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Our culture

What is culture? It is a way of life for a group of people. It is their behaviours, beliefs, values and the symbols they accept, generally without thinking about them. Culture is passed along by communication and is often passed down from one generation to the next. Culture refers to the people in our organization and how we operate, how we treat each other, and how we communicate in general.

Culture in an organization is what is expected, reinforced and recognized. Here at The City it refers to the people in our organization and how we operate, how we treat each other, and how we communicate in general.

Our culture, leadership, services and corporate strategy demonstrates who we are as an organization. Our common purpose and shared values are key to helping us make life better every day,

Our Vision

Calgary: a great place to make a living, a great place to make a life.

Our Common Purpose

Making life better every day.

The word "life" has a dual meaning: existence (people's lives), and verve (energy, creativity). We make a difference by contributing to people's well-being - their comfort, security and satisfaction with life in our city - and ensuring a high standard of quality of life for our residents. We also make a difference by bringing "life" to new ideas, creativity and innovation to our work, and energy and enthusiasm in our approach to public service.

Our Values


Individual responsibility

I act responsibly, perform my duties to the best of my ability and present myself as a positive ambassador for the City.

Collective accountability

We work together for the benefit of the people of Calgary.

Key thoughts:

Corporate stewardship
We are accountable for the financial, social and environmental resources entrusted to us, to ensure the decisions we make today contribute to the quality of life in the community now and into the future.

Environmental stewardship
Encouraging responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to protect and improve the quality of life in the community.
Safe and healthy work environment
Protecting the health and safety of ourselves, the people we work with and the public.
Fiscal stewardship
Managing citizens' tax dollars in a responsible and efficient manner.


Working Together

Civic leadership in today's world requires a corporate culture and an inclusive public service environment where employees with diverse backgrounds, varied perspectives, skills, and experiences work together to provide exceptional municipal public service.

The collaboration of diverse people, ideas, and different perspectives is an organizational asset that generates greater creativity and innovation. We are at our best when we are working together, and collectively focused on meaningful outcomes for our citizens. Ensuring a high level of engagement and satisfaction among our citizens, customers and employees is paramount in achieving our future for The City of Calgary as a great place to live and work.

Go to Corporate Employee Survey reports

city worker 

Authorizing Environment

The authorizing environment refers to all the sources of authority which enable the Administration to act. The formal sources of authority are the bylaws which establish the powers of the Administration.

Permission Space

The permission space is the informal source of authority which is a wider set of influences that shape an employee's capacity to exercise power.

Our Promises

Service Promise

What matters to you matters to us. We listen, respect and act.

We provide valued municipal services focusing on the needs of Calgarians. We listen, respect and act.

Employee Promise

The City supports a safe and respectful work environment. Above all, employees are afforded the same concern, trust, respect and caring attitude they are expected to share with every Calgary resident, business and visitor.


The Four Cs of our Culture

The 4 Cs are the essential behaviours of our organization. We look for these in our new hires, recognize them in our colleagues, and develop them in our employees.

Character, Competence, Commitment & Collaboration:

Character is behaving the right way.

Our character is our internal compass that determines how we navigate through each day. We do our work with respect, integrity, courage, empathy and compassion. We are authentic, principled and transparent in all we do, and have the self-awareness to adjust course if necessary.

"It flows from the soul."

Competence is doing the right things the right way.

Critical thinking and sound judgment are fundamental to making well-informed decisions at all levels in the organization. As good stewards, we must allow for innovation and creativity in our solutions to remain resilient and adaptive to changes that will inevitably come our way.

"It flows from the mind."


Commitment is dedication to the greater public good.

Our commitment is driven by our passion for public service that inspires the work we do every day. We take ownership for our decisions and actions, always striving for excellence and results.

"It flows from the heart."

Collaboration is working together for a common purpose.

Collaboration works best when we're cooperative, flexible and open-minded to others' views and opinions. Our organization is interconnected, achieving success through the contribution of diverse perspectives and talent.

"It flows from our collective behaviours."