Capital of Alberta, Calgary gained its earliest identity through ranching and agriculture and the signature white cowboy hat is still widely worn across the city. Doing business here is relaxed and relatively casual, especially in summer when the city is abuzz with the annual Calgary Stampede. The city is at the heart of Alberta's robust oil and gas industry and in recent years it has become a multi-faceted international business hub. Business mixes regularly with leisure as the city is also a popular tourist destination and gateway to the Canadian Rockies.
Situated close to the Calgary Tower, Le Germain Hotel (www.germaincalgary.com) is a boutique hotel with style, offering top-end luxury rooms, its own Charcut Roast House restaurant and Lounge Central 899 which serves cocktails and appetizers. Its Santé Spa provides a luxury retreat and a complimentary Kindle e-Reader is available for guests’ shared use.
For a wide choice of great restaurants head to the National Historical District of Stephen Avenue Walk where over 30 restored buildings now operate as restaurants, bars and boutiques. Or, for seasonal regional flavours with a difference. take a walk through the city's attractive Prince's Island Park to the River Cafe (www.river-cafe.com).
The trend towards boutique beers and micro-breweries has a long history in Calgary, not least at the Wild Rose Brewery (www.wildrosebrewery.com) which has been serving craft beers for over 16 years. Based at the old Currie Barracks – southwest of downtown – the beers are served in sight of the brewing ketttles and The Taproom serves a range of beer-infused dishes
If you happen to be in the city during the summer, a trip to the Calgary Stampede rodeo and show is a must – it takes over the city. Check out the Olympic Park too where you can ride a zip line from the top of the Olympic ski jump or check out some amazing exhibits in the new Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Other attractions include the Spark Science Centre, Calgary Zoo and Heritage Park.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is located 20 minutes from the city centre. There is a wide variety of shuttle connections and car rental operators available from the arrivals level. Calgary Transit Bus 100 also provides links to the nearest train station (McKnight- Westwinds) which can be taken to downtown locations. Taxis to downtown cost around $40-$45. Tipping the driver 10 to 15 per cent is customary.
Canada is six hours behind GMT. The currency is the Canadian dollar. For more information see www.visitcalgary.com.
Air Canada and British Airways both offer direct services between London Heathrow and Calgary. National carrier Air Canada operates a daily direct service with further options via Toronto and Montréal.
“Remember that the whole city is transformed during the annual Calgary Stampede when all anyone is interested in is this amazing rodeo extravaganza. Avoid doing business in July unless you want to be a part of it”