Amazon has released its shortlist of cities for HQ2 and we are obviously disappointed that Calgary is not among those progressing to the next stage.

The community came together with incredible enthusiasm to help build out our bid for HQ2 and we want to thank all the volunteers and supporters for their remarkable efforts. We would totally fight a bear for each of them.

"Of course we're disappointed Calgary was not shortlisted, but the process of putting together the bid was invaluable, said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “I'm amazed by the incredible folks in the community who offered their time and expertise to pull this together in a short period of time. The momentum and excitement from the Amazon campaign will continue as we focus on new opportunities. In the meantime, we're rooting for Toronto!"

In our debrief with Amazon, it was evident that our marketing efforts far succeeded, and people within Amazon have embraced the spirit of our 'fight a bear' slogan. The marketing campaign succeeded in getting global media coverage, which will help us recruit other companies.

The Amazon bid forced us to raise our game at Calgary Economic Development and we are much better at selling Calgary. We will use elements of the submission in our bids to attract other companies.

Through this process we’ve learned a lot about our strengths and our challenges as a city in an economy that must evolve with a structural change in the energy industry and exponential changes in technology across all sectors. Two things stand out:

  • We need to quickly build both senior and entry-level tech professionals to secure our place in the new economy, including the digitization of our industrial sectors.  
  • We have to strengthen our culture to be even more entrepreneurial, comfortable with uncertainty brought on by technology, and be prepared to fail fast.

We have exceptional talent in Calgary, all the municipal competiveness studies agree, but we need to work to round out that base for the new economy.

We’re not moving forward with HQ2 but we will work tirelessly to bring growing companies to Calgary, and help companies already here expand, to create employment opportunities and fill office space as we grow and diversify our economy.

We are pleased Toronto was among the shortlisted cities and believe Canada has much to offer Amazon and other growing companies.

BY Mary Moran

President & CEO

Office of the President & CEO

CONNECT:

Mary joined the team in 2010 as Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Research and led the development of Calgary: Be Part of the Energy brand campaign. She has extensive experience in the airline and telecommunications industries and earned an MBA from Royal Roads University. She was promoted to CEO in 2015.

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