As the youngest city in Canada with a median age of 36 years, Calgary is fast becoming known as an intensely multicultural city with over 26 percent of the population comprised of immigrants.

While a traditional definition of creativity may have been limited to the promotion of culture and the creation of artistic endeavours, new technologies and a demand for creative design are broadening the definition of creative industries to include other sectors of the economy, such as architecture, drafting, and digital media. All subsectors of the creative industries use imagination, inspiration, and innovation to encourage the development of Calgary’s cultural and creative community.

Resilience of community

Performing and visual artists thrive here as Calgary has the highest per capita spending on arts and culture in Canada. We know that the inspiration from our traditional arts and culture community runs deep in many other sectors of the economy, as Calgary is home to over 74,000 people working in creative industry occupations, comprising over nine percent of Calgary’s total employment.  Over 7,000 students graduate from the city’s four major schools each year with creative industry related degrees and diplomas. It is worth noting that despite the 2008–2009 recession, creative industries fared well, demonstrating the importance of the sector for Calgary’s future economic success.

Driving innovation

Calgary was named Canada’s cultural capital in 2012, which brought increased spending and media attention to the thriving arts scene in the city. Calgary Arts Development and other arts organizations are continuing the strong legacy left as a result of the designation.

"Studio space has become critical in ensuring the continued success and viability of Alberta’s screen-based production sector. "

As Canada’s fourth-largest filming jurisdiction, Calgary boasts award-winning crews and locations. The Calgary region benefits from an average of $100 million in film, television and digital production each year, and is responsible for 85 percent of all filming in Alberta.

Studio space has become critical in ensuring the continued success and viability of Alberta’s screen-based production sector. Calgary Economic Development was recently announced as the successful proponent of a one-time $5 million grant from the Government of Alberta towards the development of a film studio for the Calgary Region. By working with industry and post-secondary partners to develop purpose-built facilities, the studio will allow the creative industries sector to realize significant growth potential, increase the retention of local talent, and support the diversification of our economy.


Luke Azevedo
Commissioner of Film,
TV and Creative Industries Calgary Economic Development
editorial@mediaplanet.com