Destination Information - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The city of Calgary stands at the point where the vast Canadian prairie meets the jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Its young, glittering skyscrapers rise out of older suburban neighbourhoods and seem oddly superimposed on this breathtakingly diverse western landscape, as though dropped from the sky onto the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers.
Accordingly, the land is never far from the minds of the people of Calgary. The oil that lies beneath it drives the city's vibrant economy; the distant mountains attract legions of skiers and snowboarders during the chilly winters; and, during balmy summers, cattle roam the flat expanse of grassland, marking this out as cowboy country.
As well as being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has grown into a tourist destination in its own right. Visitors flock to take in the city's burgeoning cowboy culture, expressed in July every year in the Calgary Stampede (held formally for the first time in 1912).
The Rocky Mountains and, in particular, Banff National Park, attract thousands more who are drawn by the park's stunning alpine beauty and its famous hotels - The Banff Springs Hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise. As the popularity of winter leisure sports (such as downhill skiing and bobsleighing) have increased, so has Calgary's own popularity, all culminating in the city's hosting of the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988.
Today Calgary is known as the New West, a casual, oil-rich, vibrant city growing faster than its infrastructure can keep pace with, expanding its cultural life as new blood follows its prosperity. Technology and production industries have grown immensely as oil and gas production has increased, propelling this one-time, one-horse cowboy town into a radically evolving 21st-century city.