Alberta is a western province with an estimated population of just over 4 million residents spread out over an area of about 660,000 square kilometres. The capital of Alberta is the city of Edmonton, but Calgary is the largest city in the province. Alberta is also home to the famous Lake Louise and Banff National Park, known primarily for its beautiful lakes and mountains.
Edmonton is the second largest city in Alberta with a population of around 932,000 and is home to the largest mall in North America – the West Edmonton Mall. Edmonton’s economy is made up primarily of the oil and gas industry, and out of their $57.8 billion provincial GDP, $34.4 billion of that comes from oil and gas – landing it as Oil Capital of Canada! There has been quite a bit of growth in the technology sector as well, making Edmonton one of Canada’s premier research and education centres. The city has been the birth town to many successful companies; The Brick, Boston Pizza, Earl’s, Running Room, and Shaw Communications are only a few.
Calgary is the capital of Alberta and has a population of around 1.3 million residents. The economy in Calgary is very diverse! They have large sectors in financial services, energy, film and television, transportation and technology! In 2015, Calgary had the highest number of millionaires per capita of any major Canadian city, and has consistently been recognized for its high quality of life and was ranked by The Economist as “the fourth most liveable city in the world”.
Banff National Park is the oldest national park and was established in 1885. It’s located just west of Calgary and in the Rocky Mountains. The park is about 6600 square kilometres with many mountains, glaciers and ice fields. Banff has a significant tourist economy, with over 3 million visitors annually, thanks to amazing and unique accommodations such as the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise which boasts some of the most amazing views in the country.
Alberta’s economy as a whole is one of the strongest in the entire world. The average home price in this province is about $387,000 and has the highest GDP per capita of any province in Canada. Alberta’s most prominent industry is for petroleum and to a lesser extent, agriculture and technology. Alberta is the largest producer of conventional crude oil, synthetic crude, natural gas and gas products in Canada.
The culture in Alberta is reasonably diverse. Edmonton is home to The Edmonton Fringe Festival as well as various folk festivals. Calgary is probably best known for its annual Calgary Stampede which is Canada’s biggest rodeo festival, and in line with the western tradition of rodeo, other cultural artisans create unique Alberta western heritage crafts that are available to visitors during the Stampede.
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