Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund: Helping Shape Calgary’s Economic Future

The fund is one of Calgary’s most effective tools to build a diversified and resilient economy.

Calgarians are known for our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. We are resilient, creative thinkers who have come up with some big ideas to address global challenges. But innovative ideas are just that — ideas — until they have the right kind of backing to make them a reality. This is where Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) steps in.

Since forming in 2018, OCIF has been helping grow and diversify our economy, and create jobs and training opportunities through targeted and strategic investments. In its first six years, the fund has helped generate significant economic benefits for the city — including over 3,000 jobs created and over 800 companies generated.

“OCIF was envisioned to help support our community during a challenging economic period that required bold thinking and actions. It was created because something as important as our city’s economy cannot be left to chance,” says Brad Parry, CEO of OCIF. “Our city deserves to have big ambitions for the future, and OCIF is one of the most financially efficient tools to ensure those ambitions are realized.”

Finding, fueling and fostering the future

OCIF is committed to finding, fueling and fostering opportunities with unparalleled potential to bring prosperity to all Calgarians. 

OCIF finds opportunities with the highest potential benefit to Calgary’s economic future and fuels these opportunities with funding that ensures impact. The investments focus on strategic sectors aligned with the vision in Calgary’s economic strategy to embrace innovation and technology, and resolve global challenges. The portfolio of projects supported includes those in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, agribusiness, digital media and entertainment, energy and environment, financial services, life sciences and technology sectors.

In total, OCIF has found 28 opportunities — fueling them with $83.9 million in funds committed and $37 million disbursed. For every dollar invested by OCIF, Calgary has experienced a 10x return on funding committed, spurring a total of $878 million in economic activity through a wide range of private, non-profit and public sector investments in the city.

As of May 2024, these projects have absorbed an impressive 594,000 square feet of office or industrial space and completed over 3,700 training and work-integrated placements. But OCIF’s impact doesn’t stop at investing. The fund fosters each project’s success by integrating them into a network of support across Calgary’s community.

What’s next?

Looking ahead to the next five years, OCIF will continue to help diversify Calgary’s economy by investing in projects that accelerate innovation and equip working Calgarians with the skills they need to succeed. This includes ensuring equity-deserving groups can effectively participate in Calgary’s economy.  

“We’ll continue to fuel innovative ideas and partnerships that transform industries and build up an innovation ecosystem in Calgary,” says Parry. “These investments, alongside future funding, will continue to create sustainable economic growth for Calgary.”

Learn more at OpportunityCalgary.com.

This content was supplied by the advertiser for commercial purposes. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Avenue staff.

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