Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hot Careers in Calgary (and Alberta)

Even though the pace of employment growth in Alberta has slowed somewhat, the province is still the fastest growing job market in Canada. I was researching the Alberta labour market recently and found out that careers in health and retail are very hot these days. Here is a list of the most in-demand occupations in Alberta.

1. Construction Workers

The demand for construction workers will be strong for the foreseeable future. In addition to the the province of B.C, Alberta will have a major shortage of skilled people in all construction trades, specially with British Columbia attracting a lot of tradesmen for the construction of the 2012 Winter Olympics venues.

A significant number of workers are from Europe, and Alberta is competing with other provinces to attract these people for it's booming oil and gas sector. The most common trades -- carpentry, pipe-fitting, welding, drywall, and foundations -- are all still in very high demand and will be for the foreseeable future.

2. Nursing

With a growing population of old people and the provincial government spending more in the health care sector, nurses have become one of the most in-demand employees in Alberta. Alberta has a special recruitment bureau under the province's ministry of health, and they have traveled to the United States and Europe to recruit nurses. A handsome salary and flexible schedules are few of the perks that Alberta offers to it's nurses.

3. Information and Communications Technology

Although the Information Technology sector has seen some shrinkage in the past few years, there are still many opportunities in this area, specially as increasing number of small businesses are implementing and upgrading technologies in their workplace and are in need of experts who can handle the computer networks and telecommunication infrastructure that they have. The IT occupations are expected to grow between 2-5 percent in the next few years.

4. Accountants

With tough new regulation of the financial industry by the government, the need for charterered accountants and compliance experts has increased. Again, the demand is being fueled mostly by oil and gas companies.

5. Protective Services

The Calgary Police Services and the Calgary Fire department have launched a huge recruiting campaign across North America and the U.K, because of a serious shortage of police officers and EMS/paramedic personnel.

6. Power Line Technicians

A journeyman power line technician is one of the highest paying occupations these days. According to one career adviser, even apprentices can earn six figure salaries. As the population grows and more electricity transmission lines are being put in, there is no shortage of work and the prospect is long-term.

7. Truck Drivers

With the rise in transportation of goods and equipment across Alberta, truck drivers are in high demand. From hauling gravel and cement to transporting the famous Alberta beef, trucking is a rapidly growing business in the heart of the new west.

8. Teachers

With an ever increasing student population, the need for teachers and educational instructors will be high for a long time to come.

In addition to the above mentioned jobs, careers in Engineering, Retail, Financial services, Health care, and Sales are emergent. You can get more information at the Employment Alberta site.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Calgary Stampede 2008

Well folks, this year's Stampede has concluded. Even though the weather wasn't too good, with lots of rain and a hail storm, the event was well attended, although the visitor count was not as high as last year. This year, the Stampede's theme was "parlez vous yahoo!", dedicated to Quebec City, the sister city of Calgary, because of it'400th anniversray.

Here are some videos from this year's event. Enjoy!

Stampede Parade 2008

The annual tradition of Stampede breakfast

Quebec band La Bottine

Rides @ the Midway

And of course, the firworks....

Leave a comment and let me know if any one of you guys attended the stampede this year. Cheers!

Friday, July 11, 2008

When will people use their brains...?!

Here's a story that I just found in the local media. A missionary couple from Calgary were attacked by machete wielding gangsters in Kenya. Here's an excerpt:

'In a cell-phone interview with The Canadian Press from his hospital bed in Nairobi, John Bergen described the attack by men who left him for dead and repeatedly raped and beat his wife earlier this week.'
"All of a sudden, right there in the middle of the yard, is about four or five guys that jumped me and knocked me to the ground and started attacking me with clubs and machetes, clobbering me and cutting me and so on, and scars will be on my legs to show it. "I just didn't know how I was going to come out of this alive. They were just real mean."

But the couple have stated that they will NOT be leaving kenya and continue to help the orphans there. A very noble intent no doubt, but I honestly think they are crazy. You can only help people who are civilized and accept your help graciously and with gratitude, not bite the same hand that feeds them. By the way, the night watchmen who were supposed to guard the compund where the Bergens were staying, were sleeping like donkeys when the attack occured.

It's about time that Canadians use reason rather than emotions before going to dangerous countries like kenya for their so-called missions. Africa is in a mess, with anarchy and lawlessness everywhere. You have people leaders fighting for power and dictators like mugabe murdering his own people. There is no reason for us to be caught in-between their tribal warfare.

There have been quite a few incidents of Canadians travelling abroad, getting into trouble and then the government pays for the expenses like medical and transportation costs, and all of that comes from taxpayers money.

Use your brain people, help the needy in your OWN country, and city; there are plenty who need help here. Let others sort out their own problems.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


It's that time of the year folks, The greatest outdoor show on earth, Calgary Stampede 2008 has begun! Wannabe cowboys and cowgirls will be gracing the stampede park. Some of the main attractions at this year's stampede include: The Rodeo (of course), Saddledome concerts (can't wait for James Taylor), the legendary chuck wagon races and the 2008 GrandStand show.

There's tons more info at the Calgary Stampede website. If you live in Calgary or it's surrounding, don't forget to drop by at one of the stampede breakfasts in your neighborhood. There's going to lotsa food, lotsa music and a wagon-full of fun!

And if you're one of the people who are not big stampede fans and don't like crowded places, then leave a comment here about any alternative gatherings you might have, where like minded people can join you. You shouldn't have to dress up as a cowboy or cowgirl to enjoy this festive season!

Cowboys at the stampede corral

The main entrance to the stampede park

Rides at Midway Park

Bareback Riding

Babes on broncos