, , , , , , , ,

Calgary–the land of Cowboy boots, CEOs and strange Climates

When I first moved to Calgary I wish I’d been more prepared. If you are considering a move or trip here to the wild west, there are three basics you need to know. I don’t want you to be caught off guard as I was when I first came here.

Cowboy Boots

Well they’re just cool. I got mine at the Alberta Boot Company. You definitely have to get a pair. They give you a distinctive walk. They make you taller. People can hear you coming before they see you. You can wear ’em with anything from jeans to suits to dresses to shorts – anything goes – at least in Calgary.


The Oil and Gas Industry is big here and with it comes CEOs. Just in case you run into one of these characters on Stephen Avenue Mall or end up working for one I want you to be prepared. Wikipedia defines CEOs and their duties as follows: The responsibilities of an organization’s CEO (US) or MD (UK) are set by the organization’s board of directors or other authority, depending on the organization’s legal structure. They can be far-reaching or quite limited and are typically enshrined in a formal delegation of authority. Typically, the CEO/MD has responsibilities as a communicator, decision maker, leader, and manager. The communicator role can involve the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as the organization’s management and employees; the decision-making role involves high-level decisions about policy and strategy. As a leader, the CEO/MD advises the board of directors, motivates employees, and drives change within the organization. As a manager, the CEO/MD presides over the organization’s day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year operations. Or as I like to say, “Well they’re the boss see….you do what they tell ya….at least while they’re in the room.”

Strange Climates

This is what I really want to talk about. Calgary’s weather is …… well different…a lot…… seriously ….. if you don’t like it, wait 20 minutes. We get this phenomena called Chinook Winds and I’m not entirely sure how it work, but during the winter it could be like -2 c (28 f) at 8 am and +23 c (74 f) at 12:30 pm. One Boxing Day (December 26) some fifteen years ago, I was driving to Red Deer to pick my daughter up from her grandparents at a place called Willy’s Burger, with tunes blaring, windows rolled down while wearing cut offs, a white shirt tied Daisy Duke style and cowboy boots – it was 25 c (78 f)! And then one July some years back, I was catching some rays in the late afternoon out on my balcony wearing sunglasses, a Tee, shorts and cowboy boots while drinking a cooler and it was snowing across the street. No word of a lie, it just started snowing! Having already lived here a few years and quite used to the unexpected I turned to my friend Helga and said, “Huh…would ya look at that.”

Have no fear, the Calgary climate is no match for the prepared adventurer. When heading outdoors simply put on a tee-shirt and a pair of shorts, then slip on a sweat shirt or hoodie and a pair of pants. Pack your backpack with a toque, mitts and winter coat and then just dress or undress as needed.

All in all, Calgary is a great city to live, work and play in. The only people I really feel sorry for are the weathermen like David Spence and Andrew Schultz as it’s hard enough to predict today’s weather, let alone the 7-day forecast. As I write this, they are calling for 10-15 cm of snow this afternoon. We’ll see…..

To those who live in Calgary, I’d love to hear your strange climate stories. To those who have yet to visit, what are ya waiting for?