as a top destination to build a fulfilling life and career.
Postmedia captures the dynamic stories of Calgarians and Calgary-based businesses with big ideas that change the world, through local publications including the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun.
With three decades of experience telling these stories, and now serving as Deputy Editor of Postmedia Calgary, Monica Zurowski has a unique perspective into the talent and businesses that shape Calgary. We sat down with Monica for her insights on why Calgary is emerging as one of the best places to build a life, a priority outlined in Calgary’s economic strategy.
How would you describe the Calgary community to a non-Calgarian?
Calgary’s community is vibrant and surprising. In the past two decades, the city has taken an interesting turn, especially in arts and culture. Our theatre scene has dramatically expanded, our food scene is winning awards, we host festivals all year long, and it’s possible you’ll see a familiar city block captured on the big screen of a Hollywood film production.
But it’s really the people here that make Calgary so unique. We continue to welcome people from all parts of the world who bring their own cultures, infuse them into the existing culture and contribute to the dynamism that Calgary offers.
There’s something in Calgary for everyone, and there’s always something new to discover here.
What’s your take on Calgary’s business environment?
The business community in Calgary is unique, because we have both large corporations making mega, billion-dollar deals, and a strong concentration of small-and-medium sized businesses. With many entrepreneurs leading successful ventures, we see local visionaries at the helm of startups like GeologicAI scale globally and land deals that have attracted financial backing from the likes of Bill Gates.
This enthusiastic approach is not new. Calgary has always been a city where people have a can-do spirit and work hard to achieve their dreams. This tradition dates back centuries from the early days of oil discovery to the present boom in the technology sector, where new businesses and startups spring up every day.
The opportunities for partnerships and innovation in Calgary’s business community are limitless.
What are your insights and observations of Calgary’s talent pool?
Calgary is welcoming newcomers in record numbers, which is directly building a highly-skilled, extremely diverse and ambitious talent pool. Now more than ever, we have talent that has travelled to a number of places around the world, worked in multiple sectors and is eager to dive in.
Beyond new jobs or career moves, talent in Calgary is constantly looking for opportunities to expand their understanding of the world. There's a constant demand for new programming to hone skills in emerging industries, like the programs catered for film and TV or digital media at Bow Valley College.
What gives you optimism about Calgary’s future?
My optimism about Calgary’s future stems from the collective dreams and ambitions of Calgarians.
Calgarians want to make Calgary the best community it can be. A place where it’s possible for them to fulfill their goals and dreams. Here, it’s less about who you know, and more about what you want to do, and where you want to go.
Where do you see Calgary in the next five to ten years?
Calgary is a city where everyone is part of the same community despite our diverse cultures. My hope is that we can maintain our reputation as a city where everyone is welcome and where everyone can succeed.
For Calgary to continue to grow and thrive, it’s important that we remain an open-door city, welcoming to and supportive of everyone who chooses to move here and call the city home.
About Team Calgary: The Team Calgary corporate partnership program engages our community’s visionary thought leaders to influence Calgary’s economic growth and create long-term prosperity and opportunities for all Calgarians.
Together, we advance the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, as the path to make Calgary the place where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to help solve global challenges.