Excerpts from this article first appeared in Avenue Calgary.
Calgary is a top destination to live, work and play, with a downtown plan to boost the heart of the city and bring a record year for film and television. There's been a wave of momentum in the economy in the first half of 2021 that is changing the narrative about our city and there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Calgary’s future.
As we evolve with the changing economy, Calgary remains among the most liveable cities in the world and a choice destination for homegrown talent and bright minds around the globe.
Listed are five reasons why Calgary is the place to be:
A vibrant downtown strategy
Something that’s vital to a city’s liveability and quality of life is a vibrant downtown that grows economies, creates jobs and funds important municipal services. The City of Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan takes bold steps toward creating an economic and cultural heart of the city for everyone, with a more balanced mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism and culture. Plans are already in place with investments to create a 24/7 centre of commerce, creativity and innovation for decades to come.
Diversified by tech
The city is making waves across all of its established and emerging industries. The differentiator? Technology. Calgary’s most recent billion-dollar unicorn valuations were for tech companies across various industries, including Solium Capital, Enverus Intelligence Research, Parvus Therapeutics and Benevity. Perceptions of Calgary are shifting as our reputation as Canada’s most adventurous tech city – where industry-disrupting work in tech goes hand-in-hand with enjoying an amazing quality of life – takes hold.
Supportive innovation ecosystem
Calgary is an opportunity-rich city where entrepreneurs turn their big ideas into billion-dollar businesses. The innovation ecosystem is supported by a multitude of business accelerators and incubators sparking startups and global scale ups, including the evolution of the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund to create more companies and an environment for success.
A Hollywood-sized spotlight
With an increase in high-budget production activity, 2021 is shaping up to be a record year in film and television for Calgary with thousands of jobs created over the next decade – not to mention the added Hollywood cool factor. The city was one of the first jurisdictions to reopen for production with new safety protocols and tax incentives to attract major projects, along with a boosted reputation as an ‘A’ level global film location.
Greenspace to unplug and play
Our municipal greenspaces – including the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America – have been a respite for many from the accelerated digitalization of everyday life. The City plans to expand this green network with more parks, natural spaces and river frontage connected by pedestrian-friendly main streets. Just an hour’s drive away, our Rocky Mountain playground is a beacon for adventurous innovators around the world.
For more on the Calgary advantage, visit the Our Economy in Depth page. To learn more about the community's economic strategy and complete the engagement survey, visit the Calgary in the New Economy page.