#DownturnDiaries: Upsides to the downturn: how the economic situation is sparking positive outcomes

Experts think 2016 will bring positive things to Calgarians despite oil slump

Calgary Dusk ThumbailWith all the negative buzz surrounding the economic situation in the city today, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Calgarians to see an upside to the downturn. However, experts say that there are several positive elements, and economic growth is expected in 2016.

Sarah Hawitt, partner at Blu Era, an executive headhunting company in Calgary, says that there is no more “fat to trim” in the energy sector.

“There are companies that are into their fifth, sixth, seventh round of layoffs now. A lot of people have been keeping a good face on it for a while, but you know, it’s bad,” she says. 

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#DownturnDiaries: How post-secondary students in Calgary can survive an economic downturn

A list of suggestions from least extreme to most extreme


It appears post-secondary students these days are struggling with the financial woes of an economic downturn – at least that’s what Mount Royal University student, Andrea Fulton says when asked about how her bank account is faring.

“I think it’s definitely a little tighter than it used to be,” says Fulton, who is studying journalism, “having to pay for books and finding a job, you really have to watch what you spend money on.”

With many young adults already struggling with the weight of financial affairs for various reasons, and with the strenuous perils of an economic downturn, many are wondering what the future looks like.

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#DownturnDiaries: Alberta’s recent graduates left jobless due to downturn

Geologist works for $11.80 an hour after being laid off from the patch


Derek Thornton is one of thousands of Albertans who trained for jobs in the oil and gas industry only find themselves caught up in a severe economic downturn.

“I am a geologist. I went to the University of Calgary and graduated in 2013 in petroleum geology,” said Thornton. “I worked downtown once I graduated from university for an entire year until my company was about to collapse.”

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#DownturnDiaries: Economy changes jobless Albertans’ lives

Laid off employees find ways to make it through tough times

Pimm2 thumbAccording to Alberta's government, 63,500 jobs were lost this year, making this the hardest hitting downturn since 2009. The plunging oil prices have forced people out of work, leaving Albertans needing to find new jobs.

Instead of struggling to find work, one Albertan has turned a passion for home brewing into a job during the economic downturn.

Mason Pimm discovered his love for beer brewing while he worked at the Edmonton brewery Alley Kat. He said he was interested in the commercial side of brewing and wanted to learn more about the techniques and skills of the trade.

“I had a lot of frustration with the types of roles that were available to me on the market and I wanted to do something more,”said Pimm.

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#DownturnDiaries: Non-profits receive unlikely help during Calgary's downturn

Ongoing layoffs result in increase in available volunteers 


Calgary’s unemployment rate has reached a 6.6 per cent high, up 2.2 per cent since November 2014.

A positive consequence is being realized by some non-profit organizations. Instead of a lack of volunteers, there are more.

“People see this as something that’s a unique opportunity for them to give their natural gifts and abilities in a way that they might not if they were going to the Mustard Seed or Inn From the Cold,” explains Hearts & Hammers founder Dave Bonk.

Hearts & Hammers is a non-profit organization based in Calgary, Alta, that provides renovations for locals in need with mobility challenges, according to their website.

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#Downturn Diaries: Preparing for an economic downturn

Local business owners take steps to prepare for slow growth ahead  

. Two chefs prepare for incoming guests at Market restaurant on 17th Avenue.“People are still coming in, they are just spending less.”

Restaurant owner Vanessa Salopek is keeping a close eye on the current economic climate, concerned with how her restaurant is fairing. 

Salopek founded the family restaurant Market in February of 2013. Located on 17th Avenue S.W., Market offers fresh, locally bought and sourced food.

“When we first opened back in 2013, oil was at a all time high and the economy was booming then so it was a really good time to open and 17th Avenue S.W. was the place to be,” said Salopek. “I am all about supporting our local farmers and I have a passion for local and sustainable food. That’s how I came up with Market.”

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