Third Canadian Stock Exchange Emerges
The other venture exchange Alberta, grew to satisfy local capital needs. Investors supported or speculated on Canadian Shield plays from Toronto or on west coast ventures from Vancouver. However, a Calgarian or other Albertan, wanting funding to explore for minerals in the Rockies of Alberta or to check out oil seepage in the foothills, could find little financial support. In response, the Alberta Stock Exchange emerged in Calgary.
This post is Part 7 of the White Top View Series, Stock Markets, basic discussions of the American and Canadian stock markets. Links to all parts of the series are at the end of this post.
The Other Venture Exchange Alberta Stock Exchange
Established in 1913, the Alberta Stock Exchange (ASE) began to fund mines and other western resource exploration ventures. Calgary based, it supported exploration plays in the Alberta Rockies and the occasional probe below the prairie soil. From the beginning, the tiny exchange struggled. It remained a minor league capital player.
The 1949 Leduc oil discovery, changed all that! Discovered when Leduc Rig No. 1, drilling just south of Edmonton, hit a pressurized pool of oil! With a thundering whoosh, a gusher of oil blew into the sky and rained down on the prairie! That blowout and discovery changed the future of Alberta and Canada!
The blue eyes sheiks of Alberta were on their way to riches! Vast pools of black gold exist in the Western Sedimentary Basin. That geological formation extends underneath most of the area overlain by the Alberta prairies!
Proof of significant oil under that rich prairie soil, launched a boom of exploring and developing that continues today! Oil and natural gas reserves lie under most of the region covered by the rich grain and oilseed crops of the Canadian prairies. That geological basin produced and continues to yield much oil and natural gas.
Agriculture riches above, black gold and natural gas below! I must give a shout out to photographer Rosemary Ratcliff for her picture, shown above, “two oils of Alberta”. She referrers to the black crude pumped from below the rich prairie soil and the bright yellow flowers of the canola crop that grows above. Canola oil is a mainstream cooking oil and used in many food processes. Many fields across Alberta turn this characteristic bright yellow when the canola blooms.
Happy times and the growth of many prosperous communities relate directly to the many petroleum discoveries that followed. Many workers build and support the extensive production related facilities that now extend across the Canadian prairies and well into the north.
The wealth now flows from a huge area. From north-eastern British Columbia with the discovery of huge amounts of natural gas, it continues across central and southern Alberta which contain natural gas and oil in large quantities. The huge deposits continue across the south half of Saskatchewan well into southern Manitoba.
That huge area of rich farmland over the Western Sedimentary Basin covers greater area than all but a handful of the largest nations on earth!
Later Discoveries Of Petroleum, Uranium, Potash Add More Wealth
North of the prairies, the discovery of rich hydrocarbon deposits continues even today. There are extensive discoveries and much production already established. Those developments and exploration came well after the beginnings of the ASE. They continue to have ever greater national and world-changing impact.
More recent developments include the vast and incredible oil sand discoveries that built Ft. McMurray in north-eastern Alberta. Related developments continue to expand across northern Alberta and northwest Saskatchewan. Although immensely important to Canada and the world, their development and contribution comes at a later phase in the timeline of Canadian stock market development.
Likewise, additions of large and extensive uranium deposits in Saskatchewan and incredibly extensive potash deposits, postdate the beginning of the ASE. Development of the huge potash resources of Saskatchewan that now fertilize 40% of crops in nations around the world, began well after the ASE first came into its own.
The ASE developed into a practical, useful and important stock exchange. A happy offshoot of the growing Alberta Stock Market financings, was the growing numbers of professionals, workers and investors with deep oil and gas knowledge. As well, many people of the province became part of an emerging investment culture that supported new petroleum ventures.
The ASE was the last major piece of the Canadian equity markets to arrive on the scene. Previous posts discussed the Toronto and Vancouver markets, now with Calgary in the mix, we have the big pieces of the current Canadian equity market in place.
Importantly, we also know that there are three extensive business and professional communities and networks of supporting knowledgeable players in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The resulting combination of all players into one extensive network, now makes Canada the recognized world leading marketplace for resource financing and exploration ventures.
More on that and the ancillary effects of such markets, players and listed companies in posts to come.
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