Calgary, AB Meeting Planning Overview
Welcome to the Calgary Meeting and Event Planning Guide – a city guide for Calgary meeting professionals. As the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, and as the annual host of the famous Calgary Stampede, Calgary is no stranger to large events. Only blocks apart, two major Calgary event venues, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and the Roundup Centre, offer a combined total of 520,000 square feet of meeting and event space, complete with on-site catering services, advanced audio-visual equipment, business services and more. Moreover, Calgarians are renowned for their hospitality, generosity and enthusiasm, all of which provide a welcoming environment for any event, from small meetings to large trade shows.
There are plenty of Calgary meeting hotels and more than 11,000 hotel rooms, one third of which are located in the downtown core and three of which are attached to the Calgary TELUS Centre: the 384-room Calgary Marriott Hotel, 355-room Hyatt Regency Calgary and 405-room Fairmont Palliser Hotel. Not just home to larger chains, Calgary also offers several smaller establishments that offer accommodations in the scenic mountains but are still minutes from the city, such as the Calgary Historic Bed and Breakfast at Twin Gables and Kensington Riverside Inn.
Many of Calgary's prominent attractions have meeting space and event facilities as well so it can be easy to incorporate some leisure into Calgary meeting planning. The Whiskey nightclub's rooftop patio and $2 million sound system give an edge to cocktail receptions. Spruce Meadows, one of the top- ranked equestrian facilities in world, offers several scenic facilities for larger meetings. The Devonian Gardens is a perfect way for up to 400 people to experience Calgary's countryside.
Dominated by the oil and gas industry, Calgary's largest companies are BP, EnCana, Petro-Canada and Shell Canada. The University of Calgary is the city's largest college.
About Calgary, AB / Additional Info
Affectionately known as "Cowtown," Calgary is considered the heart of the new West in Canada, a reputation stemming greatly from the city's world-famous Calgary Stampede. An annual event turning city slickers into cowboys since 1923, the stampede is a 10-day city-wide festival of rodeo competitions, concerts, amusement rides and more. The celebration of its Western heritage hearkens back to not long after the city was founded as a post for the North-West Mounted Police in 1875. A small rural settlement, the city began to grow after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The discovery of huge oil reserves in the 1970s brought about the true economic and population boom, strengthened in 1988 when Calgary truly made a name for itself on the world's stage as site of the Winter Olympics. Today, it is home to nearly 1.1 million people and is one of the fastest growing populations in Canada. No longer a small prairie town, the city skyline is dominated by skyscrapers, 10 of which are above 400 feet, including the Pengrowth Saddledome, Petro-Canada Centre and the iconic Calgary Tower. Visitors can rest assured that despite the important role of oil in the city's economy, Calgary was ranked the world's cleanest city by FORBES magazine in 2007.
Nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is recognized as a winter sports haven. Visitors can enjoy numerous ski destinations less than an hour away from the city, including Canmore, Lake Louise and Banff, location of one of most visited national parks in North America and reputed as one of the most popular downhill ski destinations in the world. Or, for ski enthusiasts not looking to stray so far from the city, the Canada Olympic Park, site of the Winter Olympics, eliminates the need to drive to the mountains before hitting the slopes.
Visitors adverse to the chill need not be put off by its mountain location, as Calgary's cool winter temperatures are mellowed by the warm Chinook winds that blow through southern Alberta, ushering in milder temperatures ideal for enjoying Calgary's numerous other attractions. Indulge in some retail therapy at Eau Claire Market, a specialty shopping area full of unique gifts and even a wine market. Visit over 1,000 animals at the Calgary Zoo, rated as one of the top 10 in North America. Take a step back into Calgary's past at the Heritage Park Historical Village, a re-creation of a 19th century Alberta town. A modern metropolis that's lovingly embraced its cow-herding past, Calgary is an entertaining stop for any visitor.