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10 Fun and Interesting Facts about Alberta

Ready to dive into the fascinating world of Alberta? Well, hold onto your toques because here are some fun and interesting facts. From mind-blowing landscapes to quirky traditions, this province is full of surprises that’ll have you itching to explore.

So, grab a double-double, kick back, and get ready to discover the true essence of Alberta. Trust me, after learning these cool tidbits, you’ll be bursting with Canadian pride and itching to shout, “I love Alberta, eh!”.

Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta

Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta's Homepage

You know what’s really cool about Alberta? It’s actually named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, who was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s fourth daughter. 

They named the province after her when it was established in 1905. Princess Louise was super into charity work, arts and education, and she was a big animal rights advocate. 

Sadly, she passed away in 1939, but Alberta still carries her name and honours her spirit through its awesome cultural scene and rich history.

Alberta is Canada’s 4th largest province

Alberta is Canada's 4th largest province's Homepage

With an area of roughly 661,848 square kilometres, this western Canadian province towers over the other provinces and even the US states in terms of size. That’s almost four times the size of the UK, or enough to fit eight countries the size of Switzerland!

Alberta has a population estimated at 4.3 million people, which is around 11% of And there are around 4.3 million people living here, which is about 11% of Canada’s total population.

That’s way more than its smaller neighbour, Saskatchewan, which has just over a million people. When it comes to cities, Calgary is the biggest one in Alberta, with over 1.2 million folks. And Edmonton, the capital, has around 899,447 people. 

Together, they make up more than half of the province’s population! Finally, it should come as no surprise that Alberta is also the fourth most economically powerful province in all of Canada—pretty impressive, eh?

Alberta is landlocked but it’s full of lakes

Alberta is landlocked but it’s full of lakes' Homepage

If you’re not from around here, you may not know that Alberta is landlocked in the middle of Canada, surrounded by four other provinces and two territories. 

Despite this, it’s filled with over 600 large lakes and countless reservoirs, wetlands, rivers, and streams! 

In total, almost 10% of Alberta’s land is covered in water. Here are some of Alberta’s most stunning bodies of water (and our favourites, of course!):

  • Lake Louise: Located in Banff National Park, Lake Louise holds the title of Canada’s most photographed lake!
  • Jasper Lake is one of Alberta’s deepest lakes, with a maximum depth of 87 metres (285 feet).
  • Abraham Lake: This lake is also known as Canada’s “ice bubble lake”, due to its frozen foam bubbles that form on top from animal faeces!

So how did all these lakes come to be? It turns out that Alberta was under an ocean many years ago, which left behind fossils and sediment. Over time, these sediments formed numerous rivers and streams that turned into lakes in certain places. 

Alberta is home to Calgary Stampede known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”

Alberta is home to Calgary Stampede known as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth's Homepage

Held every July, this ten-day festival dazzles visitors from all over the world with its traditional rodeo events, agricultural showcases, and live entertainment.

But what makes it so awesome? Well, there’s everything from wild chuckwagon races (including an all-girl race!) to bareback riding—seriously, there’s something for everyone. 

And the whole thing is just steeped in cowboy and ranching vibes, so you can’t help but get into the spirit.

Let me tell you, the cultural experiences at the Stampede are next-level. You’ll be grooving to live music and checking out art installations from talented Canucks—it’s like stepping back in time!

There are also a number of additional attractions that make visiting Calgary Stampede a memorable experience:

  1. Evening Shows: Grandstand Shows put on by renowned performers
  2. Midway Rides: Enjoy carnival rides during your visit!
  3. Shopping: home to over 50 vendors selling unique souvenirs across eight different marketplaces!
  4. Amazing Food: Sample everything from funnel cakes to Alberta beef burgers here.

Alberta’s provincial bird is the Great Horned Owl

Alberta's provincial bird is the Great Horned Owl's Homepage

Did you know that Alberta’s provincial bird is the Great Horned Owl? Not only is it extremely well-adapted to its temperate environment, but its survival skills and strong carnivorous nature make it a great symbol for Alberta’s wilderness.

So why did Alberta choose the Great Horned Owl as its provincial bird? Here are some of its unique qualities:

  • Discernment and resilience: This owl has exceptional night vision, which enables it to adapt to changing conditions, hide from predators, and find food easily in dim lighting. 

It also has phenomenal hearing capabilities, making it an excellent hunter!

  • Strength: The Great Horned Owl is known for its bold and fearless nature. They build strong relationships with their kind and fiercely defend their territory. 

This makes them representative of Albertan strength—an integral part of our culture.

  • Presence across North America: From California to Labrador, these majestic birds can be seen in all weather conditions—one of the few species that can thrive in both warm and cold climates. 

Alberta’s provincial flower is the Wild Rose

Alberta's provincial flower is the Wild Rose's Homepage

​Did you know Alberta is the only province in Canada with a provincial flower? Now you do; it’s the Wild Rose! 

Just like the province, this beautiful flower is unique and has stood as a symbol of Alberta for nearly a century. But why the Wild Rose?

Well, aside from its presence throughout the region, it’s quite adaptable to different climate and environmental changes due to its long stems and delicate petals—much like the Albertans!

The Wild Rose has long been seen as a symbol of steadfastness, courage, and hope—values many Albertans hold dear. Plus, it has become an integral part of Alberta’s culture, connecting people to their past while inspiring optimism for their future!

Alberta is the heart of the Canadian Oil Industry

Alberta is the heart of the Canadian Oil Industry's Homepage

It’s not a well-known fact but Alberta is the heart of the Canadian oil industry! It’s the fifth-largest oil producer in the world, and it produces about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil every day—that’s a lot of fuel!

In fact, 85% of Alberta’s crude production comes from the famous oil sands. This requires a special extraction process that scientifically separates bitumen—a thick form of petroleum—from sand, clay, and water. 

But it doesn’t stop there—Alberta has over 20 refineries to treat and refine raw materials. It also has 13 large industrial pipelines that can transport up to 2.6 million 

barrels each day! 

These pipelines span over 4,000 kilometres across the province. On top of that, Alberta also has a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.

All refineries abide by strict regulations set by both provincial and federal laws, ensuring that our natural resources are treated with the utmost respect. This means cleaner air for everyone!

Alberta is the sunniest province in Canada

Alberta is the sunniest province in Canada's Homepage

On average, Albertans get around 2,300 hours of sunshine each year—that’s nearly double the national average. Lucky us, eh?

Alberta’s location plays a big part in that; it’s one of the few provinces in Canada that’s south of the 50th parallel. That means it’s a full degree farther south than Ontario and Quebec, so it gets more direct sunlight all year—sweet!

Plus, most of Alberta has a dry climate with lower humidity and fewer clouds, which means it can really make the most of those extra sunshine hours.

The first Albertans were indigenous people

The first Albertans were indigenous people's Homepage

You may be surprised to learn that the first Albertans were Indigenous people. But it’s important to recognize that the traditional lands of what is now Alberta belong to many First Nations and Métis who have lived there since time immemorial.

Here are some of the Indigenous groups that once lived in Alberta:

Cree NationThe Cree Nation were the first people in Alberta to be documented by Europeans, and today they make up one of the largest First Nations in Canada. 
The Cree had four main groups: Plains, Woodland, Swampy (Moose), and Rocky Mountain Crees.
Beaver NationThe Beaver Nation was a nomadic group that made its home along the Peace and Athabasca Rivers in northern Alberta, as well as parts of northern British Columbia. 
They were mostly hunters and gatherers known for their extensive trading routes with other First Nations across North America.
Blackfoot NationThe Blackfoot is a confederacy of three distinct nations: 
Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot proper)Kainai (Blood Tribe)Piikani (Peigan) nations 
They occupied much of southern Alberta, with their territory extending into Montana and Saskatchewan. 
The Blackfoot were known for their buffalo hunting pursuits, which provided them with most of their sustenance.

Indigenous Albertans have been an integral part of the province’s history since before it was even established! So next time you’re exploring Alberta, make sure to take a moment to appreciate the rich culture that has been there since time immemorial.

Alberta’s legislature is called ‘the Leg’

Alberta’s legislature is called ‘the Leg’ Homepage

So, you know how Alberta’s legislature is called “the Leg”? It’s got a pretty cool story behind it.

It all started back in 1905 when the first legislature was set up in Alberta, known as the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. By 1912, people began calling it “the Leg.”

This iconic landmark is where the provincial government gets down to business, with elected reps coming together to debate and pass laws. And the nickname has just stuck ever since!

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