Digital transformation (DX) is quickly becoming the largest driver of creative solutions and technology investments among Calgary businesses. It’s projected that Calgary’s creative industries sector will spend $566 million on DX between from 2022 and 2024, making way for gaming, esports, immersive technologies, animation, and visual effects to be key engines of growth.

Animation & Visual Effects Growth Strategy

Alberta is positioned to be a leading centre for digital media productions in Canada and a destination for global animation and visual effects (VFX) talent and studios. Alberta’s Animation and VFX Growth Strategy identifies four pillars to position the industry for sustainable, long-term growth and establish the province as an interdisciplinary digital media production hub.

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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, Alberta is ready to seize the billion-dollar opportunity. The Alberta Esports Strategy identifies four pillars to form the foundation of a robust esports ecosystem. 

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Calgary is one of the most cost-competitive major cities in North America to operate in. The city offers affordable property and utility costs including low real estate rental rates in the downtown core. Calgary also has the second-lowest commercial property taxes of major Canadian cities. Beyond affordability, Alberta has funding options to help take your business to the next level.

Looking for additional information on funding?

Check out the Government of Canada’s triage tool to learn more about non-dilutive funding options specific to your startup. Local startups can also create a profile on Start Alberta, a database for local startups and investors. You can also see a comprehensive list of Angel Investors & Venture Capital, as well as Grants, Financing & Funding on our research page.

Investing in digital transformation

IDC Canada forecasts an estimated $7.5 billion will be spent in Calgary through 2022 with local companies leading the $18.4 billion forecast to be spent in Alberta. Spending on technologies and services will enable digital transformation of business practices, products, and organizations across all industries.

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Calgary is an opportunity-rich city

Our interactive investment map highlights the foreign direct investment (FDI) that has taken place in the Calgary area over the past 6 years. Explore Alberta’s digital economy through the Start Alberta digital platform, a useful tool for exploring our tech community and ecosystem.

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Calgary’s gaming ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth. There are more than 60 companies working on video games and/or immersive media products and services. A recent Nordicity survey found that over 200 people were working in the video games and immersive media industry in Calgary – with 70 per cent of companies looking to hire roughly 5 or more people in the next year. 


Esports has taken the world by storm in recent years, integrating itself into popular culture and attracting global investors. Newzoo has predicted the global market forecast for the global video game industry to be around the $218 billion USD mark by 2024.

The Alberta Esports Strategy is a cross-provincial effort with Calgary and Edmonton partners to showcase the economic viability of the Esports industry, as well as strategize on best practices of growing this sector in our province.

Sub-sector Profile

Alberta Esports Association 

Animation and visual effects

Animation and visual effects (VFX) are a dominant force in the creative and digital tech landscape. The global spend for the animation and visual effects market is expected to reach $289.4B USD by 2026. In 2021, the animation and visual effects industry in Alberta generated a total of $10M in GDP.   

Calgary’s cost effective and business friendly environment, along with funding opportunities for this sector provide a great location for you to grow your studio. 

Sub-sector Profile

Quickdraw Animation Society  

Post-Production, Visual Effects and Digital Animation Grant (PPG)

Immersive technologies

There are more than 60 companies working on immersive media and digital technology products and services in the city. Low operating costs and accessible space, mixed with the right talent and an unmatched quality of life, make Calgary a smart move for your Digital Media & Entertainment business.

Digital Media

Calgary’s corporate landscape creates consistent demand for digital advertising services and commercial digital content creation. Our diverse industry leaders will be your partners as you unlock the potential of doing business in Calgary.

Want to learn more? Get in touch

Tori Romano web 2022 500x500
Tori Romano

Business Development Manager, Digital Media & Entertainment

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