Don’t you love reading about how people made their fortunes? Whether it’s hard work and a great idea or expanding a family company, the stories of billionaires and millionaires are inspiring.
For those from Alberta, the lay of the land offers ample opportunity for investment and riches. With more than 80% of oil coming from the province and over 30% of the country’s natural resource GDP, the energy deposits in Alberta make it a prime spot for development and expansion.
Many of the richest people from Alberta that made my list are associated with oil or other energy resources.
Richest People From Alberta
Estimated net worth: $4.5 billion
Katz initially made his fortune by securing the rights to a U.S. franchise, The Medicine Shoppe. He is the founder and chairman of the Katz Group of Companies, which owns the Edmonton Oilers hockey team and operates Rexall pharmacies.
Katz sold the pharmaceutical part of his business to a U.S.-based healthcare company for $920 million.
He still has his hands in other industries, though. In addition to real estate development, he’s an investor in Silver Pictures, a production company.
2. Fred and Ron Mannix
Estimated net worth: $3.3 billion
The Mannix family has been a staple around Canada since the 1800s. Fred and Ron’s grandfather, Frederick Stephen Mannix, started working in railway construction.
He expanded to road and heavy construction after that. The family company was involved in projects like the Trans-Canada Highway and the construction of the Toronto and Montreal subway systems.
When their father wanted to step down, he divided the company into two parts, with Ron taking over Coril Holdings and Fred overseeing Mancal Company.
Mancal specializes in oil and gas exploration, the coal industry, and real estate. Coril Holdings provides real estate development, railway maintenance, and personal health and wellness services.
3. Garrett Camp
Estimated net worth: $2.8 billion
Chances are, even if you don’t know who Garrett Camp is, you’ve probably used one of his creations. Camp is the cofounder of Uber, the popular ride-sharing service.
But before all that, he helped develop StumbleUpon, one of the first web discovery platforms. eBay bought the company in 2007 for $75 million.
Camp then helped self-fund Uber in 2009, launching just a few cars on the road in San Fransico to start. With increased demand, the company expanded to other cities and is now one of the largest ride-sharing services in the world.
Even with all that success, Camp continues to work with start-up companies. He started Expa, which helps start-up companies develop by getting capital, a workspace, and advice.
He’s also working to develop a cryptocurrency called Eco.
4. Estate of Ronald Southern
Estimated net worth: $2.3 billion
Although Ronald Southern died in 2016, his estate still tops the richest lists because of the company he helped grow. Southern and his father each invested money into Alberta Trailer Hire Co. back in the 1940s. From that investment, ATCO would form.
ATCO is a holding company specializing in engineering, logistics, and energy. Subsidiaries include oil, natural gas distribution, and construction companies.
Since the 1960s, the company’s been public and trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Southern passed on control of the company to his daughter, Nancy, in the early 2000s.
5. N. Murray Edwards
Estimated net worth: $2.8 billion
Edwards made his fortune by investing in energy companies. One of his most significant holdings, Canadian Natural Resources plans to spend millions of dollars turning bitumen-bearing sand into crude oil.
In addition, Edwards has a significant stake in Canada’s second-largest oil company Ensign Energy.
He owns the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which includes six ski resorts located throughout Canada.
If that’s not enough, Edwards is also the owner of the Calgary Flames hockey team.
6. The Riddell Family
Estimated net worth: $1.62 billion
Clay Riddell started Paramount Resources in the 1970s. It is a petroleum company specializing in the exploration, development, production, and processing of natural gas and other components of crude oil.
The company has various other subsidiaries all within the energy realm. In addition, Clay Riddell was also co-owner of the Calgary Flames.
Paramount Resources is still within the family’s control, even though Clay passed away in 2018. Today, his son Jim is president and CEO of the company.
7. David Werklund
Estimated net worth: $1.43 billion
Werklund started off from humble beginnings. He grew up on a farm and started his career as a Production Manager for Shell Canada. Working there, he saw the need for environmental and waste management issues within the oil and gas industry.
He started Concord Well and grew it into Canada’s third-largest well-servicing company. His next company, Canadian Crude Separators, pioneered a new Gravity Compression System that settles solid waste from the emulsions at the plant.
This new setup exceeded industry regulations and paved the way for new standards.
8. The Shaw Family
Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
James Robert Shaw, better known as JR, started Shaw Communication in 1966. The company provides telecommunication services (internet, telephone, television, and mobile services) to residents of Alberta and British Columbia, as well as satellite customers nationwide.
JR’s son Bradley is the current CEO of Shaw Communications. However, the company is expected to merge with Rogers by the end of the year.
9. Ghermezian Family
Estimated net worth: $650 million
The four Ghermezian brothers grew their father’s business from one of the largest importers of oriental rugs into a real estate and construction company.
Much of the family’s company Triple Five Group, revolves around shopping malls, but not just any shopping malls. These retail centers not only attract everyday shoppers but younger crowds that show up for all the entertainment aspects surrounding it.
The brothers took on a big project they called the American Dream, located in the Meadowland Sports Complex in New Jersey. After years of delays and trouble with financing, parts of the mall are now open, including retail stores, Nickelodeon Universe theme park, Big Snow American ski slope, and DreamWorks Water Park.
Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion.
Markin started his career as a chemical engineer and worked in senior management for Merland Exploration and Helton Engineering.
In 1989, he teamed up with N. Murray Edwards, another billionaire on our list, to start Canadian Natural Resources Limited. The company is the largest producer of natural gas and heavy crude oil in Canada.
Markin is also one of the co-owners of the Calgary Flames. Currently, he is the Chief Accountability Officer of the nonprofit charitable foundation Pure North S’Energy Foundation.
11. W. Brett Wilson
Estimated net worth: $300 million
Wilson started an investment banking firm in the early 1990s and then went on to form FirstEnergy Capital Corporation with N. Murray Edwards. That company provides investment banking services to those in the energy sector. He retired as chairman of FirstEnergy in 2008.
In addition, Wilson owns the Nashville Predators hockey team and the Derby County FC, an English football club.
12. Chip Wilson
Estimated net worth: $4.9 billion
Chip Wilson is worth a lot of money, so why is he only an honourable mention? Technically, Wilson isn’t from Alberta, but he went to school there, so I figured he deserved at least some recognition.
He started the athleisurewear company Lululemon Athletica. Throughout his time as an executive and as a member of the board, Wilson often disagreed with the direction the company was going. This in part led him to step away from the board and sell a portion of his shares in the company.
Key Industries of Wealth in Alberta
Alberta is known for its abundance of natural resources, particularly in the oil and gas industry. The province’s economy has been closely tied to the production of fossil energy since the 1940s, and this industry continues to be a major contributor to the province’s wealth.
Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry is the backbone of Alberta’s economy and has been responsible for creating many of the province’s wealthiest individuals. The industry includes the exploration, production, and refining of crude oil and natural gas. Major companies operating in this industry include Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, and Imperial Oil Limited.
Alberta’s mining industry is also a significant contributor to the province’s wealth. The industry includes the extraction of minerals such as coal, gold, and copper. Major companies operating in this industry include Teck Resources Limited, Imperial Metals Corporation, and Westmoreland Coal Company.
Real Estate Development
Real estate development is another key industry in Alberta, with many of the province’s wealthiest individuals making their fortunes in this sector. Major companies operating in this industry include Brookfield Residential Properties Inc., Qualico Developments, and Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust.
The technology industry is a growing sector in Alberta, with many companies focused on developing innovative solutions in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and software development. Major companies operating in this industry include Solium Capital Inc., Benevity Inc., and Granify Inc.
The television industry is also a significant contributor to Alberta’s economy, with many companies involved in the production of television shows and movies. Major companies operating in this industry include SEVEN24 Films Inc., Lark Productions Inc., and Inferno Pictures Inc.
The forestry industry is another key industry in Alberta, with many companies involved in the production of lumber and other wood products. Major companies operating in this industry include West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Canfor Corporation, and Interfor Corporation.
Investment and Business Ventures
If you’re interested in investing or starting a business in Alberta, there are plenty of opportunities available. The province is home to a diverse range of industries, including energy, agriculture, technology, and more. Here are some things to consider as you explore investment and business ventures in Alberta:
Alberta has a thriving investment community, with many venture capital firms and angel investors looking for promising startups to fund. Some of the top venture capital investors in Alberta include Investment Alberta Corporation, Panache Ventures, and AVAC Ltd. These firms are always on the lookout for innovative companies with strong growth potential.
In addition to venture capital, there are also many government funding programs available to support businesses in Alberta. For example, the Alberta Innovates program provides funding and support for research and innovation in the province.
Starting a Business
If you’re interested in starting your own business in Alberta, there are many resources available to help you get started. The Alberta Small Business Resources website is a great place to start, with information on everything from business planning to financing and marketing.
In addition to these resources, there are also many networking opportunities available for entrepreneurs in Alberta. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce are both great places to connect with other business owners and learn about the local business community.
Wealth Distribution in Alberta
When it comes to wealth distribution in Alberta, it’s important to note that the province is home to some of the wealthiest Canadians. In fact, according to the latest data, there are over 10,000 millionaires in Alberta alone.
However, despite the presence of so many successful people, the wealth distribution in Alberta is not as evenly spread out as one might hope. In fact, the top 1% of earners in the province make an average of $400,000 per year, while the bottom 50% of earners make less than $35,000 per year.
It’s also worth noting that the population of Alberta is growing rapidly, which means that the wealth distribution could become even more unequal in the coming years.
As more and more people move to the province, the demand for housing and other necessities will increase, which could drive up the cost of living and make it even more difficult for low-income earners to make ends meet.
Philanthropy and Social Responsibility
When it comes to philanthropy and social responsibility, many of Alberta’s wealthiest individuals have made significant contributions to various charitable causes. Here are some notable examples:
- Daryl Katz, the owner of the Edmonton Oilers, has donated millions of dollars to various charities and causes, including the University of Alberta, the Stollery Children’s Hospital, and the Edmonton Food Bank. In 2018, he donated $1 million to the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund following the tragic bus crash that claimed the lives of 16 members of the junior hockey team.
- Clayton Riddell, the late founder of Paramount Resources, was a well-known philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, healthcare, and the arts. He was also a major supporter of the University of Calgary, where the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources is named in his honour.
Currently, there are 64 billionaires in Canada. The country comes in the top ten, holding on to the eighth spot.
As noted on my list of richest people in Alberta, many in the top spot come from generational wealth, meaning they either inherited money from a family member or were able to continue working for their family’s successful business and possibly expand it.
The number one and two spots of most billionaires probably aren’t any surprise – it is the United States and China.
Currently, Forbes names Elon Musk as the richest person in the world with a net worth of $211.4 billion. Musk is the founder of SpaceX and was an investor and product architect of Tesla.
His wealth is staggering when you consider the next person on the list, the founder of luxury brand LVMH, Bernard Arnault’s net worth is $150.5 billion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the wealthiest individuals in Alberta?
According to the latest reports, the wealthiest individuals in Alberta are mostly from the energy sector. Some of the richest people in Alberta include Murray Edwards and Daryl Katz.
What are the names of the richest families in Canada?
Some of the richest families in Canada include the Thomson family, the Weston family, and the Irving family. These families have made their fortunes in various industries such as media, retail, and oil.
How many millionaires are there in Edmonton?
As of 2023, there are approximately 7,000 millionaires in Edmonton. Many of these millionaires have made their fortunes in the oil and gas industry.
Who holds the title of richest person in Edmonton?
As of 2023, the title of the richest person in Edmonton belongs to Daryl Katz. Katz is the founder and owner of the Katz Group, a company that owns the Edmonton Oilers hockey team and several other businesses.
How many billionaires reside in Calgary?
As of 2023, there are approximately 10 billionaires residing in Calgary. Many of these billionaires have made their fortunes in the energy sector.
Who is the wealthiest person in Calgary?
As of 2023, the wealthiest person in Calgary is Murray Edwards. Edwards is the founder and chairman of Canadian Natural Resources, a company that is involved in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas.
Many of the richest people on this list made their fortunes because of the rich natural resources located within Alberta. Either way, the province is home to some pretty intelligent and forward-thinking people that built businesses from the ground up or improved family companies.
If you can’t get enough reading about these wealthy individuals, check out my article on the richest people in Toronto.