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In Calgary, Tony has reported on the energy sector and federal politics.With arched windows and Edwardian pilasters, the Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Calgary harkens back to a time when city fathers dreamed of a prairie metropolis as great as Chicago."We often see or think about the reflection of that structural change being the change to oil and gas, but actually the whole globe is going through an era of change right now." Recent upheaval has forced many cities to take a hard look in the mirror.
It's the home of Nucleus, a not-for-profit hub where the users — ranging from startups to post-secondary schools to venture funds — meet, work, learn and discuss innovation.For instance, Tourism Calgary reports that the city attracted a record 83 events in 2017, ranging from the arts to athletics.In the third quarter of the year, the sector saw a year-over-year increase of an additional 72,779 overnight hotel rooms sold during the three-month summer period — also a record."And it is our plan that over the next 25 years we will continue to lead this country and we will double our city in size." It's a tall order.While it's been barely five years since CED's last strategy was inked, in some ways, it's been a lifetime. Oil prices began a long slide in 2014, ultimately skidding below per barrel two years later.It's important, regardless of oil prices, because Calgary is facing a long climb after the last collapse.In fact, it could be 10 years before it feels like the city has got its groove back, Legge said.While there were successes, diversification efforts took a back seat when oil boomed again.These days, officials note that the city is making big strides in agriculture, technology, transportation and tourism.He cites Calgary's education levels, quality of life and enviable location as reasons for optimism. He worries local government may struggle with the pace of innovation and believes Calgary still labours under the stereotype of a city that doesn't necessarily embrace change."I think we still suffer from the stereotype of Stampede and cowboys and pickup trucks and oil, which is not a very innovative stereotype," Legge said. And, as Calgary tries to find its economic way, it's people like him from whom CED will seek input. "Long story short, we kind of kept it between three of us and sold it for just about million." Valley life was good, but Blackwell chose to return to his hometown to help grow the local sector.