Carlson Construction has an incredible 95-year legacy in achieving exceptional results through remarkable construction experiences. The company was founded in 1927 by father and son, Arthur and Victor Carlson, shortly after their arrival in Canada. They each had experience in construction, architecture, and engineering, and they decided to combine their skills to form one company that could offer more to its clients than what was commonplace in the Edmonton construction industry at that time. Both had experience they used to launch a company that still thrives today offering construction management, pre-construction services, general contracting and design-build across a variety of industry sectors.
Victor’s son, Donald (Don) Carlson assumed the company lead after his father passed in 1964. Don still stops in to visit and is proud to see the legacy continue with current owners Stan Colville, CEO; and Bruce Foster, President. Together, Colville and Foster bring over 55 years of Carlson experience. Both are happy to describe why every experience with Carlson continues to be a truly memorable one.
“Carlson is headquartered in Edmonton with a branch office in Calgary. This allows us to readily serve all of Alberta. Despite being located in Alberta, Carlson has also completed projects throughout other areas across Canada to satisfy repeat client’s construction requirements,” says Foster.
“We provide an exceptional service,” says Colville with conviction, “and we provide that service while being very transparent and professional at all times.”
Foster agrees, adding, “We consider ourselves a boutique construction company that provides a concierge service. We provide personal value added services in the way we think, operate, and build relationships.”
Both the President and the CEO also focus on being involved in the day-to-day operations with the team and the clients, choosing a collaborative approach that empowers clear communication and increased efficiencies.
Colville notes, “The relationships that we have with our clients, consultants and subtrades are very important to us. We are only successful if our clients are happy, so we make it our goal to exceed expectations. We are able to do so thanks to an incredible team who support each other and place just as much importance on client satisfaction as we do.”
Carlson Construction’s projects include work in the commercial, light industrial, heavy industrial, institutional, tenant improvement and multi-family sectors.
The construction industry has experienced challenges due to the recent recession and the COVID pandemic. However, Carlson is proactive about adjusting to the changing market conditions, and as the company continues to grow, it faces each challenge head on.
Colville admits, “Manpower, labour, supply chain issues … COVID has thrown a wrench into everything, including worsening the ever present shortage of trades and workers.”
However, the partners remain optimistic and focus on the aspects of the business that they appreciate and value.
“Every day is a new day. It is very rewarding. We feel a sense of accomplishment and are proud to see even the most complicated projects through. We provide fantastic service for the communities in which we operate and with 95 years of service in the business, we are proud to play a role in building up the Western Canadian landscape. People are always surprised to learn the company is 95 years old. We also find people are surprised to learn how many significant projects we have delivered around the province,” says Colville.
Some of Carlson’s impressive projects include the Citadel Theatre, AMA Kingsway Office Building, Leduc Golf Clubhouse, the majority of the retail buildings in South Edmonton Common, and the 50th Street Business Park Warehouse/Office Buildings.
“We are excited about our current project, the $40M redevelopment of the Royal Glenora Club,” says Foster. This interesting and challenging project allows us to showcase the full range of our skills as we open, retrofit and reimagine the full potential of this facility.”
Another exciting project currently underway is the addition of the indoor tennis facility at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club. Carlson is proud to have been selected, through a competitive process, to be part of this phase of the Derrick Club’s redevelopment.
Part of thriving, for Carlson Construction, is giving back to the community. “We listen to our employees and learn about what they would like to support,” says Colville. With this in mind the company has recently raised significant funds for the Edmonton Food Bank and Santas Anonymous.
With a 95 year history, the list of people, partners and clients Colville and Foster wish to thank is a very extensive one. “We thank them all!” they say. “The staff, trades, consultants, clients, industry partners – we wouldn’t be here today without them. We are only as good as the people we hire that work for us.”
With nearly a century of helping to build Alberta, what comes next for Carlson Construction?
The culture at Carlson is one of entrepreneurship and accountability. As always, the team will be encouraged and supported to work with independence and to contribute to key decision making. The team is always empowered to make decisions that are essential to growth while maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of work. Communication and engagement amongst the team is key as management feels it needs to be confident enough to provide constructive feedback, just as the team needs to be open to receiving it and utilizing it in effective ways.
Foster concludes, “What will never change is our uncompromised quality of construction, service, and excellence. Anytime there is a building or renovation by Carlson Construction, the quality is always unsurpassed. We are committed to providing our clients with ‘A Remarkable Construction Experience.’”
Both agree, “We are looking towards 100 years. We continue to do things the ‘Carlson Way’ and don’t plan on slowing down! Our longevity speaks to who we are.”
Don and Betty Carlson’s influence and leadership in the company reflect its current status as the contractor of choice in Alberta. Don, the son of one of the original founders, says, “I am very proud that Carlson Construction has reached a milestone of 95 years of business in Alberta. I know that the company continues to hold true to the same values as it did when my family founded the company in 1927: quality, honest work and a dedication to service. I trust that the legacy of Carlson Construction will continue long into the future.”
16011 116 Ave NW #100, Edmonton, AB T5M 3Y1 (780) 452-7720 • www.avcarlson.ca