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Calgary, Alberta
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Calgary, Alberta

City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motto: Heart of the new west
Area: 701.79 sq. km.
 - Total (2001)
 - Cdn. Mun. Rank:
 - Density

Ranked 3rd
Time zoneMountain: UTC-7
51°6' N
114°1' W
Diane Ablonczy, Rob Anders, Art Hanger, Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, Deepak Obhrai, Jim Prentice, Lee Richardson
Cindy Ady, Moe Amery, Wayne Cao, Harvey Cenaiko, Alana DeLong, Heather Forsyth, Yvonne Fritz, Marlene Graham, Denis Herard, Mark Hlady, Ralph Klein, Karen Kryczka, Jon Lord, Richard Magnus, Gary Mar, Greg Melchin, Pat Nelson, Hung Pham, Shiraz Shariff, Murray Smith, Ron Stevens,
MayorDavid Bronconnier
Governing bodyCalgary City Council
City of Calgary

A city in the province of Alberta, Canada, Calgary is situated towards the south of the province, in a region of hills and high plains east of the Rocky Mountains and sits at an elevation of about 1000 metres above sea level. As of 2002, the metropolitan population was 993,200. By 2005 the population is expected to reach over 1.2 million. It is the largest city in Alberta and the fourth largest in Canada. Calgary is located in Division No. 6.

Calgary is rated as one of the cleanest, safest and friendliest cities in North America. It attracts many new residents from around the world and the rest of Canada.

Calgary International Airport serves the city.

Calgary's economy is largely centred on the petroleum industry, with agriculture and high-tech industries contributing to the city's rapid economic growth. Calgary is Canada's wealthiest city, and Alberta is also the wealthiest province (based on per capita income).

Table of contents
1 First Settlement
2 The Oil Boom
3 The Stampede
4 Cultural Scene
5 Political Scene
6 Education
7 Sports
8 Military Presence
9 See also

First Settlement

Before Calgary was settled by white Europeans, it was the domain of the Blackfoot people, whose presence has been traced back 11,000 years. In 1787 cartographer David Thompson spend the winter with a band of Peigan Indians encamped along the Bow River in the Calgary area. He was the first recorded European to visit the area. By 1860 settlers began arriving to hunt buffalo and sell illegal whiskey.

The first recorded settler in Calgary was rancher Sam Livingston in the early 1870s, and in 1875 the site became a post of the North West Mounted Police (now the RCMP). The detachment was assigned to protect the western plains from whiskey traders from the United States. Calgary was named by Colonel James Macleod after Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. When the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed a major rail station in the city, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre. (The Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters are located in Calgary today.) Calgary was officially incorporated as a city in 1894.

The Oil Boom

With the discovery of oil in Alberta in the mid–20th century, Calgary became the centre of an accompanying oil boom. Calgary's economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The city's population grew from 325,000 in 1974 to 650,000 (when?). During this time, Calgary skyscrapers were constructed at a pace seen by few cities anywhere. With the announcement of the National Energy Program in 1981 the oil boom started to subside. The NEP was cancelled in the mid-1980s by the Mulroney government, and Calgary has since largely recovered.

Calgary remains the oil capital of Canada and second only to Toronto for corporate head offices. The beef industry is also very important to Calgary, as it is a distribution centre for the outlying rural areas. Lakeside Packers and Cargill Limited near Calgary are some of the most modern, state-of-the-art beef processing facilities in North America.

The Stampede

is world famous for its Calgary Stampede, a large festival and rodeo in July of each year and has quite a history. 

The Calgary Stampede was inaugurated (1912) by Guy Weadick, an American trick roper. Weadick wanted to put on a world-class rodeo event and Wild West show that would bring the best cowboys from across the continent. The first Stampede was the richest rodeo competition in North America with prize money totalling $20,000. It drew more than 100,000 spectators. For the year 2000, the attendance to the 10-day rodeo and exhibition totalled 1,218,851 people. During Stampede Week, the city's residents dress in western attire, and nearly all businesses decorate their stores and offices western style. The Calgary Stampede is often called "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."

Cultural Scene

Calgary's cultural scene has grown considerably over time. Besides the traditional culture of hotel saloons, hockey, and western music, Calgary has become a more and more cosmopolitan city.

Calgary also had the peculiar distinction of being the cradle of theatre sports: in the 1970s, a university drama teacher, Keith Johnson, developed improvisational theatre games for his students, and eventually created a theatre company to regularly play theatre sports. Theatre sports have since caught on all over the world and have been imitated by TV shows such as Who's Line is it Anyway? and made frequent appearances at the Montreal comedy festival Just For Laughs. Calgary is also home to the internationally-renowned contemporary theatre company One Yellow Rabbit. The company shares the massive Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and two more established theatre companies, Theatre Calgary and Alberta Theatre Projects.

Calgary is affectionately called the Nashville of the North, and took a large part in the country revival of the 1990s. Currently, some of the city's most popular bars trade on the image of cool country, playing contemporary country music to young twenty-somethings.

Political Scene

Calgary is traditionally seen as a conservative city, dominated by older small-c social conservatives and more modern fiscal conservatives. This is only aided by the fact that the city is a corporate power-centre, with a high percentage of the workforce employed in white-collar professions. During the 1990s the city's mainstream political culture was dominated by the right-wing Reform Party. However, as Calgary has grown, its politics have gained more diversity, particularly on the left. This growing alternative left-wing political culture got a lot of attention during the 2000 World Petroleum Congress and the J26 G8 Protests. The largest protests in the city's history erupted in early 2003, in response to the War on Iraq. The city has a chapters of various well-known organizations, as well as an Anti-Capitalist Convergence


Calgary is the site of three major post-secondary educational institutions: the University of Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Mount Royal College.


Calgary held the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. The remaining venues have become a training site for athletes around the world. The1988 winter Olympic Games welcomed 1,423 athletes from 57 countries. They included 176 events and extended for the first time ever the Olympic Winter Games program from 12 to 16 days.

sports teams in Calgary include the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League and the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. The city also has an A-League Soccer franchise, the Calgary Mustangs and the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League. Calgary's multipurpose arena, the Pengrowth Saddledome is shown at the right.

Military Presence

Calgary is still home to a sizable military presence, including HMCS Tecumseh, a unit of the Naval Reserve, the HMCS Tecumseh Band, and 746 Communications Squadron (Communications Reserve), as well as several units of the Army Reserve, including:

Additionally, there are several squadrons of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, Navy League Cadets, Royal Canadian Army Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Cadets

See also





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