Excitement, positivity, and growth are in the air.
Hard times and downturns are inevitable, and our town has had its share over the past several years. But Calgarians are a proud bunch and you can’t hold this city down. We can’t help but feel the growing energy and excitement around Calgary these days as arts and culture thrives, businesses grow, and events (and event venues) are popping up all over. Here are our favourite signs that Calgary is back to the business of being Calgary.
It’s all happening – and it’s all happening here
As event professionals, we get a unique perspective of a city’s pulse and energy. It stands to reason that a thriving city has a thriving events industry: stable businesses are more likely to put on large corporate events or accept sponsorship opportunities, confident residents are more likely to come out in support of fundraisers, and an optimistic and growing city is more likely to attract large events that move locations each year. Consider that check 1, check 2, and check 3!
We’ve seen a definite uptick in the amount of events and sponsorships from Calgary’s big businesses, including the return of the big holiday party for 2017. Earlier this month, our fine city hosted ILEA Live – a prestigious international events conference that takes place each year in locations all over the world – and our international peers had a chance to see firsthand everything that Calgary has to offer. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our city’s flagship event, Calgary Stampede, which saw an over 10% attendance increase this July over last year and certainly kept us busy pulling off 51 events in 10 days (think 1,800 hay bales and 3,696 manhours – here’s more on that).
To meet the demand of a bustling events scene, we’ve seen new and reinvented event spaces popping up all over town, offering bigger, better, and more creative options to up the ante and impress guests. Check out insider tours of The Palace Theatre, Hudson, and Sub Rosa to see just a few examples of this.
Have you been to…
Festivals, concerts, and unique summer experiences are happening all over the city right now, and the energy is palpable. To avoid ending up with a serious case of FOMO, get out there and experience things like the East Village Junction Pop-Up Retail Park. Gorgeous and delicious restaurants and bars are opening around the city, simultaneously doing wonders for our social lives and wreaking havoc on our fitness goals. There are literally too many gems to mention, but check this list for some of our must-visit places for dinner, brunch, drinks, or sweet treats.
Arts and culture have never been easier to experience or more a part of the conversation in this city, and this accessibility is impacting our day jobs as clients are more and more interested in creative exploration and integrating the arts into events.
As we round the corner toward fall, we can’t wait to see how else Calgary (and Calgarians!) will surprise, excite, and challenge us. We’re also very interested in knowing what you’re seeing and feeling around the city – so talk back and let us know.
Follow @dustinwestling on Instagram for places, spaces, and adventures around Calgary.