Alberta's Provincial Emblems
|Bird||Great Horned Owl|
|Mammal||Rocky Mountain Big Horned Sheep|
Calgary's cowboy image is still very much encouraged, but today it is hardly representative of all that this city has to offer. Although the world famous Calgary Stampede is still an annual event celebrated with much pride and enthusiasm, and the cattle industry is still important in Alberta, there is so much more to this modern, vibrant and increasingly cosmopolitan city than just a 'Cowtown' - as Calgary was once called.
The area near Calgary was home to the Blackfoot Indians for at least hundreds of years. In the 18th Century the Stoney and the Sarcee bands arrived in the region. Fort Calgary came into existence as a North West Mounted Police settlement in 1875. The police were dispatched to the area to deal with the lawlessness and unrest among the Indian tribes and the white settlers. The name Calgary means 'clear running water' in Gaelic that probably referred to the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers where the fort was established. You can still visit the remains of the fort today. The Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in 1883. Settlement was encouraged by the offer of free land and by 1891 the population was already over 4000. At the end of the 1800s there was a lot of immigration north by settlers from the United States, attracted by the fine grazing country Southern Alberta had to offer. Soon Calgary and region was cowboy country, and with the closeness of the railway, Calgary became a transportation and meatpacking hub. Apart from the Stampede and the proud cultural heritage of the cowboy, cattle and ranching are still very important in the region.
Each year, the Calgary Stampede storms the city with a momentum that has wrangled up much interest since its first rodeo in September of 1912. Now held annually in July, the city relives its western heritage with an event that Calgary deems as "the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth". The whole city gets involved with shops adding wooden, ranch-like storefronts, restaurants transforming into saloons, and people sportin' western duds. But don't expect any tumbleweeds. Calgary is a modern urban centre with plenty of amenities to serve its nearly one million residents. In spite of its large population, the city remains true to its down home friendliness and offers a big-hearted, western welcome to all who visit. And the spirit is contagious.
Calgary is no stranger to welcoming the world. The very successful 1988 Winter Olympics put Calgary on the map, and in 1997, the city was host to the World Police Fire Games. But it is the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede that best defines the city and continues to attract millions each year.
The Calgary Stampede was the brainchild of Guy Weadick, an enterprising cowboy and promoter who lobbied four of Calgary's wealth-iest pioneers to fund his idea of a Wild West extravaganza. Four prominent Calgary businessmen, known as the Big Four--consisting of ranchers George Lane and A.J. McLean, beef processor Pat Burns, and brewery owner A.E. Cross--provided Weadick with $100,000 to hold the first Calgary Stampede. Since then, the annual event has grown to attract millions of visitors from all over the world, injecting over $125 million annually into Calgary's economy.
also known as Kananaskis Country, is a destination where year round activities,
adventures and inspiring natural beauty make an indelible impression on
those who visit. In the summer alpine meadows spill down the craggy peaks
of the Rocky Mountains. Campers, hikers and bikers drawn into the rugged
peaceful surroundings are met by countryside bejeweled with crystal icy
rivers, fresh alpine air, and meadows that teem with brilliant wild flowers.
Winter brings skiers and other adventurers who derive great pleasure in
the white frozen beauty of the Rockies. Regardless of the season and whether
visitors experience Kananaskis on a day trip, "rough it" in
a two-man tent, or relax in luxurious first class accommodation, the joy
and splendour of Kananaskis Country is revealed to all who venture into