Caren Kaufmann moved from Berlin, Germany and has lived in Calgary for almost 12 years. She works for Tourism Calgary as Coordinator, In Destination.
Do you communicate in another language? If so, how do you say "howdy" or "hello?"
I come from Germany, and saying hello in German would be 'Willkommen.' That’s more 'welcome' in English. So instead of saying howdy or hello, in German, we would say ‘Hallo’ which is pretty similar to 'Hello.'
Who is the most influential person in your life?
Definitely my better half - my husband.
Immigrating to Canada and leaving behind an established life and starting from scratch took a bit of courage and my husband was certainly the main driver and supporter on that end. He is always available for advice and support, so he's my most influential person for sure.
What made you both choose Calgary?
We traveled to Canada quite often for vacation and visited many cities and destinations before we finally moved here. During those travels we already felt at home in Calgary and it became very clear for both of us that Calgary was our favourite city. It has almost everything you can think of; it is a larger city, with all the different options from arts and cultural performances to live music events, but you still have that small hometown feeling.
I come from Berlin and I enjoy that it is a bit more relaxed here, but I still have everything that a larger city offers. And then there is the landscape - the beautiful spot where Calgary is located. We're not even an hour away from the Rocky Mountains, not even an hour away from the Badlands or the Prairies. You can go in any direction and it has a different scenery. That's what was really appealing to us.
And then, you chose to work in tourism? Was that a natural fit for you?
It was certainly a natural fit but never planned at all. Many years ago, I read somewhere that you can achieve anything in Canada. If you can't find or do it anywhere else in the world you will be able to find and do it here. And I think, that’s what happened to me.
I have a financial degree and never worked in tourism before. It just developed naturally, and I am fortunate enough to combine my love and interest for Calgary with my daily work now. I always loved promoting our new home to friends, families and former co-workers and we had many visitors from Germany over the past 12 years even many as repeat visits. I started volunteering within tourism during my first year in Calgary just out of that passion and to keep me busy. I never planned to end up in this field but then one thing led to the next and I love it.
And you've been working for Tourism Calgary for how many years now?
For 10 years now.
What inspires you to do such a great job every day?
It's more than one thing. So, what inspires me is the landscape, the mountains, prairies and badlands but also our beautiful city parks, and the path and parkway system. We have beautiful sunsets and sunrises to soak in, and I love spotting wildlife on my way home from work, we're really spoiled with this spot where we are located.
And the second is the arts and culture scene and the diversity which comes with it. I think Calgary has changed so much over the last 20 years I have been in Calgary, first as a tourist and now as a resident. It's incredible how we shifted and evolved, as a city. I love exploring all the new things coming up.
It is so great to see how we are constantly evolving as a city and how we are always re-inventing ourselves and not become stagnant.
What do you look forward to the most in 2022?
I am looking forward to having my parents and some friends over for a visit as they originally planned to come last year and to be the ultimate host for them. We all have been stuck at home for that many months now, but we are all Calgarians and can pull this off together. Let’s be resilient and hopefully, in just a few more months, we should be even in a much better situation than we are right now.