Alberta: Doing business & staying in touch

Doing business in Alberta

Situated to the east and north of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta’s business etiquette falls somewhere between the legendary laid-back attitude of the west coast and the well-known conservatism of the east. Canadians from Alberta are immensely friendly, hard-working and punctual. Both men and women dress 'business conservative' in the office, while formal dress is expected at business meetings.

During the Calgary Stampede, however, many of the city's business professionals express their civic pride by dressing in cowboy hats, boots, jeans, etc. The working day typically begins as early as 0800 and ends at 1700. During formal introductions, it is common to shake hands and address individuals by their surnames. On a day-to-day basis, however, both superiors and co-workers are normally addressed on a first-name basis.

Most entertainment takes place in bars and restaurants and it is unusual for a business visitor to be invited into someone's home. Gift giving is uncommon in business situations, although a token gift is acceptable after a project or deal has been completed (but not before). Although Canada is officially bilingual, English is almost always the language of business in Alberta.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.