Ottawa’s Calian scores $93M contract renewal with Department of National Defence

Kevin Ford
Calian Group CEO Kevin Ford. File photo.

Concluding an interview about yet another headline-grabbing piece of positive news to come out of his company, Calian CEO Kevin Ford jokingly promised Monday that things would slow down at the Kanata-based firm eventually.

Don’t bet on it.

Just a couple of weeks after announcing its third acquisition of the year and a few days after reporting record revenues for fiscal 2018, Calian kept the good times rolling this week. The firm said it had renewed a major contract with the Department of National Defence that will see it provide training services to the Kingston-based Canadian Army Simulation Centre for up to nine years.

Valued at $93 million over five years, the deal could be worth up to $170 million if two extra two-year extensions kick in. Discussing the contract with OBJ, Calian’s CEO had trouble coming up with any more superlatives to describe the organization’s string of successes in fiscal 2018.

“It’s just been a run since the fall,” Ford said simply.

Under the new contract, which begins March 31, 2019, Calian will provide simulated training exercises to the Canadian military and other government agencies the armed forces works with, such as the Coast Guard.

Calian will partner with CASC to create everything from virtual battlefield scenarios to simulated emergency management situations using a variety of third-party technology and proprietary software developed by Calian itself. More than 600 employees will be involved in creating and delivering the training materials over the life of the contract.

“Our progression as a company and the type of innovation, the type of stuff, we’re doing with them is important to us because it’s a key part of who and what we are and we want people to know about,” said Donald Whitty, vice-president of Calian’s training division.

Ford agreed, explaining the deal is important because it keeps a key client in the Calian fold and helps the company’s product and service lines stay up to date with the latest technologies. Noting DND has been a Calian customer for more than 20 years, he called the deal with CASC one of the “core contracts” that put the company on the map when it comes to using cutting-edge technology to provide training services to militaries and first responders.

“There’s a lot of innovation coming from both CASC and Calian to look at how we continue to strengthen or evolve our training and learning opportunities with technology,” he said. “We’re always challenging ourselves to become more innovative in this area.”