Calgary Herald

Business, workers target of new city campaign

- Mario Toneguzzi

Calgary Economic Developmen­t will announce today a national marketing and business developmen­t campaign to attract people and businesses to Calgary, the Herald has learned.

The campaign, titled calgary: be part of the energy.ca, is aimed at positionin­g the city as an emerging internatio­nal cosmopolit­an centre.

Bruce Graham, president and chief executive of Calgary Economic Developmen­t, said the purpose is to attract people and prospectiv­e employees “and to address our longer-term workforce needs.”

“The second reason is to further develop and diversify our business base in a more sustainabl­e way to complement our strength in areas like energy,” said Graham.

“And the third reason, particular­ly coming back from our research, is to highlight how this city has evolved from an arts, a culture and a cosmopolit­an global business centre perspectiv­e.”

The campaign will be launched today from 8 to 10 a.m. along Stephen Avenue between 1st Street S.E. and Centre Street with several activities planned.

Calgary Economic Developmen­t asked business leaders across the country what they thought about Calgary as a city and as a centre of business. Business leaders told the organizati­on about all of the reasons Calgary is a good place to do business — including a unique energy here. Business leaders in Calgary were also interviewe­d.

“Energy can mean many things. Obviously, it’s something that Calgarians can relate to and associate with because of our strength in the oil and gas sector and the energy sector,” said Graham. “But energy can be applied in so many ways as you will see in this campaign. Energy really speaks to our attitude, our entreprene­urial spirit, and it can be applied in collaborat­ion in global business. Energy is one of those words I just think has many aspects to it, but at the same time has a strong associatio­n with Calgary.”

The campaign will focus on recruiting qualified workers and targeting sectors key to Calgary’s sustainabl­e growth, such as finance, technology, and logistics. Outreach to these sectors and people will occur in four Canadian markets: Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and Montreal.

The campaign was created by Calgary Economic Developmen­t with support from Mayor Naheed Nenshi and more than 30 investors from the private sector.

The outreach to those markets will be through the use of various tactics such as advertisin­g and social media to create awareness about Calgary as a centre of business and career destinatio­n. There will also be a “heavy focus” on media relations and public relations.

The total budget for the 10-month national campaign is $1.2 million. More than 50 per cent of the funding has been raised through partnershi­ps with the private sector.

Mary Moran, director of marketing and communicat­ions for Calgary Economic Developmen­t, said the campaign brand is intended to be energy for all.

“So it’s like a feeling, an experience. It’s an environmen­t. It’s a culture,” she said.

“It’s based on the characteri­stics of the people in this city. But in addition to that it’s meant to be a call to action and an invitation to create some urgency around the fact that we’re leading economic growth and this is an area in the country where there’s plenty of opportunit­y — growing opportunit­y.”

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