Fortis et liber (Strong and free)
Named after Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the province of Alberta was the ninth to join Confederation — just hours after Saskatchewan.
Today, Alberta is known for its leadership in the energy industry and also for its ‘cowboy spirit’ — it is home to more than two million head of cattle, and, as the provincial motto suggests, the spirit of independence is a driving force in Albertans’ day-to-day lives.
Designated in 1885, Banff is Canada’s oldest national park, and set the standard for other national parks across North America.
The small town of Drumheller on the Red Deer River is at the centre of an area known as ‘Dinosaur Valley’. The wild, rocky Badlands of this part of Alberta have yielded hundreds of exquisitely preserved dinosaur fossils and thousands of bones.
The artworks in the Alberta Room include Laura Vickerson’s ingenious Blue Chip and Fred Herzog’s Kodachrome photograph Banff Meatateria, a literal snapshot from the 1950s taken in the Rocky Mountain town of Banff. Young Edmonton artist Nomi Stricker presents an abstract landscape with Waltz. All of the pieces complement Billie Rae Busby’s mountain-and-prairie pattern on the room’s custom-made carpet.
Possessed of great stealth, power and speed, the fearsome dinosaur predator known as the Albertosaurus was discovered in Alberta in 1884.
Alberta is one of the few places in the world where there are no rats.
The unusually named Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump National Park is to be found 18km northwest of Fort Macleod.
Western Canada’s first oil well was struck in 1902 in today’s Waterton Lakes National Park, but the well that started Alberta’s reign as one of the world’s great energy producers was struck on 13 February 1947 near the town of Leduc.