My Twitter and Facebook feeds have blown up this week in excitement over this new video from Calgary economic development in an attempt to showcase our city as a thriving, dynamic metropolis to tourists and potential residents alike.
For what it’s worth, it’s really well done and features local duo Jocelyn & Lisa with a catchy new song. In 2 minutes and 40 seconds it touches on a lot of awesome things about Calgary; our pathway system, the under-used Canada Olympic Park, sunshine, festivals, fun night spots like the Ship & Anchor all mixed in with Jocelyn & Lisa performing their tune outside of the historic Bay building downtown. However, after watching it a few times, there were a few things that don’t sit right with me. It’s cool and fun but it just doesn’t feel quite right to me for a few reasons. Reasons that I’m about to lay out in The List (in no particular order).
6) Holy Crap Calgary Is Sunny!
Is this Calgary or Southern California? Aside from a few beautiful snowflakes, Calgary looks like it has amazing weather! In all seriousness, did they shoot this on every sunny day last year? I have nothing against Calgary’s weather but we all know what you’re showing is the exception rather than the rule.
5) Calgary looks hip but where do I go to see some live music?
I think it’s awesome Calgary Economic Development used a local act throughout this video. Someone who sees this from outside our city could potentially travel to our city to see Jocelyn & Lisa. That’s rad. However I feel like aside from the song, there was next to no feeling of a musical climate in our city. A slight shot of Folk Fest, but no Sled Island/XFest or even something inside of one of the great venues. For all of the shots of people going out at night, they sure aren’t going out to see any music. Maybe it’s just me but on any given night you can hit up 5-6 venues to see something going down.
4) Lots of skateboarding for a city that isn’t skate friendly
As someone who is bad at skateboarding but is a skateboard supporter, I found it pretty shocking to see so much footage of skateboarding in a city that lags behindĀ metropolises like Airdrie and Cochrane when it comes in infrastructure and tolerance of skateboarding. This town is easily one of the most un-friendly places to skate. There’s no indoor park, a horrible ratio of facilities to users and BUILDING YOUR OWN RAMP ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY IS ILLEGAL. The dudes shooting on the downtown corner would likely be chased away by bylaw or CPS if they saw them.
3) Where’s the rest of the city?
I get it. The subburbs are boring. Everything sucks in Calgary aside from the downtown, Nosehill and COP. But no Fishcreek Park? One 2 second clip of Heritage Park?
2) Like it or not, the Stampede is a big deal…where is that?
So we had a shot of the Stampede fireworks, some line dancing, and a shot of the grandstand show. All awesome things. But like it or not the Stampede is a massive draw and part of our city and culture. It’s fine if you don’t want to show chuckwagon racing or steer wrestling but no Stampede parade or pancake breakfast footage? No midway? No little kids petting a baby calf in the barns? C’mon guys, that’s gold.
1) Lots of racial diversity, zero cultural diversity
One of my friend posted the video on their newfeed with the caption “I’m apparently not sporty, dynamic or successful enough to live in Calgary”. It was a joke, but it seems like this entire video was really aimed at a late 20′s/30′s, mainly white female demo. Sure, Calgary is a great place to be active and do active things, but I couldn’t help but notice the remarkable lack of cultural diversity. Sure, there’s plenty of people from other races featured, but none of the Afro-cuban festivities during Carifest, or the fun Expo Latino, and zero mention of the city’s long standing pan-Asian community. It just seemed like that whole video was an almost 3 minute tribute to Stuff White People Like.
As a citizen of Calgary, I love this town and for the record, I think the video was well done. I just think it missed the mark in a few areas and seemed to stretch it in a few others. I still congratulate Calgary Economic Development on a job well done in taking the right direction in promoting our city.