Building on a 2016 centre in Montreal, Amazon Web Services has launched its second major infrastructure hub in Canada.
Based in Calgary, this second AWS centre represents Western Canada.
“With the launch of the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, customers and partners across Canada now have additional infrastructure to deploy applications with greater resilience, availability, and lower latency, while enabling more customers to innovate with advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to help fuel economic development across the country,” stated Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS.
AWS intends to invest US$18 billion in infrastructure in Canada through 2037, which will support an average of more than 9,000 “full-time equivalent” jobs annually, according to an economic impact study from the firm.
“We are proud to deepen our investment by driving local job creation, building cloud skills, and creating opportunities for growth and collaboration with our local customers and AWS Partners,” said Kalyanaraman.
Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry believes that the digital infrastructure being established by Amazon Web Services near Calgary will support Canadian developers, startups, large enterprises, and academic institutions in their work by enabling access to AWS’s powerful advanced cloud technologies.
“Our government is committed to positioning our domestic industries for long-term growth and sustainability,” said François-Philippe Champagne. “This means faster and more reliable access to cloud services to support computing, storage, networking, analytics, artificial intelligence, mobile, hybrid, media, and security, which helps to secure well-paying jobs across many new industries.”
Although the region is grappling with high office vacancy rates, Alberta’s Minister of Technology and Innovation is quick to point out that the province “has one of the fastest growing tech markets in North America and is an internationally recognized hub of tech innovation.”
“The establishment of an Amazon Web Services infrastructure Region near Calgary further strengthens our information technology sector and supports businesses and public sector organizations while helping to attract the best-in-class talent,” stated Nate Glubish.
Active AWS customers in Canada include Calgary Sports and Entertainment, Neo Financial, and the University of Calgary, as well as many from BC, including well-funded KOHO Financial, TELUS, and STEMCELL Technologies, which is Canada’s largest biotech company.
“We moved to AWS in 2010 to help us focus our efforts on supporting science at a hyperscale level,” explains John Lilleyman, chief information officer at STEMCELL. “As a result, teams spent less time on infrastructure and maintenance, and more time on innovating.”
“Technology is at the core of our company’s ongoing digital transformation and long-term growth,” continued Lilleyman, chief information officer at STEMCELL. “The addition of this second AWS Region in Canada will help us to further improve the resilience of our critical workloads and help ensure we provide our employees, the majority of whom are based in Greater Vancouver, a low latency user experience.”
“The new AWS Region near Calgary will deliver several benefits for our business, including having a failover region in-country so we can provide improved resiliency and reduced latency to our users,” stated Jonathan Klein, chief technology officer at BC-born fintech KOHO.
Established in 2006, AWS now has 105 Availability Zones across 33 geographic regions.
The company also continues to invest in upskilling developers and students with cloud skills through programs like AWS Academy and AWS Educate, which provide free resources to accelerate cloud-related learning and prepare students for the jobs of the future.
Since 2017, AWS has trained more than 200,000 Canadians as part of Amazon’s commitment to train 29 million people around the world for free on cloud and technical skills by 2025.