|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|City of Calgary|
|Scotiabank Saddledome and Downtown Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary Stampede, Canada Olympic Park, Lougheed House, Stephen Avenue, Calgary Zoo|
|Nickname(s): C-Town, Cowtown, Heart of The New West, The Stampede City|
November 7, 1884
|- City||January 1, 1894|
|• Mayor||Naheed Nenshi
|• Governing body||Calgary City Council|
|• Manager||Owen A. Tobert|
|• City||825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi)|
|• Urban||704.51 km2 (272.01 sq mi)|
|• Metro||5,107.55 km2 (1,972.04 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,045 m (3,428 ft)|
|• City||1,096,833 (3rd)|
|• Density||1,329.0/km2 (3,442/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||1,554.8/km2 (4,027/sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,214,839 (5th)|
|• Metro density||237.9/km2 (616/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC−7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC−6)|
|Postal code span||T1Y to T3R|
|Area code(s)||403, 587|
Calgary // is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is situated on the Bow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The city is located in the grassland and parkland natural regions of Alberta. As of the 2011 census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 and a metropolitan population of 1,214,839, making it the largest city in Alberta, and the third-largest municipality and fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.
Located 294 km (183 mi) south of Edmonton, Statistics Canada defines the area between these cities as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor." Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centred on the petroleum industry and agriculture. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Arts and culture
- 6 Attractions
- 7 Sports and recreation
- 8 Government
- 9 Infrastructure
- 10 Education
- 11 Media
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 Military
- 14 Contemporary issues
- 15 Rankings
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
The Calgary area was once inhabited by pre-Clovis people whose presence has been traced back at least 11,000 years. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan and the Tsuu T'ina First Nations peoples, all of which were part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. In 1787, cartographer David Thompson spent the winter with a band of Peigan encamped along the Bow River. He was a Hudson's Bay Company trader and the first recorded European to visit the area, and John Glenn was the first documented European settler in the Calgary area, in 1873.
The site became a post of the North-West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP). The NWMP detachment was assigned in 1875 to protect the western plains from U.S. whisky traders, and protect the fur trade. Originally named Fort Brisebois, after NWMP officer Éphrem-A. Brisebois, it was renamed Fort Calgary in 1876 by Colonel James Macleod. It was named after Calgary on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. While there is some disagreement on the naming of the town, the museum on the Isle of Mull explains that kald and gart are similar Old Norse words, meaning "cold" and "garden", that were likely used when named by the Vikings who inhabited the Inner Hebrides. Alternatively, the name might come from the Gaelic, Cala ghearraidh, meaning 'beach of the meadow (pasture)'.
When the Canadian Pacific Railway reached the area in 1883, and a rail station was constructed, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre. The Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters moved to Calgary from Montreal in the 1996. Calgary was officially incorporated as a town in 1884, and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch. In 1894, it was incorporated as "The City of Calgary" in what was then the North-West Territories.
The Calgary Fire of 1886 occurred on November 7, 1886. Fourteen buildings were destroyed with losses estimated at $103,200. Although no one was killed or injured, city officials drafted a law requiring all large downtown buildings to be built with Paskapoo sandstone, to prevent this from happening again.
After the arrival of the railway, the Dominion Government started leasing grazing land at minimal cost (up to 100,000 acres (400 km2) for one cent per acre per year). As a result of this policy, large ranching operations were established in the outlying country near Calgary. Already a transportation and distribution hub, Calgary quickly became the centre of Canada's cattle marketing and meatpacking industries.
By the late 19th century, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) expanded into the interior and established posts along rivers that later developed into the modern cities of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. In 1884, the HBC established a sales shop in Calgary. The HBC also built the first of the grand "original six" department stores in Calgary in 1913, the others that followed are Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.
Between 1896 and 1914 settlers from all over the world poured into the area in response to the offer of free "homestead" land. Agriculture and ranching became key components of the local economy, shaping the future of Calgary for years to come. The world famous Calgary Stampede, still held annually in July, grew from a small agricultural show and rodeo started in 1912 by four wealthy ranchers to "the greatest outdoor show on earth".
The oil boom
Oil was first discovered in Alberta in 1902, but it did not become a significant industry in the province until 1947 when huge reserves of it were discovered. Calgary quickly found itself at the centre of the ensuing oil boom. The city's economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The population increased by 272,000 in the eighteen years between 1971 (403,000) and 1989 (675,000) and another 345,000 in the next eighteen years (to 1,020,000 in 2007). During these boom years, skyscrapers were constructed and the relatively low-rise downtown quickly became dense with tall buildings, a trend that continues to this day.
Calgary's economy was so closely tied to the oil industry that the city's boom peaked with the average annual price of oil in 1981. The subsequent drops in oil prices were cited by industry as reasons for a collapse in the oil industry and consequently the overall Calgary economy. Low oil prices prevented a full recovery until the 1990s.
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was understandably 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.
Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies. The city lies within the foothills parkland natural subregion of the parkland natural region and the foothills fescue subregion of the grasslands natural region. Calgary's elevation is approximately 1,048 m (3,438 ft) above sea level downtown, and 1,084 m (3,557 ft) at the airport. The city proper covers a land area of 726.5 km2 (280.5 sq mi) (as of 2006) and as such exceeds the land area of the City of Toronto.
There are two major rivers that run through the city. The Bow River is the largest and flows from the west to the south. The Elbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River near downtown. Since the climate of the region is generally dry, dense vegetation occurs naturally only in the river valleys, on some north-facing slopes, and within Fish Creek Provincial Park.
The city is large in physical area, consisting of an inner city surrounded by communities of various density. Unlike most cities with a sizeable metropolitan area, most of Calgary's suburbs are incorporated into the city proper, with the notable exceptions of the City of Airdrie to the north, Cochrane to the northwest, Strathmore to the east, and the Springbank and Bearspaw acreages to the west. Though it is not technically within Calgary's metropolitan area, the Town of Okotoks is only a short distance to the south and is considered a suburb as well. The Calgary Economic Region includes slightly more area than the CMA and has a population of 1,251,600 in 2008.
The city has undertaken numerous land annexation procedures over the years to keep up with growth; the most recent was completed in July 2007 and saw the city annex the neighbouring hamlet of Shepard, and place its boundaries adjacent to the hamlet of Balzac and Town of Chestermere, and within a very short distance of the City of Airdrie. Despite this proximity, there are presently no plans for Calgary to annex either Airdrie or Chestermere, and in fact Chestermere's administration has a growth plan in the works that calls for it annexing the intervening land between the town and Calgary.
Calgary experiences a dry humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwb, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3a) with cold, dry, but highly variable winters and moderately warm summers. The climate is greatly influenced by the city's elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Calgary's winters can be uncomfortably cold, but warm, dry Chinook winds routinely blow into the city from over the mountains during the winter months, giving Calgarians a break from the cold. These winds have been known to raise the winter temperature by 20 °C (36 °F) in just a few hours, and may last several days.
Calgary is a city of extremes, and temperatures have ranged anywhere from a record low of −45.0 °C (−49.0 °F) in 1893 to a record high of 36.1 °C (97.0 °F) in 1919. According to Environment Canada, average daytime high temperatures in Calgary range from 24 °C (75 °F) in late July to −3 °C (27 °F) in mid-January.
As a consequence of Calgary's high elevation and aridity, summer evenings can be cool. The average summer minimum temperature drops to 8 °C (46 °F). Calgary may experience summer daytime temperatures exceeding 29 °C (84 °F) anytime in June, July and August, and occasionally as late as September or as early as May. With an average relative humidity of 55% in the winter and 45% in the summer (15:00 MST), Calgary has a dry climate similar to other cities in the western Great Plains and Canadian Prairies. Unlike cities further east such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa or even Winnipeg, humidity is rarely a factor during the Calgary summer.
Calgary has the most sunny days year round of Canada's 100-largest cities, with just over 332 days of sun. The city is among the sunniest in Canada, with 2,405 hours of annual sunshine, on average. Calgary International Airport in the northeastern section of the city receives an average of 412.6 mm (16.24 in) of precipitation annually, with 320.6 mm (12.62 in) of that occurring in the form of rain, and 126.7 mm (4.99 in) as snow. Most of the precipitation occurs from May to August, with June averaging the most monthly rainfall. In June 2005, Calgary received 248 mm (9.8 in) of precipitation, making it the wettest month in the city's recorded history. Droughts are not uncommon and may occur at any time of the year, lasting sometimes for months or even several years. Precipitation decreases somewhat from west to east; consequently, groves of trees on the western outskirts largely give way to treeless grassland around the eastern city limit.
Located in southern Alberta, Calgary can endure several cold spells in most winters. Conversely, Calgary can experience several warm spells above average temperatures due to chinook winds. Snow depths of greater than 1 cm (0.39 in) are seen on about 88 days each year in Calgary. However, snowfall (and temperatures) can vary considerably throughout the Calgary region – mostly due to the elevation changes, and proximity to the mountains. The town of High River (37 km (23 mi) south of Calgary) receives on average 42 cm (17 in) more snow a year than at the Calgary Airport in north-east Calgary. Temperatures tend to be slightly warmer in the southern areas of Calgary as well.
Calgary averages more than 22 days a year with thunderstorms, with most all of them occurring in the summer months. Calgary lies on the edge of Alberta's hailstorm alley and is prone to damaging hailstorms every few years. A hailstorm that struck Calgary on September 7, 1991, was one of the most destructive natural disasters in Canadian history, with over $400 million in damage. Being west of the dry line on most occasions, tornadoes are rare in the region.
|Climate data for Calgary International Airport (1981−2010)|
|Record high Humidex||17.3||21.9||25.2||27.2||31.6||33.3||36.9||36.0||32.9||28.7||22.2||19.4||36.9|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.6
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.1
|Average low °C (°F)||−13.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−44.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||9.4
|Rainfall mm (inches)||0.06
|Snowfall cm (inches)||15.3
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||7.3||6.8||9.2||9.0||11.2||13.8||13.0||10.6||9.1||7.2||7.6||6.9||111.8|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||0.27||0.20||1.3||4.1||10.1||13.8||13.0||10.5||8.7||4.2||1.4||0.40||67.9|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||7.7||7.4||9.5||6.4||2.6||0.07||0.0||0.10||1.3||4.1||7.4||7.7||54.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||119.5||144.6||177.2||220.2||249.4||269.9||314.1||284.0||207.0||175.4||121.1||114.0||2,396.3|
|Percent possible sunshine||45.6||51.3||48.2||53.1||51.8||54.6||63.1||62.9||54.4||52.7||45.0||46.0||52.4|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Flora and fauna
Numerous plant and animal species are found within and around Calgary. The Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) comes near the northern limit of its range at Calgary. Another conifer of widespread distribution found in the Calgary area is the White Spruce (Picea glauca).
The downtown region of the city consists of five neighbourhoods: Eau Claire (including the Festival District), the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, Chinatown, and the Downtown East Village (also part of the Rivers District). The commercial core is itself divided into a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue Retail Core, the Entertainment District, the Arts District and the Government District. Distinct from downtown and south of 9th Avenue is Calgary's densest neighbourhood, the Beltline. The area includes a number of communities such as Connaught, Victoria Crossing and a portion of the Rivers District. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government to increase the density and liveliness of Calgary's centre.
Adjacent to, or directly radiating from the downtown are the first of the inner-city communities. These include Crescent Heights, Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill, Hillhurst/Sunnyside (including Kensington BRZ), Bridgeland, Renfrew, Mount Royal, Mission, Ramsay and Inglewood and Albert Park/Radisson Heights directly to the east. The inner city is, in turn, surrounded by relatively dense and established neighbourhoods such as Rosedale and Mount Pleasant to the north; Bowness, Parkdale and Glendale to the west; Park Hill, South Calgary (including Marda Loop), Bankview, Altadore, and Killarney to the south; and Forest Lawn/International Avenue to the east. Lying beyond these, and usually separated from one another by highways, are suburban communities including Somerset, Country Hills, Sundance, Riverbend, and McKenzie Towne. In all, there are over 180 distinct neighbourhoods within the city limits.
Several of Calgary's neighbourhoods were initially separate municipalities that were annexed by the city as it grew. These include Bowness, Montgomery, and Forest Lawn.
|Source: Statistics Canada
In the 2011 Census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 living in 423,417 of its 445,848 total dwellings, a 10.9% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 988,812. With a land area of 825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,329.0/km2 (3,442.2/sq mi) in 2011. According to the 2011 Statistics Canada Census, persons aged 14 years and under made up 17.9% of the population, and those aged 65 and older made up 9.95%. The median age was 36.4 years. In 2011, the city's gender population was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.
Between 2001 and 2006, Calgary's population grew by 12.4%. During the same time period, the population of Alberta increased by 10.6%, while that of Canada grew by 5.4%. The population density of the city averaged 1,360.2 /km2 (3,523 /sq mi), compared with an average of 5.1 /km2 (13 /sq mi) for the province.
A city-administered census, conducted annually to assist in negotiating financial agreements with the provincial and federal governments, showed a population of just over 991,000 in 2006. The population of the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area was just over 1.1 million, and the Calgary Economic Region posted a population of just under 1.17 million in 2006. On July 25, 2006, the municipal government officially acknowledged the birth of the city's one millionth resident, with the census indicating that the population was increasing by approximately 98 people per day at that time. This date was arrived at only by means of assumption and statistical approximation and only took into account children born to Calgarian parents. A net migration of 25,794 persons/year was recorded in 2006, a significant increase from 12,117 in 2005.
As of 2006, nearly one in four people in Calgary belonged to a visible minority group (22.2%). Of the largest Canadian cities, Calgary ranked third in proportion of visible minorities, behind Toronto and Vancouver. Among the immigrants arriving in Calgary between 2001 and 2006, 78% belonged to a visible minority group. The largest group was Chinese (6.2%) while South Asians (mainly from India or Pakistan) made up the second largest group (5.4%). There were more than 200 different ethnic origins in Calgary, the most frequently reported were English, Scottish, Canadian, German and Irish.
Calgary is recognized as a Canadian leader in the oil and gas industry as well as for being a leader in economic expansion. Its high personal income, low unemployment and high GDP per capita have all benefited from increased sales and prices due to a resource boom, and increasing economic diversification. Because of these strengths, Calgary is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Also, Calgary was one of the top 200 cities worldwide, by the Brookings Institution, that had a top performing local economy for 2011. The city was ranked first nationally, and 51st in the world, in that aspect. Additionally, Calgary was voted third in quality of life among North American cities by the 2011-2012 issue of American Cities of the Future.
Calgary benefits from a relatively strong job market in Alberta, is part of the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. It is the head office for many major oil and gas related companies, and many financial service business have grown up around them. Small business and self-employment levels also rank amongst the highest in Canada. It is also a major distribution and transportation hub with high retail sales.
Calgary's economy is decreasingly dominated by the oil and gas industry, although it is still the single largest contributor to the city's GDP. In 2006, Calgary's real GDP (in constant 1997 dollars) was C$52.386 billion, of which oil, gas and mining contributed 12%). The larger oil and gas companies are BP Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, Encana, Imperial Oil, Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, TransCanada, and Nexen, making the city home to 87% of Canada's oil and natural gas producers and 66% of coal producers.
|Labour force (2006)|
As of 2010, the city had a labour force of 618,000 (a 74.6% participation rate) and 7.0% unemployment rate. In 2006, the unemployment rate was amongst the lowest of the major cities in Canada at 3.2%, causing a shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers.
|Employment by industry|
|Health and education||25.1%||18.8%|
In 2010 the "Professional, Technical and Management" Industry accounted for over 14% of employment and the areas of "Architectural, Engineering and Design Services" and "Management, Scientific and Technical Services" employment levels far exceed Canadian levels. Though Trade employs 14.7% of the work force, its percentage of total employment is not higher than the Canadian average. Levels of employment in Construction are both fairly high, exceed Canadian averages, and have grown 16% between 2006 and 2010. Health and Welfare services, which account for 10% of employment, have grown 20% in that period.
Calgary Economic Development "Top Calgary Employers" (2006) lists top employers as such: large industrial employers include Nova Chemicals leading this category with 4,900 employees while others with more than 2,000 employees include Nexen, Canadian Pacific Railway, CNRL, Shell Canada and Dow Chemical Canada. Other private sector employers include Shaw Communications (7,500 employees), along with Telus, Mark's Work Wearhouse, and Calgary Co-op. In the public sector, the largest employer is the Calgary Zone of the Alberta Health Services (22,000). The City of Calgary (15,000), the Calgary Board of Education and the University of Calgary are also large employers.
Calgary is increasingly becoming home to Canadian corporate head offices. It has the second highest concentration of head offices in Canada, behind only Toronto, and has the highest head office employment per capita in the country. Some large employers with Calgary head offices include Canada Safeway Limited, Westfair Foods Ltd., Suncor Energy, Agrium, Flint Energy Services Ltd., Shaw Communication, and Canadian Pacific Railway. CPR moved its head office from Montreal in 1996 and Imperial Oil moved from Toronto in 2005. EnCana's new 58-floor corporate headquarters, the Bow, became the tallest building in Canada outside of Toronto. In 2001, the city became the corporate headquarters of the TSX Venture Exchange.
WestJet is headquartered close to the Calgary International Airport, and Enerjet has its headquarters on the airport grounds. Prior to their dissolution, Canadian Airlines and Air Canada's subsidiary Zip were also headquartered near the city's airport. Although the main office is now based in Yellowknife, Canadian North, purchased from Canadian Airlines in September 1998, still maintain the operations and charter offices in Calgary.
Arts and culture
Calgary has a number of multicultural areas. Forest Lawn is among the most diverse areas in the city and as such, the area around 17 Avenue SE within the neighbourhood is also known as International Avenue. The district is home to many ethnic restaurants and stores. Calgary was designated as one of the cultural capitals of Canada in 2012.
While many Calgarians continue to live in the city's suburbs, more central districts such as 17 Avenue, Kensington, Inglewood, Forest Lawn, Marda Loop and the Mission District have become more popular and density in those areas has increased. The nightlife and the availability of cultural venues in these areas has gradually begun to evolve as a result.
The Calgary Public Library is the city's public library network, with seventeen branches loaning books, e-books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, audio books, and more. Based on borrowing, the library is the second largest in Canada, and sixth-largest municipal library system in North America. Nonetheless, it ranks twenty-fourth in Canadian per capita municipal funding, according to the Urban Libraries Council.
Calgary is the site of the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium performing arts, culture and community facility. The auditorium is one of two "twin" facilities in the province, the other located in Edmonton, each being locally known as the "Jube." The 2,538-seat auditorium was opened in 1957 and has been host to hundreds of Broadway musical, theatrical, stage and local productions. The Calgary Jube is the resident home of the Alberta Ballet Company, the Calgary Opera, the Kiwanis Music Festival, and the annual civic Remembrance Day ceremonies. Both auditoriums operate 365 days a year, and are run by the provincial government. Both received major renovations as part of the province's centennial in 2005.
The Alberta Ballet is the third largest dance company in Canada. Under the artistic direction of Jean Grand-Maître, the Alberta Ballet is at the forefront both at home and internationally. The dance company has developed a distinctive repertoire and a high level of performance. Jean Grand-Maître has become well known for his successful collaborations with pop-artists like Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and Sarah McLachlan. The Alberta Ballet resides in the Nat Christie Centre.
The city is also home to a number of theatre companies; among them are One Yellow Rabbit, which shares the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects and Theatre Junction Grand, culture house dedicated for the contemporary live arts. Calgary was also the birthplace of the improvisational theatre games known as Theatresports. The Calgary International Film Festival is also held in the city annually, as well as the International Festival of Animated Objects.
Every three years, Calgary hosts the Honens International Piano Competition (formally known as the Esther Honens International Piano Competition). The finalists of the competition perform piano concerti with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; the laureate is awarded a cash prize (currently $100,000.00 CDN, the largest cash award of any international piano competition), and a three-year career development program. The Honens is an integral component of the classical music scene in Calgary.
Visual and conceptual artists like the art collective United Congress are active in the city. There are an impressive number of art galleries in the downtown along Stephen Avenue and in the SoDo (South of Downtown) Design District as well as along the 17 Avenue corridor. The largest of these is the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC). Calgary is also home to the Alberta College of Art and Design.
A number of marching bands are based in Calgary. They include the Calgary Round-Up Band, the Calgary Stetson Show Band, the Bishop Grandin Marching Ghosts, and the four-time World Association for Marching Show Bands champions, the Calgary Stampede Showband, as well as military bands including the Band of HMCS Tecumseh, the Regimental Band of the King's Own Calgary Regiment, and the Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Calgary Highlanders. There are many other civilian pipe bands in the city, notably the Calgary Police Service Pipe Band.
Calgary is also home to a vibrant choral music community, including a variety of amateur, community, and semi-professional groups. Some of the mainstays include the Mount Royal Choirs from the Mount Royal University Conservatory, the Calgary Boys' Choir, the Calgary Girls Choir, the Youth Singers of Calgary, the Cantaré Children's Choir, and Spiritus Chamber Choir.
Calgary hosts a number of annual festivals and events. These include the Calgary International Film Festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, FunnyFest Calgary Comedy Festival, the Folk Music Festival, the Greek Festival, Carifest, Wordfest: Banff Calgary International Writers Festival, the Lilac Festival, GlobalFest, the Calgary Fringe Festival, Summerstock, Expo Latino, Calgary Pride, Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, and many other cultural and ethnic festivals. Calgary's best-known event is the Calgary Stampede, which has occurred each July since 1912. It is one of the largest festivals in Canada, with a 2005 attendance of 1,242,928 at the 10-day rodeo and exhibition.
Several museums are located in the city. The Glenbow Museum is the largest in western Canada and includes an art gallery and First Nations gallery. Other major museums include the Chinese Cultural Centre (at 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2), the largest stand-alone cultural centre in Canada), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum (at Canada Olympic Park), The Military Museums, the Cantos Music Museum and the Aero Space Museum.
Downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, cultural venues, public squares (including Olympic Plaza) and shopping. Notable shopping areas include such as The Core Shopping Centre (formerly Calgary Eaton Centre/TD Square), Stephen Avenue and Eau Claire Market. Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the Telus Spark, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC), Military Museum and the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (10,000 m2), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of The Core Shopping Centre (above the shopping). The downtown region is also home to Prince's Island Park, an urban park located just north of the Eau Claire district. Directly to the south of downtown is Midtown and the Beltline. This area is quickly becoming one of the city's densest and most active mixed use areas. At the district's core is the popular 17 Avenue, known for its many bars and nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping venues. During the Calgary Flames' playoff run in 2004, 17 Avenue was frequented by over 50,000 fans and supporters per game night. The concentration of red jersey-wearing fans led to the street's playoff moniker, the "Red Mile." Downtown is easily accessed using the city's C-Train light rail (LRT) transit system.
Attractions on the west side of the city include the Heritage Park Historical Village historical park, depicting life in pre-1914 Alberta and featuring working historic vehicles such as a steam train, paddle steamer and electric streetcar. The village itself comprises a mixture of replica buildings and historic structures relocated from southern Alberta. Other major city attractions include Canada Olympic Park, which features Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, and Spruce Meadows. In addition to the many shopping areas in the city centre, there are a number of large suburban shopping complexes in the city. Among the largest are Chinook Centre and Southcentre Mall in the south, Westhills and Signal Hill in the southwest, South Trail Crossing and Deerfoot Meadows in the southeast, Market Mall in the northwest, Sunridge Mall in the northeast, and the newly built CrossIron Mills just north of the Calgary city limits, and south of the City of Airdrie.
Downtown can be recognized by its numerous skyscrapers. Some of these structures, such as the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome are unique enough to be symbols of Calgary. Office buildings tend to concentrate within the commercial core, while residential towers occur most frequently within the Downtown West End and the Beltline, south of downtown. These buildings are iconographic of the city's booms and busts, and it is easy to recognize the various phases of development that have shaped the image of downtown. The first skyscraper building boom occurred during the late 1950s and continued through to the 1970s. After 1980, during the recession, many high-rise construction projects were immediately halted. It was not until the late 1980s and through to the early 1990s that major construction began again, initiated by the 1988 Winter Olympics and stimulated by the growing economy.
In total, there are 14 office towers that are at least 150 m (490 ft) (usually around 40 floors) or higher. The tallest of these is The Bow (Encana headquarters), which is the tallest office tower in Canada outside Toronto. Calgary's Bankers Hall Towers are also the tallest twin towers in Canada. As of 2008, there were 264 completed high-rise buildings, with 42 more under construction, another 13 approved for construction and 63 more proposed.
To connect many of the downtown office buildings, the city also boasts the world's most extensive skyway network (elevated indoor pedestrian bridges), officially called the +15. The name derives from the fact that the bridges are usually 15 ft (4.6 m) above grade.
In nearby Airdrie at the Calgary/Airdrie Airport the Airdrie Regional Airshow is held every two years. In 2011 the airshow featured the Canadian Snowbirds, a CF-18 demo and a United States Air Force F-16.
Sports and recreation
In large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has traditionally been a popular destination for winter sports. Since hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities such as Canada Olympic Park (bobsleigh, luge, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and some summer sports) and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and hockey). These facilities serve as the primary training venues for a number of competitive athletes. Also, Canada Olympic Park serves as a mountain biking trail in the summer months.
As part of the wider Battle of Alberta, the city's sports teams enjoy a popular rivalry with their Edmonton counterparts, most notably the rivalries between the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, and the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos.
The city also has a large number of urban parks including Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill Park, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Confederation Park, and Prince's Island Park. Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal park in Canada. Connecting these parks and most of the city's neighbourhoods is one of the most extensive multi-use (walking, bike, rollerblading, etc.) path systems in North America.
Calgary is renowned in professional wrestling tradition as both the home-city of the prominent Hart wrestling family and the location of the infamous Hart family "Dungeon", wherein WWE Hall of Fame member and patriarch of the Hart Family, Stu Hart, trained numerous professional wrestlers including "Superstar" Billy Graham, Brian Pillman, the British Bulldogs, Edge, Christian, Greg Valentine, Chris Jericho, Jushin Liger and many more. Also among the trainees were the Hart family members themselves, including WWE Hall of Fame member and former WWE champion Bret Hart and his brother, the 1994 WWF King of the Ring, Owen Hart.
|Calgary Stampeders||Canadian Football League||McMahon Stadium||1945||6|
|Calgary Flames||National Hockey League||Scotiabank Saddledome||1980||1|
|Calgary Roughnecks||National Lacrosse League||Scotiabank Saddledome||2001||2|
|Calgary Crush||American Basketball Association||SAIT||2011||0|
|Calgary United F.C.||Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League||Stampede Corral||2007||0|
|Calgary Canucks||Alberta Junior Hockey League||Max Bell Centre||1971||9|
|Calgary Mustangs||Alberta Junior Hockey League||Father David Bauer Olympic Arena||1990||1|
|Calgary Speed Skating Association||Speed Skating Canada||Olympic Oval||1990||10|
|Calgary Hitmen||Western Hockey League||Scotiabank Saddledome||1995||2|
|Calgary Oval X-Treme||Western Women's Hockey League||Olympic Oval||1995||4|
|Calgary Mavericks||Rugby Canada National Junior Championship||Calgary Rugby Park||1998||1|
|Cascade Swim Club||Swimming Canada||Talisman Centre||1976|
Calgary is generally considered a conservative city, dominated by traditional social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. As the city is a corporate power-centre, a high percentage of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs. The high concentration of oil and gas corporation led to the rise of Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservative Party in 1971. During the 1990s the city's mainstream political culture was dominated by the right-wing Reform Party of Canada federally, and the Progressive Conservatives provincially.
The Green Party of Canada has also made inroads in Calgary, exemplified by results of the 2011 federal election where they achieved 7.7% of the vote across the city, ranging from 4.7% in Calgary Northeast to 13.1% in the Calgary Centre-North riding. The right-wing Alberta Alliance became active during the 26th Alberta general election and campaigned for fiscally and socially conservative reforms. However, the Alberta Alliance and its successor, the Wildrose Alliance, did not manage to make inroads in the 2008 provincial election.
However, as Calgary's population has increased, so has the diversity of its politics. One growing alternative movement was recently active during the 2000 World Petroleum Congress demonstrations and the 2002 J26 G8 Protests. Protesters were a mix of locals and outsiders. The city has chapters of various activist organizations, as well as an Anti-Capitalist Convergence.
Calgary is governed in accordance with Alberta's Municipal Government Act (1995). Calgarians elect 14 ward councillors and a mayor to Calgary City Council every four years. Naheed Nenshi is the current mayor and was elected in the 2010 municipal election. The last election was in October 2013, when the title of council members was changed from alderman to councillor.
Two school boards operate independently of each other in Calgary, the public and the separate systems. Both boards have 7 elected trustees each representing 2 of 14 wards. The School Boards are considered to be part of municipal politics in Calgary as they are elected at the same time as City Council.
Calgary is represented by twenty-five provincial MLAs, including twenty Progressive Conservatives, three Liberals, and two members of the Wildrose Party. For exactly fourteen years (from December 14, 1992, to December 14, 2006), the provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, Ralph Klein, held the Calgary-Elbow seat. Klein was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1989 and resigned on September 20, 2006. He was succeeded as provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party by Ed Stelmach, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville. Following this leadership change, Calgary saw its leadership and representation on provincial matters further reduced as its representation on the provincial cabinet was reduced from eight to three with only one Calgary MLA, Greg Melchin, retaining a cabinet seat. In June 2007, Ralph Klein's old riding, a seat the PC Party held since it took office in 1971 fell to Alberta Liberal Craig Cheffins during a by-election. In the run up to the 2008 general election, pundits predicted significant Tory losses in traditional stronghold that many felt was being taken for granted and ignored.
The 2008 Alberta general election saw the Liberals increase their seat count in the city by one to five. While the results in Calgary were not particularly surprising given the grievances especially in Central Calgary with the Stelmach administration, the fact that they happened in the face of significant PC gains in Edmonton was. The Liberals were reduced to nine seats overall, meaning for the first time ever the majority of their caucus represented Calgary ridings.
All eight of Calgary's federal MPs are members of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). The CPC's predecessors have traditionally held the majority of the city's federal seats. The federal electoral district of Calgary Southwest is held by Prime Minister and CPC leader Stephen Harper. Coincidentally, the same seat was also held by Preston Manning, the leader of the Reform Party of Canada, a predecessor of the CPC. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (also a predecessor of the CPC), held the riding of Calgary Centre. Of Canada's 22 prime ministers, two have represented a Calgary riding while prime minister. The first was R. B. Bennett from Calgary West, who held that position from 1930 to 1935.
Calgary International Airport (YYC), in the city's northeast, is a transportation hub for much of central and western Canada. In 2010 it was the fourth busiest in Canada by passenger movement, and third busiest by aircraft movements, is a major cargo hub, and is a staging point for people destined for Banff National Park. Non-stop destinations include cities throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Central America, and Asia. Calgary/Springbank Airport, Canada's eleventh busiest, serves as a reliever for the Calgary International taking the general aviation traffic and is also a base for aerial firefighting aircraft.
Calgary's presence on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline (which includes the CPR Alyth Yard) also make it an important hub for freight. The Rocky Mountaineer and Royal Canadian Pacific operates railtour service to Calgary; Via Rail no longer provides intercity rail service to Calgary since Via Rail discontinued the Super Continental.
Much of Calgary's street network is on a grid where roads are numbered with avenues running east–west and streets running north–south. Until 1904 the streets were named; after that date, all streets were given numbers radiating outwards from the city centre. Roads in predominantly residential areas as well as freeways and expressways do not generally conform to the grid and are usually not numbered as a result. However, it is a developer and city convention in Calgary that non-numbered streets within a new community have the same name prefix as the community itself so that streets can more easily be located within the city.
Calgary Transit provides public transportation services throughout the city with buses and light rail. Calgary's light rail system, known as the C-Train, was one of the first such systems in North America (behind Edmonton LRT and San Diego Trolley). It consists of four lines (two routes) on 58.2 km (36.2 mi) of track (mostly at grade with a dedicated right-of-way carrying 42% of the downtown working population). In the fourth quarter of 2009, the C-Train system had an average of 266,100 riders per weekday, the third-busiest light-rail system in North America behind the Monterrey Metro, and the Toronto streetcar system. The bus system has over 160 routes and is operated by 800 vehicles.
As an alternative to the over 260 km (160 mi) of shared bikeways on streets, the city has a network of multi-use (bicycle, walking, rollerblading, etc.) paths spanning over 635 km (395 mi). The Peace Bridge provides pedestrians and cyclists, access to the downtown core from the north side of the Bow river. The bridge ranked among the top 10 architectural projects in 2012 and among the top 10 public spaces of 2012.
In the 1960s, Calgary started to develop a series of pedestrian bridges, connecting many downtown buildings.
- Medical centres and hospitals
Calgary has four major adult acute care hospitals and one major pediatric acute care site: the Alberta Children's Hospital, the Foothills Medical Centre, the Peter Lougheed Centre, the Rockyview General Hospital and the South Health Campus. They are all overseen by the Calgary Zone of the Alberta Health Services, formerly the Calgary Health Region. Calgary is also home to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, the leading cancer centre in Alberta (located at the Foothills Medical Centre), the Grace Women's Health Centre, which provides a variety of care, and the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. In addition, the Sheldon M. Chumir Centre (a large 24 hour assessment clinic), and the Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (RRDTC), as well as hundreds of smaller medical and dental clinics operate in Calgary. The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Calgary also operates in partnership with Alberta Health Services, by researching cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, joint injury, arthritis and genetics.
The four largest Calgary hospitals have a combined total of more than 2,100 beds, and employ over 11,500 people.
In the 2011-2012 school year, 100,632 K-12 students enrolled in 221 schools in the English language public school system run by the Calgary Board of Education. With other students enrolled in the associated CBe-learn and Chinook Learning Service programs, the school system's total enrollment is 104,182 students. Another 43,000 attend about 95 schools in the separate English language Calgary Catholic School District board. The much smaller Francophone community has their own French language school boards (public and Catholic), which are both based in Calgary, but serve a larger regional district. There are also several public charter schools in the city. Calgary has a number of unique schools, including the country's first high school exclusively designed for Olympic-calibre athletes, the National Sport School. Calgary is also home to many private schools including Mountain View Academy, Rundle College, Rundle Academy, Clear Water Academy, Chinook Winds Adventist Academy, Webber Academy, Delta West Academy, Masters Academy, Calgary Islamic School, Menno Simons Christian School, West Island College and Edge School.
Calgary is also home to what was Western Canada's largest public high school, Lord Beaverbrook High School, with 2,241 students enrolled in the 2005–2006 school year. Currently the student population of Lord Beaverbrook is 1,812 students (September 2012) and several other schools are equally as large; Western Canada High School with 2035 students (2009) and Sir Winston Churchill High School with 1983 students (2009).
The post-secondary institutions based in Calgary that are publicly funded include the Alberta College of Art and Design, Ambrose University College (associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and the Church of the Nazarene), Bow Valley College, Mount Royal University, SAIT Polytechnic, St. Mary's University College and the University of Calgary (U of C). The publicly-funded Athabasca University, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), and the University of Lethbridge also have campuses in Calgary.
The U of C is Calgary's primary large degree-granting facility and enrolled 28,464 students in 2011. Mount Royal University, with 13,000 students, grants degrees in a number of fields. SAIT Polytechnic, with over 14,000 students, provides polytechnic and apprentice education, granting certificates, diplomas and applied degrees. Athabasca University provides distance education programs.
Several independent private institutions are located in the city. This includes Reeves College, Robertson College, Columbia College, and CDI College. DeVry Institute of Technology announced its Calgary campus operations close on June 30, 2013.
Calgary's daily newspapers include the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun. Like most other major Canadian cities, Calgary is served by cable television stations Global, CTV, CBC, and City. Network affiliate programming from the United States originates from Spokane, Washington. There are a wide range of radio stations, including a station for First Nations and the Asian Canadian community.
Calgary is one of nine Canadian cities, out of the total of 98 cities internationally, that is in the New York City Global Partners, Inc. organization, which was formed in 2006 from the former Sister City program of the City of New York, Inc.
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The presence of the Canadian military has been part of the local economy and culture since the early years of the 20th century, beginning with the assignment of a squadron of Strathcona's Horse. After many failed attempts to create the city's own unit, the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) was finally authorized on April 1, 1910. Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Calgary was established as Currie Barracks and Harvie Barracks following the Second World War. The base remained the most significant Department of National Defence (DND) institution in the city until it was decommissioned in 1998, when most of the units moved to CFB Edmonton. Despite this closure there is still a number of Canadian Forces Reserve units, and cadet units garrisoned throughout the city. They include HMCS Tecumseh Naval Reserve unit, The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC), The Calgary Highlanders, both headquartered at the Mewata Armouries, 746 Communication Squadron, 41 Canadian Brigade Group, headquartered at the former location of CFB Calgary, 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion, 15 (Edmonton) Field Ambulance Detachment Calgary, 14 (Edmonton) Military Police Platoon Calgary, 41 Combat Engineer Regiment detachment Calgary (33 Engineer Squadron), along with a small cadre of Regular Force support. Several units have been granted Freedom of the City.
The Calgary Soldiers' Memorial commemorates those who died during war time or while serving overseas. Along with those from units currently stationed in Calgary it represents the 10th Battalion, CEF and the 50th Battalion, CEF of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
The economic boom and rapid growth recently experienced in Calgary has led to issues such as urban sprawl and an infrastructure backlog. With no geographical barriers to its growth besides the Tsuu T'ina First Nation, the city has seen suburbs spread increasingly further out at an accelerated rate. This has led to difficulties in providing necessary transportation infrastructure to Calgary's population.
With the redevelopment of the Beltline and the Downtown East Village at the forefront, efforts are underway to vastly increase the density of the inner city, but this has not stopped the rate of sprawl. In 2012, the combined population of the downtown neighbourhoods (including the Downtown Commercial Core, the Downtown East Village, the Downtown West End, Eau Claire, Chinatown, and the Beltline) was 36,228. However, looking at all of the inner-city neighbourhoods, the combined population was 179,304.
Because of the growth of the city, its southwest borders are now immediately adjacent to the Tsuu T'ina reserve. Recent residential developments in the deep southwest of the city have created a demand for a major roadway heading into the interior of the city, but because of complications in negotiations with the Tsuu T'ina, the construction has not yet begun.
Like most large cities, there are many socioeconomic issues including homelessness. According to the City of Calgary, "Beginning in 1992 with the first Biennial Count of Homeless Persons, The City focused its research efforts on issues of poverty and shelter. An Affordable Housing Strategy was prepared in 2002, which called for a greater understanding of housing need in Calgary. The Calgary Committee to End Homelessness was formed in 2007 consisting of government representatives as well as business and community leaders. The result was Calgary’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which was released in 2008 and is being implemented by the Calgary Homeless Foundation." Alberta and Calgary have been leaders within Canada in addressing homelessness. Calgary was the first among Canada's large cities to adopt a ten-year plan to address the issue. As a result, the city experienced an 11.4% decrease in homelessness between 2008 and 2012.
Although Calgary and Alberta have traditionally been affordable places to live, substantial growth (much of it due to the prosperous energy sector) has led to increasing demand on real-estate. As a result, house prices in Calgary have increased significantly in recent years, but have stagnated over the last half of 2007, and into 2008. As of November 2006, Calgary is the most expensive city in Canada for commercial/downtown office space, and the second most expensive city (second to Vancouver) for residential real-estate. The cost of living and inflation is now the highest in the country, recent figures show that inflation was running at six per cent in April 2007.
In March 2008, City Council approved a pilot project to test closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras. A total of sixteen CCTV cameras were to be installed in three downtown locations. They were to be deployed in the East Village and along the Stephen Avenue Mall. The project began in early 2009, primarily being led by Animal & Bylaw Services.
Although the city has a relatively low crime rate when compared to other North American cities, gangs and drug-related crime have increased along with the recent economy growth. In 2009, 62 additional police officers were deployed as foot patrols in the downtown area.
The latest 2012 and 2013 report from the Economist Intelligence Unit said Calgary was tied for fifth-best place, with Adelaide, to live in the world. In addition, Money Senses's "Best Places to Live in Canada for 2013" study, ranks Calgary as the number one best city overall. The Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Calgary as the world cleanest city for 2013.
In the past, Calgary has also ranked fairly high in some Mercer Quality of Living Surveys, from 25th place in 2006 to 32nd place for 2012. Calgary was ranked as the world's cleanest city by Forbes Magazine in 2007. Also, Mercer ranked Calgary as the world's top eco-city for 2010.
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