2. History of Calgary’s Economy

The Bow in downtown Calgary is the second highest in the city.  Consisting of 58-stories, it is 236 meters high.  Completed in 2012, it is known for its unique and outstanding architecture. The sculpture at the bottom is called “Wonderland” created by Spanish sculptor Juame Plensa.

With a population of over 1.2 million and rising, Calgary was named as one of the “fastest-growing and most prosperous cities” in Canada, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Located in the heart of southern Alberta, a province that thrives on the oil and gas industry, much of Calgary’s own wealth relies considerably on the high-risk and extremely fluctuating energy.  

Calgary’s economy also includes industries of finance, film and television, transportation, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism.  

Calgary Economic Development states that Calgary is home to over 16 per cent of Canada’s major corporate headquarters, 134 in total.  Of those, 70 are energy- related.  It places 32 around the world for quality of life, according to the 2017 annual Mercer report.


Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to Banff.

Photo by Janaia Hutzal

Besides being known as the “Corporate Capital of the West” with a fluctuating,  yet still superior quality of life, Calgary is also revered for its beauty.  Surrounding the Bow and Elbow Rivers that flow from the encompassing snowy peaks, Calgarians enjoy the close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, with a short 126.8 km drive to Banff National Park.


The bottom of Bow Falls in Banff National Park is a beautiful hike or drive to be enjoyed.

By Janaia Hutzal

With the rising oil production and increased drilling levels, Alberta’s economy is projected to grow by 6.7 per cent this year, according to the latest forecast from the Conference Board of Canada.  In 2016 Calgary’ s unemployment rate hit over 10 percent, placing Calgary one of the highest in the province, when  in 2008 Calgary’s unemployment was as low as 3 per cent.

Diversification does come with some scepticism and criticism, considering the big dollars that the oil and gas sector bring to the economy.

Many of the jobs created during this past recession, when Calgarians were hit-hard, were in the private sector.  Which is why diversification of Calgary’s economy has been a much talked about dilemma.  Diversification does come with some scepticism and criticism, considering the big dollars that the oil and gas sector bring to the economy, but to maintain more of a balance for the next recession, it can only benefit for the community to look local when deciding where to spend its  dollars.

Like any other area, art has to be worthy of the investment. A financially successful artist is one who seizes opportunity by creating what the buyers want.

This takes work and discipline.

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