Red Leaf - Canada's Student Programs and Volunteer Experts

  • Phone: +1 905-530-0170
  • Fax: +1 905-895-2521
  • Mail: info@red-leaf.com
  • Website: http://www.red-leaf.com
  • Address: 879 Memorial Circle Newmarket ON L3X 0A8

ALBERTA

Alberta is located next to British Columbia, in the West part of Canada.


Alberta celebrated not long ago the centenary of its birth as a Province: in September, 1st 2005. In 1882, the Canadian Government named the region “Alberta”, after the princess Louise Caroline Alberta, 4th daughter of Queen Victoria. This territory belonged to the British Crown.

Alberta is a great economic engine for Canada due to its important oil and natural gas fields. These fields do not only service all of Canada but, most importantly, mean very profitable exports to their big neighbor, the USA. If one takes into account as well the income generated by tourism, Alberta becomes one on the richest provinces in the country.

Nature has been generous there. To the natural energy resources they can add the fanciful beauty of its landscape.

In 1670, Hudson’s Bay Company obtained authorization to start trading furs with native people and hunting animals in the region. This Company, the HBC, is the oldest in Canada and when the crisis of the fur market arrived, it had to give away most of its land to the Canadian Government. Nowadays known as The Bay, this company is one the biggest commercial networks in the country, with stores all over the country.

The political tendencies of this province are usually more traditional-oriented that one can find in other Canadian provinces.

Geographically, it is divided in six different areas:

• The Rocky Mountain Region
• Boreal Forest
• The Foothills Region
• The Grasslands Region
• The Parkland Region
• The Canadian Shield

Among the “not to miss” attractions of the province, we can list:

• The “Rocky Mountaineer”, a train that travels between the Jasper National Park (declared Common Heritage of Mankind) and Edmonton.
• The Calgary Stampede, a Rodeo-like summer festival known worldwide.
• The Glacier National Park, just 5 hours away from Calgary.

Major cities in Alberta:

Calgary:

Today is the biggest city in Alberta, however the first European, John Glenn, did not establish himself there until 1873. After fighting against slavery in the USA he built a little cabin with his wife Adelaide in the area that today is known as Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Since then, oil, natural gas and tourism have made of the city one of the most important urban areas of Canada. Currently, Calgary is a modern and cosmopolitan city that has managed to keep its identity traits: western bars, clubs and pubs, rugby and ice-hockey.

Culturally, Calgary is a core location for country music and other styles such as folk, pop, rock, punk… as well as venue for several film, music and theater festivals.

Well-known since the Winter Olympics in 1988, Calgary has held major sport events since then.

It also has the advantage of the beauty that Bow River and Elbow River give to it.

Downtown area is easily recognizable due to its numerous skyscrapers: The Calgary Tower or Pengrowth Saddledome (known currently as Scotiabank Saddledome) are two of the symbols of the city, as well as the famous 17th Avenue, full of bars, restaurants and shops.

Interesting links: Calgary Stampede

Edmonton:

In the 19th century the fertile soil and the gold rush attracted settlers that ended up establishing themselves in the area. The current city started to grow after 1795, when the Hudson’s Bay Company established a fur trade center in the area.

Nowadays, the oil exploration and development industry provides jobs to a significant part of the population.

In 1981, the West Edmonton Mall opened its doors as one of the biggest shopping centers in the world. Among its facilities, we can find an amusement park, a water park, an ice rink and a luxury hotel.

Currently, Edmonton’s population is one of the most culturally diverse in the country, with representation of more than 60 different ethnic and cultural groups.

Interesting links: Edmonton

Jasper:

Jasper is a tiny and picturesque town, originally no more than a post crossroad, with a population under 5,000 people. However, Jasper National Park is one of the natural treasures of Canada.

Interesting links: Jasper