Amazon Web Services announced the launch of its second AWS infrastructure Region in Canada—the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region. Starting today, developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organizations, will have greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from AWS data centers located in Canada. Customers will also have access to advanced AWS technologies, including data analytics, security, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI), to drive innovation. AWS also released a new economic impact study highlighting that the company is planning to invest an estimated $17.9 billion (approximately CA $24.8 billion) in Canada through 2037 via the new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region and the existing AWS Canada (Central) Region in Quebec. For more information about AWS Global Infrastructure, visit aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure.
“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,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “AWS is committed to helping organizations of all sizes and across all industries increase agility and drive innovation. 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.”
“Our government is committed to positioning our domestic industries for long-term growth and sustainability. The powerful digital infrastructure being established by Amazon Web Services near Calgary, Alberta will support Canadian developers, startups, large enterprises and academic institutions in their work by enabling access to AWS’s powerful advanced cloud technologies,” said The Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Government of Canada. “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.”
“Alberta has one of the fastest growing tech markets in North America and is an internationally recognized hub of tech innovation,” said the Hon. Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation for the Government of Alberta. “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.”
With the launch of the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, AWS has 105 Availability Zones across 33 geographic regions, with announced plans to launch 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. The AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region consists of three Availability Zones and joins the existing AWS Canada (Central) Region, which opened in December 2016. AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, but near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance.
With the launch of the new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, AWS becomes the first major cloud services provider to have an infrastructure region in Western Canada. The launch of the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region provides customers with more options to run workloads with even greater resilience and availability, and to securely store data in Canada, while providing even lower latency across the country to drive greater productivity, more efficient business operations, and enhanced real-time application performance. Customers can now use the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, in addition to the AWS Canada (Central) Region, for use cases such as disaster recovery and can run their mission-critical applications across multiple AWS Regions in Canada with even higher levels of resilience and availability. Customers also have access to advanced AWS technologies to accelerate innovation, including compute, storage, networking, business applications, developer tools, data analytics, security, ML, and AI. As part of its infrastructure across the country, AWS has launched eight total Amazon CloudFront locations in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Amazon CloudFront is a highly secure and programmable content delivery network (CDN) that accelerates the delivery of data, videos, applications, and APIs to users worldwide, with low latency and high transfer speeds. In addition, AWS has announced AWS Local Zones in Toronto and Vancouver. AWS Local Zones are a type of AWS infrastructure deployment that places compute, storage, database, and other select services closer to customers for applications that require single-digit millisecond latency to end users.
AWS also released an economic impact study estimating the company’s projected spending on the construction and operation of its two AWS infrastructure Regions in Canada will support an average of more than 9,300 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at external businesses annually, with a planned investment of more than $17.9 billion (approx. CA $24.8 billion) through 2037. The new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region, specifically, is estimated to support an average of more than 1,300 FTE jobs annually, and AWS plans to invest more than $2.9 billion (approx. CA $4 billion) in Alberta through 2037. These jobs, including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and others within the country’s broader economy, will be part of the AWS supply chain in Canada. In addition, the construction and operation of the two AWS infrastructure Regions is estimated to generate more than $31 billion (approx. CA $43.02 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP), and the new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region is estimated to add about $4.1 billion (CA $5.62 billion) to Canada’s GDP through 2037.
Customers and AWS Partners welcome the AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region
Tens of thousands of Canadian organizations are among the millions of active customers using AWS around the world. Large and small enterprises in Canada choose AWS to innovate, drive cost efficiencies, and accelerate time to market. Customers in Canada using AWS to build their businesses and rapidly scale nationally and around the world include Bell Canada, BlackBerry, BrainBox AI, Calgary Sports and Entertainment, CI Financial, Good Chemistry, Keyera, Kidoodle.tv, KOHO Financial, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the National Hockey League (NHL), Neo Financial, Nutrien, RBC, SECURE, STEMCELL Technologies, Strathcona Resources, Sun Life, and TELUS. Public sector organizations that use AWS to transform the services delivered to Canadians include AlayaCare, the College of Physicians and Surgeons Alberta (CPSA), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, WELL Health, and several groups within the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces.
Enabling Canada’s workforce
AWS continues to invest in upskilling developers, students, and the next generation of IT leaders in Canada with sought-after 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. Numerous Canadian universities and business schools, including Athabasca University, Bow Valley College, Concordia University of Edmonton, Humber College, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Red River College Polytechnic, and Université de Sherbrooke, participate in these programs. AWS also offers a free full-time, classroom-based skills development and training program, AWS re/Start, to prepare individuals for careers in the cloud and connect them to potential employers. In 2022, AWS teamed up with Calgary’s Mount Royal University to launch AWS re/Start for displaced oil and gas workers, and with Momentum, a Calgary-based not-for-profit, to bring more women into the tech workforce. AWS also launched the AWS Fiber Optic Fusion Splicing Certificate Course, a two-day training course on fiber optic installation and repair, offered at no cost to participants, to create a pipeline of qualified talent for local and national fiber optic installation and repair companies. Since 2017, AWS has trained more than 200,000 Canadians on cloud computing skills as part of Amazon’s commitment to train 29 million people around the world for free on cloud and technical skills by 2025.
The University of Calgary is a top research university and Canada’s leading start-up creator. Across five campuses, UCalgary fosters an innovative learning environment for its 35,000 students, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. “At the University of Calgary, we are committed to equipping our researchers, students, and staff with the tools they need to create new knowledge and research that will change the world,” says Dr. Robert Thompson, Ph.D., associate vice president (Research) and director of Research Services at the University of Calgary. “By working with AWS, we can offer our faculty, postdocs, staff, and students access to cutting-edge virtual learning environments, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and analytics, and high-performance computing technology that helps accelerate discovery. Already, AWS has helped expand our research capacity in areas ranging from biomedical engineering, to geomatics, to quantum computing. Having this new Region in close proximity will allow us to further harness the tremendous potential of the AWS cloud and advance our research and innovation ecosystem.”
Commitment to sustainability
Amazon is committed to becoming a more sustainable business and reaching net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement, as part of The Climate Pledge. Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge and became its first signatory in 2019. As part of its Climate Pledge commitment, Amazon is on a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the original 2030 target. See Amazon’s public methodology for more on its approach. In 2022, Amazon set a new corporate record for the most renewable energy announced by a single company in one year and remains the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy—a position it’s held since 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Amazon now has 479 renewable energy projects in 26 countries. Additionally, AWS will be water positive by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations.
With a total of four renewable energy projects in Canada, Amazon is currently the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the country, according to Bloomberg NEF. Once operational, the projects will generate more than 2.3 million megawatt hours (MWH) of clean energy – enough to power 1.69 million Canadian homes. Amazon recently announced its first wind farm in Vulcan County, Alberta, and has previously invested in two solar farms, as well as a rooftop solar energy project at an Amazon delivery station in Nisku, Alberta. Amazon’s solar and wind projects are also helping benefit the local economy in Canada. New economic data from Amazon shows the company’s investments in utility-scale renewable energy projects generated an estimated CA $478 million in local economic investment, and contributed CA $206 million in total gross domestic product (GDP) from 2014 through 2022. These projects will contribute to powering Amazon’s global infrastructure.