Set dramatically between prairies and peaks, Calgary is a chic metropolis in southern Alberta, buzzing with innovative energy while embracing its rich western heritage. Immerse yourself in that Wild West spirit at the annual Calgary Stampede, a 10 day whoop-up embraced by the whole city. Surrounded by incomparable natural beauty, this is a place where you can explore the magic of the Canadian Rockies or the mystery of the badlands by day and be back in time for dinner. Calgary’s cultural scene sizzles with its spectrum of arts and performing arts and there’s serious magic to be found in the city’s ever-evolving culinary scene.
The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors.The Calgary CMA is home to the second-highest number of corporate head offices in Canada among the country’s 800 largest corporations.
In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympic Games.
Recent History of Calgary
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was significant, and the unemployment rate soared. By the end of the decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both economically and culturally. The period during this recession marked Calgary’s transition from a mid-sized and relatively nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse centre. This transition culminated in the city hosting Canada’s first Winter Olympics in 1988. The success of these Games essentially put the city on the world stage.
Thanks in part to escalating oil prices, the economy in Calgary and Alberta was booming until the end of 2009, and the region of nearly 1.1 million people was home to the fastest growing economy in the country. While the oil and gas industry comprise an important part of the economy, the city has invested a great deal into other areas such as tourism and high-tech manufacturing. Over 3.1 million people now visit the city annually for its many festivals and attractions, especially the Calgary Stampede. The nearby mountain resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore are also becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and are bringing people into Calgary as a result. Other modern industries include light manufacturing, high-tech, film, e-commerce, transportation, and services.
Widespread flooding throughout southern Alberta, including on the Bow and Elbow rivers, forced the evacuation of over 75,000 city residents on June 21, 2013 and left large areas of the city, including downtown, without power.