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("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital =
Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Central Albert ...

Edmonton
, largest_city =
Calgary Calgary Calgary ( ) is a city in the western Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...

Calgary
, largest_metro =
Calgary Region The Calgary Metropolitan Region (CMR), also commonly referred to as the Calgary Region, is a conglomeration of municipalities centred on Calgary, the List of cities in Alberta, largest city in Alberta. With the Government of Alberta's establishme ...
, Premier =
Jason Kenney Jason Thomas Kenney (born May 30, 1968) is a Canadian politician who has served as the 18th and current premier of Alberta since 2019, and as leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) since 2017. He was the last leader of the Alberta Pr ...
, PremierParty = UCP , Viceroy =
Salma Lakhani Salma Lakhani (born 1951 or 1952) is the 19th lieutenant governor of Alberta The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta () is the viceregal representative in Alberta of the . The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is appointed in the same manner as the ...
, ViceroyType = Lieutenant governor , Legislature = Legislative Assembly of Alberta , AdmittanceOrder = 9th/10th, with
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
, AdmittanceDate = September 1, 1905 (split from
NWT
NWT
) , area_rank = 6th , area_total_km2 = 661848 , area_land_km2 = 640081 , area_water_km2 = 19531 , PercentWater = 2.95 , population_demonym = Albertan , population_rank = 4th , population_total = 4067175 , population_ref = , population_as_of = 2016 , population_est = 4436258 , pop_est_as_of = 2021 Q1 , pop_est_ref = , DensityRank = 6th , Density_km2 = 5.7 , GDP_year = 2015 , GDP_total = , GDP_rank = 3rd , GDP_per_capita = , GDP_per_capita_rank = 2nd , HDI_year = 2018 , HDI = 0.940 — Very high , HDI_rank = 1st , HouseSeats = 34 , SenateSeats = 6 , timezone1 =
Mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least ...
, utc_offset1 = −07:00 , timezone1_DST = Mountain DST , utc_offset1_DST = −06:00 , PostalAbbreviation = AB , PostalCodePrefix = T , iso_code = CA-AB , website = www.alberta.ca , flower = , tree =
Lodgepole pine ''Pinus contorta'', with the common names lodgepole pine and shore pine, and also known as twisted pine, and contorta pine, is a common tree in western North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere ...
, bird =
Great horned owl The great horned owl (''Bubo virginianus''), also known as the tiger owl (originally derived from early naturalists' description as the "winged tiger" or "tiger of the air"), or the hoot owl,Austing, G.R. & Holt, Jr., J.B. (1966). ''The World of ...
Alberta () is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
. It is part of
Western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...
and is one of the three
prairie provinces The Canadian Prairies (usually referred to as simply the Prairies in Canada) is a region in Western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a list of regions of Canada, region of ...
.
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were
francophone This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from ...

francophone
and 22.2% were
allophone In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particu ...
. Alberta is bordered by
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
to the west,
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
to the east, the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
to the north, and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
to the south. It is one of the only two
landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basin, endorheic basins. There are currently 44 landlocked countries and 5 list of states with limited recognition, partial ...
provinces in Canada. The eastern part of the province is occupied by the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of in . It is located west of the and east of the , much of it covered in , and . It is the southern and main part of the , which also include the ...
, while the western part borders the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similari ...

Rocky Mountains
. The province has a predominantly
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds In meteorology Mete ...
but experiences quick temperature changes due to air
aridity A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in d ...

aridity
. Seasonal temperature swings are less pronounced in western Alberta due to occasional
chinook wind Chinook winds, or simply 'Chinooks', are two types of prevailing warm, generally westerly winds in western North America: Coastal Chinooks and interior Chinooks. The coastal Chinooks are persistent seasonal, wet, southwesterly winds blowing in f ...

chinook wind
s. Alberta is the 6th largest province by area, being approximately 660,000 square kilometers, and the 4th most populous, being home to 4,067,175 people. Alberta's capital is
Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Central Albert ...

Edmonton
, while
Calgary Calgary Calgary ( ) is a city in the western Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...

Calgary
is its largest city. The two are Alberta's largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and both exceed 1 million people. More than half of Albertans live in either Edmonton or Calgary, which contributes to continuing the rivalry between the two cities. The province also has one other CMA,
Lethbridge Lethbridge ( ) is a city in the province of Alberta Alberta () is one of the thirteen of . It is part of and is one of the three . is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were and 22.2% were . A ...
, and 15 census agglomerations. While the vast majority of Albertans are city dwellers, the identity of the province is mainly rooted in a rural lifestyle (
rodeos Rodeo ( or ) is a competitive equestrian sport The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of eq ...
,
western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
,
country music Country (also called country and western) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed b ...

country music
,
cowboy A cowboy is an animal herder A herder is a pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of ...

cowboy
s). The oil and gas industry is also a part of the province's identity. Alberta's economy is based on
hydrocarbons In organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds, which contain carbon in covalent bonding.Clayden, J.; Greeves, N. and Warren, S. (2012) ''Organic Chemistry ...
, petrochemical industries,
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictabl ...
,
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
and frontier technologies. The oil industry has been a pillar of Alberta's economy since 1947, when substantial oil deposits were discovered at Leduc No. 1 well. Since Alberta is the province most rich in hydrocarbons, it provides 70% of the oil and natural gas exploited on Canadian soil. In 2018, Alberta's output was CDN$338.2 billion, 15.27% of Canada's
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any ...
. In the past, Alberta's political landscape hosted parties like the
left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. ...
Liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
and the
agrarian Agrarian means pertaining to agriculture, farmland, or rural areas. Agrarian may refer to: Political philosophy *Agrarianism *Agrarian law, Roman laws regulating the division of the public lands *Agrarian reform *Agrarian socialism Society * ...
United Farmers of Alberta The United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is an association of Alberta Alberta () is one of the thirteen of . It is part of and is one of the three . is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were and 22.2% ...
, as well as the
right-wing Right-wing politics is generally defined by support of the view that certain social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Instit ...
Social Credit Party and the Progressive Conservatives. Today, Alberta is generally perceived as a
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...
province. The longest political dynasty in Canada was held by the
Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (often referred to colloquially Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functiona ...
from 1971 to 2015. Before becoming part of Canada, Alberta was home to several
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
and was a territory used by
fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organi ...
rs of the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with va ...
. The lands that would become Alberta were acquired by Canada as part of the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
on July 15, 1870. On September 1, 1905, Alberta was separated from the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
as a result of the
Alberta Act The ''Alberta Act'' (french: Loi sur l'Alberta), effective September 1, 1905, was the act of the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated ...
and designated the 8th province of Canada. From the late 1800s to early 1900s, many immigrants arrived, the biggest wave of which was pushed by
Wilfrid Laurier Sir Henri Charles Wilfrid Laurier, ( ; ; November 20, 1841 – February 17, 1919) was a Canadian statesman and politician who served as the seventh prime minister of Canada The prime minister of Canada (french: premier ministre du C ...

Wilfrid Laurier
, to prevent the prairies from being annexed by
Americans Americans are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recogn ...
. Massive oil resources were discovered in Alberta in 1947. Alberta is renowned for its natural beauty, richness in
fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inc ...

fossil
s and for housing important
nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area) is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas a ...
s. Alberta is home to six
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
s: The
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Sites, World Heritage Site is located in the Canadian Rockies. It consists of seven contiguous parks including four National Parks of Canada, national parks: *Banff National Park, Banff *Jasper Natio ...
,
Dinosaur Provincial Park Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations ...
, the
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a buffalo jump located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie 18 km (11.2 mi) west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on highway 785. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Wo ...

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
, Waterton–Glacier International Peace Park,
Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest National Parks of Canada, national park of Canada at . It is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories. Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park ...
and
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located about southeast of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, or east of the community of Milk River, Alberta, Milk River, and straddles the Milk River (Montana-Alberta), Milk River itself. It is one of the largest a ...
. Other popular sites include: , Canmore,
Drumheller Drumheller is a town within the Red Deer River The Red Deer River is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_la ...
,
Jasper Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with ...

Jasper
, Sylvan Lake and .


Etymology

Alberta was named after (1848–1939), the fourth daughter of
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
. Princess Louise was the wife of ,
Governor General of Canada The governor general of Canada (french: gouverneure générale du Canada) is the federal viceregal A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ...
(1878–83). Lake Louise and
Mount Alberta Mount Alberta is a mountain located in the upper Athabasca River Valley of Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. J. Norman Collie named the mountain in 1898 after Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. It is the mos ...

Mount Alberta
were also named in her honour. The name "Alberta" itself is a feminine
Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to replace traditional writing sy ...
form of
Albert Albert may refer to: Companies * Albert (supermarket) Albert Česká republika, s.r.o., is a division of the Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize group, operating in the Czech Republic. The company (then known as Euronova a.s.) began trading in Czec ...
, the name of Princess Louise's father, the
Prince Consort A prince consort is the husband of a king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety o ...

Prince Consort
(cf. lat-med,
Albertus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a Germans, German Catholic Dominican Order, Dominican friar, philosopher and Bishop in the Catholic Church, bishop. Later Canoniza ...
, masculine) and its
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
cognates, ultimately derived from
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
''*Aþalaberhtaz'' (compound of "noble" + "bright/famous").


Geography

Alberta, with an area of , is the fourth-largest province after
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, Ontario and
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
. Alberta's southern border is the
49th parallel north The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude File:Usgs map mercator.svg, The Mercator projection and its use on a world map. This projection first came into use in the 16th century by the Dutch. A circle of latitude or line of latitude ...
, which separates it from the U.S. state of
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
. The 60th parallel north divides Alberta from the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
. The 110th meridian west separates it from the province of
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
; while on the west its boundary with British Columbia follows the
120th meridian west The meridian 120° west of Greenwich Greenwich ( , , , or ) is a town in South London, south-east London, England, centred east-southeast of Charing Cross and located in the Historic county of England, historic county of Kent. For admini ...
south from the Northwest Territories at 60°N until it reaches the
Continental Divide A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as co ...
at the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similari ...

Rocky Mountains
, and from that point follows the line of peaks marking the Continental Divide in a generally southeasterly direction until it reaches the Montana border at 49°N. The province extends north to south and east to west at its maximum width. Its highest point is at the summit of Mount Columbia in the Rocky Mountains along the southwest border while its lowest point is on the
Slave River The Slave River is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and a ...
in
Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest National Parks of Canada, national park of Canada at . It is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories. Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park ...
in the northeast. With the exception of the
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning ' ...
steppe In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grassland ...

steppe
of the south-eastern section, the province has adequate
water resources Water resources are natural resources of water that are potentially useful as a source of water supply. 97% of the water on the Earth is salt water and only three percent is fresh water; slightly over two thirds of this is frozen in glaciers a ...
. There are numerous
rivers A river is a natural flowing watercourse A watercourse is the channel Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path o ...
and
lakes A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable ove ...
used for swimming, fishing and a range of water sports. There are three large lakes, Lake Claire () in
Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest National Parks of Canada, national park of Canada at . It is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories. Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park ...
,
Lesser Slave Lake Lesser Slave Lake (french: Petit lac des Esclaves), known traditionally as ᐊᔭᐦᒋᔨᓂᐤ ᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ ayahciyiniw sâkahikan in the Plains Cree language Plains Cree ( endonym: ) is a dialect of the Algonquian language, Cree, w ...
(), and
Lake Athabasca Lake Athabasca (; French: ''lac Athabasca''; from Cree language, Woods Cree: , "
here Here is an adverb that means "in, on, or at this place". It may also refer to: Software * Here Technologies, a mapping company * Here WeGo (formerly Here Maps), a mobile app and map website by Here Television * Here TV Here TV is an America ...
there are plants one after another") is located in the northwest corner of Saskatchewan and the northeast corner of Alberta between 58th parallel north, 58° an ...

Lake Athabasca
() which lies in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. The longest river in the province is the
Athabasca River The Athabasca River (French: ''Rivière Athabasca'') is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = Engl ...

Athabasca River
which travels from the
Columbia Icefield The Columbia Icefield is the largest ice field in North America's Rocky Mountains. Located within the Canadian Rockies, Canadian Rocky Mountains astride the Continental Divide of the Americas, Continental Divide along the border of British Columbia ...

Columbia Icefield
in the Rocky Mountains to Lake Athabasca. The largest river is the
Peace River The Peace River (french: links=no, rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canada that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows to the northeast through northern Alberta. The Peace River joins the Athabasca River in the ...
with an average flow of 2161 m3/s. The Peace River originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows through northern Alberta and into the
Slave River The Slave River is a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and a ...
, a tributary of the
Mackenzie River The Mackenzie River (Slavey language, Slavey: ' èh tʃʰò ''literally'' big river; Inuvialuktun: ' uːkpɑk''literally'' great river; French: ) is a river in the Canadian boreal forest. It forms, along with the Slave, Peace, and Finlay ...

Mackenzie River
. Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, is located at about the geographic centre of the province. It is the most northerly major city in Canada, and serves as a gateway and hub for resource development in northern Canada. The region, with its proximity to Canada's largest oil fields, has most of western Canada's oil refinery capacity. Calgary is about south of Edmonton and north of Montana, surrounded by extensive ranching country. Almost 75% of the province's population lives in the
Calgary–Edmonton Corridor The Calgary–Edmonton Corridor is a geographical region of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is the most urbanized area in Alberta and is one of Canada's four most urban regions. It consists of Statistics Canada Alberta census divisions N ...

Calgary–Edmonton Corridor
. The land grant policy to the railroads served as a means to populate the province in its early years. Most of the northern half of the province is
boreal forest Taiga (; rus, тайга́, p=tɐjˈɡa; relates to Mongolic languages, Mongolic and Turkic languages, Turkic languages), generally referred to in North America as a boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by pinophyta, conifero ...

boreal forest
, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are largely forested (see
Alberta Mountain forests The Alberta Mountain forests are a temperate coniferous forests Temperate coniferous forest is a terrestrial biome A biome is a collection of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be ...
and Alberta-British Columbia foothills forests). The southern quarter of the province is
prairie Wheatfield intersection in the Southern Saskatchewan prairies, Canada. Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interact ...
, ranging from
shortgrass prairie The shortgrass prairie is an ecosystem located in the Great Plains of North America. The two most dominant grasses in the shortgrass prairie are blue grama (''Bouteloua gracilis'') and buffalograss (''Bouteloua dactyloides''), the two less dominan ...
in the southeastern corner to mixed grass prairie in an arc to the west and north of it. The central
aspen parkland Aspen parkland refers to a very large area of transitional biome between prairie Wheatfield intersection in the Southern Saskatchewan prairies, Canada. Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living ...
region extending in a broad arc between the prairies and the forests, from Calgary, north to Edmonton, and then east to
Lloydminster Lloydminster is a Canadian city which has the unusual geographic distinction of straddling the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. The city is incorporated by both provinces as a single city with a single municipal administratio ...
, contains the most fertile soil in the province and most of the population. Much of the unforested part of Alberta is given over either to grain or to
dairy farming Dairy farming is a class of agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise ...
, with
mixed farming Mixed is the past tense of ''mix''. Mixed may refer to: * Mixed (United Kingdom ethnicity category) Mixed is an ethnicity category that has been used by the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commo ...
more common in the north and centre, while
ranch A ranch (from es, rancho) is an area of landscape, land, including various structures, given primarily to ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep. It is a subtype of a farm. These terms are most often appl ...
ing and predominate in the south. The Alberta
badlands Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively Erosion, eroded by wind and water."Badlands" in ''Chambers's Encyclopædia''. London: George Newnes Ltd, George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 2, p. ...

badlands
are located in southeastern Alberta, where the
Red Deer River The Red Deer River is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = ...

Red Deer River
crosses the flat prairie and farmland, and features deep canyons and striking landforms.
Dinosaur Provincial Park Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations ...
, near
Brooks, Alberta Brooks is a city in Southern Alberta, southeast Alberta, Canada, surrounded by the County of Newell. It is located on Alberta Highway 1, Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and the Canadian Pacific Railway, approximately southeast of Calgary, and no ...
, showcases the badlands terrain, desert flora, and remnants from Alberta's past when dinosaurs roamed the then lush landscape.


Climate

Alberta has a
humid continental climate A humid continental climate is a climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months t ...
with warm summers and cold winters. The province is open to cold arctic weather systems from the north, which often produce extremely cold conditions in winter. As the fronts between the air masses shift north and south across Alberta, the temperature can change rapidly. Arctic air masses in the winter produce extreme minimum temperatures varying from in northern Alberta to in southern Alberta, although temperatures at these extremes are rare. In the summer, continental air masses have produced record maximum temperatures from in the mountains to over in southeastern Alberta. Alberta is a sunny province. Annual bright sunshine totals range between 1,900 up to just under 2,600 hours per year. Northern Alberta gets about 18 hours of daylight in the summer. Alberta extends for over from north to south; its climate, therefore, varies considerably. Average high temperatures in January range from in the southwest to in the far north. The climate is also influenced by the presence of the Rocky Mountains to the southwest, which disrupt the flow of the prevailing westerly winds and cause them to drop most of their moisture on the western slopes of the mountain ranges before reaching the province, casting a
rain shadow A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rainfall behind a mountainous region, on the side facing away from prevailing winds, known as its Windward and leeward#Meteorological significance, leeward side. Evaporation, Evaporated moistu ...

rain shadow
over much of Alberta. The northerly location and isolation from the weather systems of the Pacific Ocean cause Alberta to have a dry climate with little moderation from the ocean. Annual precipitation ranges from in the southeast to in the north, except in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where total precipitation including snowfall can reach annually. There was a big drought in 2002 in Alberta and other places across Northern USA. The province is the namesake of the
Alberta clipper An Alberta clipper, also known as a Canadian clipper, is a fast moving low pressure area weather system which generally affects the Provinces and territories of Canada, central provinces of Canada and parts of the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes regio ...
, a type of intense, fast-moving winter storm that generally forms over or near the province and pushed with great speed by the continental polar
jetstream Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow, meandering thermal wind, air currents in the Atmosphere of Earth, atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. On Earth, the main jet streams are located near the altitude of the tropopause and are wester ...
descends over the rest of Southern Canada and the northern tier of the United States. In the summer, the average daytime temperatures range from around in the Rocky Mountain valleys and far north, up to around in the dry prairie of the southeast. The northern and western parts of the province experience higher rainfall and lower evaporation rates caused by cooler summer temperatures. The south and east-central portions are prone to drought-like conditions sometimes persisting for several years, although even these areas can receive heavy precipitation, sometimes resulting in flooding. In southwestern Alberta, the cold winters are frequently interrupted by warm, dry
chinook wind Chinook winds, or simply 'Chinooks', are two types of prevailing warm, generally westerly winds in western North America: Coastal Chinooks and interior Chinooks. The coastal Chinooks are persistent seasonal, wet, southwesterly winds blowing in f ...

chinook wind
s blowing from the mountains, which can propel temperatures upward from frigid conditions to well above the freezing point in a very short period. During one chinook recorded at
Pincher Creek Pincher Creek is a town in the southwest of Alberta, Canada. It is located immediately east of the Canadian Rockies, west of Lethbridge and south of Calgary. History For centuries before European settlers reached this area and inhabited it, A ...

Pincher Creek
, temperatures soared from in just one hour. The region around Lethbridge has the most chinooks, averaging 30 to 35 chinook days per year. Calgary has a 56% chance of a white Christmas, while Edmonton has an 86% chance. Northern Alberta is mostly covered by
boreal forest Taiga (; rus, тайга́, p=tɐjˈɡa; relates to Mongolic languages, Mongolic and Turkic languages, Turkic languages), generally referred to in North America as a boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by pinophyta, conifero ...

boreal forest
and has a
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
. The agricultural area of southern Alberta has a
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning ' ...
steppe In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grassland ...

steppe
climate because the annual precipitation is less than the water that . The southeastern corner of Alberta, part of the Palliser Triangle, experiences greater summer heat and lower rainfall than the rest of the province, and as a result suffers frequent
crop yield In agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedent ...
problems and occasional severe droughts. Western Alberta is protected by the mountains and enjoys the mild temperatures brought by winter
chinook wind Chinook winds, or simply 'Chinooks', are two types of prevailing warm, generally westerly winds in western North America: Coastal Chinooks and interior Chinooks. The coastal Chinooks are persistent seasonal, wet, southwesterly winds blowing in f ...

chinook wind
s. Central and parts of northwestern Alberta in the Peace River region are largely aspen parkland, a
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
transitional between prairie to the south and boreal forest to the north. After Saskatchewan, Alberta experiences the most
tornado A tornado is a violently rotating column of air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmos ...

tornado
es in Canada with an average of 15 verified per year. Thunderstorms, some of them severe, are frequent in the summer, especially in central and southern Alberta. The region surrounding the
Calgary–Edmonton Corridor The Calgary–Edmonton Corridor is a geographical region of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is the most urbanized area in Alberta and is one of Canada's four most urban regions. It consists of Statistics Canada Alberta census divisions N ...

Calgary–Edmonton Corridor
is notable for having the highest frequency of
hail Hail is a form of solid precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until ...

hail
in Canada, which is caused by
orographic lift cloud pattern—analogous to a ship wake Image:Kelvin Wake Fr=2.png, 280px, Kelvin wake simulation plot. In fluid dynamics, a wake may either be: * the region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving or stationary blunt body, caused by ...
ing from the nearby Rocky Mountains, enhancing the updraft/downdraft cycle necessary for the formation of hail.


Ecology


Flora

In central and northern Alberta the arrival of spring is marked by the early flowering of the prairie crocus
anemone ''Anemone'' () is a genus of flowering plants in the buttercup family (biology), family Ranunculaceae. Plants of the genus are commonly called windflowers. They are Native plant, native to the Temperate climate, temperate and Subtropics, subtropi ...

anemone
; this member of the buttercup family has been recorded flowering as early as March, though April is the usual month for the general population. Other prairie flora known to flower early are the and . Members of the
sunflower ''Helianthus'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification, vi ...

sunflower
family blossom on the prairie in the summer months between July and September. The southern and east central parts of Alberta are covered by short prairie grass, which dries up as summer lengthens, to be replaced by hardy perennials such as the prairie coneflower,
fleabaneFleabane is a common name for some flowering plants in the family (biology), family Asteraceae. Most are in the subfamily Asteroideae: * ''Conyza'' (butterweeds or horseweeds: Astereae) * ''Erigeron'' (Astereae) * ''Inula'' ("yellowheads": Inuleae) ...
, and . Both yellow and white
sweet clover ''Melilotus'', known as melilot, sweet clover, and kumoniga (from the Cumans The Cumans (or Kumans), also known as Polovtsians or Polovtsy (plural only, from the Russian exonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as au ...
can be found throughout the southern and central areas of the province. The trees in the parkland region of the province grow in clumps and belts on the hillsides. These are largely
deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, ...
, typically
aspen Aspen is a common name for certain tree species; some, but not all, are classified by botanists in the section (botany), section Populus sect. Populus, ''Populus'', of the ''Populus'' genus. Species These species are called aspens: *''Populus ...

aspen
, , and
willow Willows, also called sallows and osiers, from the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining ( ...

willow
. Many species of willow and other shrubs grow in virtually any terrain. On the north side of the North Saskatchewan River evergreen forests prevail for thousands of square kilometres. ,
balsam poplar ''Populus balsamifera'', commonly called balsam poplar, bam, bamtree, eastern balsam-poplar, hackmatack, tacamahac poplar, tacamahaca, is a tree species in the balsam poplar species group in the poplar genus, ''Populus ''Populus'' is a genus ...

balsam poplar
(or in some parts ), and
paper birch ''Betula papyrifera'' (paper birch, also known as (American) white birch and canoe birch) is a short-lived species of birch A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term ''deciduous'' (; ) means ...
are the primary large deciduous species.
Conifers Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The division contains a single extant class, Pinopsida. All exta ...

Conifers
include
jack pine Jack pine (''Pinus banksiana'') is an eastern North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up ...
, Rocky Mountain pine,
lodgepole pine ''Pinus contorta'', with the common names lodgepole pine and shore pine, and also known as twisted pine, and contorta pine, is a common tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), tr ...

lodgepole pine
, both white and black
spruce A spruce is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including ...

spruce
, and the deciduous conifer
tamarack ''Larix laricina'', commonly known as the tamarack, hackmatack, eastern larch, black larch, red larch, or American larch, is a species of larch native to Canada, from eastern Yukon and Inuvik, Northwest Territories east to Newfoundland (island), ...

tamarack
.


Fauna

The four climatic regions (
alpine Alpine may refer to: Places * Alps, a European mountain range * Alpine states, associated with the mountain range, or relating to any lofty mountain areas * Mountainous or alpine; the mountains. Australia * Alpine, New South Wales, a Northern Vill ...
,
boreal forest Taiga (; rus, тайга́, p=tɐjˈɡa; relates to Mongolic languages, Mongolic and Turkic languages, Turkic languages), generally referred to in North America as a boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by pinophyta, conifero ...

boreal forest
, parkland, and
prairie Wheatfield intersection in the Southern Saskatchewan prairies, Canada. Prairies are ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interact ...
) of Alberta are home to many different species of animals. The south and central prairie was the land of the
bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known as a monophyletic group or natural gro ...

bison
, commonly known as buffalo, its grasses providing pasture and breeding ground for millions of buffalo. The buffalo population was decimated during early settlement, but since then buffalo have made a comeback, living on farms and in parks all over Alberta.
Herbivorous A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All ...
animals are found throughout the province.
Moose The moose (in North America) or elk (in Eurasia) (''Alces alces'') is a member of the New World deer subfamily and is the largest and heaviest extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of ...

Moose
, ,
elk The elk (''Cervus canadensis''), also known as the wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , a ...

elk
, and
white-tailed deer The white-tailed deer (''Odocoileus virginianus''), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapit ...

white-tailed deer
are found in the wooded regions, and
pronghorn The pronghorn (, ) (''Antilocapra americana'') is a species of artiodactyl The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known ...

pronghorn
can be found in the prairies of southern Alberta.
Bighorn sheep The bighorn sheep (''Ovis canadensis'') is a species of sheep Sheep (''Ovis aries'') are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order(biology), order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ...

Bighorn sheep
and
mountain goat The mountain goat (''Oreamnos americanus''), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, is a hoofed mammal endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, i ...

mountain goat
s live in the Rocky Mountains. Rabbits,
porcupine Porcupines are large rodent Rodents (from Latin , 'to gnaw') are mammals of the Order (biology), order Rodentia (), which are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws. About 40% ...

porcupine
s,
skunk Skunks are mammals Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...

skunk
s, squirrels and many species of rodents and reptiles live in every corner of the province. Alberta is home to only one variety of venomous snake, the . Alberta is home to many large
carnivore A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume orga ...
s such as
grizzly bears The grizzly bear (''Ursus arctos horribilis''), also known as the North American brown bear or simply grizzly, is a population In biology, a population is a number of all the organisms of the same group or species In biology, a sp ...

grizzly bears
s and black bears, which are found in the mountains and wooded regions. Smaller carnivores of the
canine Canine may refer to: Zoology * dog-like mammals (i.e. members of the canid subfamily Caninae) ** ''Canis'', a genus including dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals ** Dog, the domestic dog * Canine tooth, in mammalian oral anatomy Other uses * Canin ...
and feline families include
coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canis, canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecologica ...

coyote
s,
wolves The wolf (''Canis lupus''), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, N ...

wolves
, fox,
lynx A lynx (; plural lynx or lynxes) is any of the four species (the Canada lynx, Iberian lynx, Eurasian lynx, or bobcat The bobcat (''Lynx rufus''), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat The cat (''Fel ...

lynx
,
bobcat The bobcat (''Lynx rufus''), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic Domestic may refer to: In the home * Anything relating to the human home A home, or domicile, is a sp ...

bobcat
and
mountain lion The cougar (''Puma concolor'') is a large Felidae, cat of the subfamily Felinae. Native to the Americas, its Species distribution, range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America and is the most widespread of any l ...

mountain lion
(cougar). Central and northern Alberta and the region farther north is the nesting ground of many migratory birds. Vast numbers of ducks,
geese A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order of bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked ...

geese
,
swan Swans are birds of the family (biology), family Anatidae within the genus ''Cygnus''. The swans' closest relatives include the goose, geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form th ...

swan
s and
pelican Pelicans (genus ''Pelecanus'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV clas ...

pelican
s arrive in Alberta every spring and nest on or near one of the hundreds of small lakes that dot northern Alberta.
Eagle Eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey Birds of prey, also known as raptors, include species of bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high ...

Eagle
s,
hawk Hawks are a group of medium- diurnal birds of prey Birds of prey, also known as raptors, include species of bird that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have Bird vision, keen ey ...

hawk
s, owls and
crow A crow is a bird of the genus ''Corvus ''Corvus'' is a widely distributed genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms ...

crow
s are plentiful, and a huge variety of smaller seed and insect-eating birds can be found. Alberta, like other
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
regions, is home to
mosquito Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

mosquito
es,
flies Flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name being derived from the Greek δι- ''di-'' "two", and πτερόν ''pteron'' "wing". Insects of this order use only a single pair of wings to fly, the hindwings having evolved into advanced ...

flies
,
wasp A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies (Symphyta), which look somewhat like wasps, but are in a separate suborder. The ...

wasp
s, and bees. Rivers and lakes are populated with pike,
walleye The walleye (''Sander vitreus'', synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and ...

walleye
, whitefish,
rainbow A rainbow is a meteorological Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting Weather forecasting is the application of sc ...

rainbow
, ,
brown trout The brown trout (''Salmo trutta'') is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. It includes purely freshwater populations, referred to as the riverine ecotype, ''Salmo trutta'' Morph ...

brown trout
, and
sturgeon Sturgeon is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is s ...

sturgeon
.
Bull trout The bull trout (''Salvelinus confluentus'') is a char of the family Salmonidae native to northwestern North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It ...

Bull trout
, native to the province, is Alberta's provincial fish. Turtles are found in some water bodies in the southern part of the province. Frogs and
salamander Salamanders are a group of amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most spe ...

salamander
s are a few of the
amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial animal, ter ...
s that make their homes in Alberta. Alberta is the only province in Canada—as well as one of the few places in the world—that is free of Norwegian rats. Since the early 1950s, the
Government of Alberta The Government of Alberta (french: Gouvernement de l'Alberta) refers to the provincial government of the province of Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinate ...
has operated a rat-control program, which has been so successful that only isolated instances of wild rat sightings are reported, usually of rats arriving in the province aboard trucks or by rail. In 2006, Alberta Agriculture reported zero findings of wild rats; the only rat interceptions have been domesticated rats that have been seized from their owners. It is illegal for individual Albertans to own or keep Norwegian rats of any description; the animals can only be kept in the province by zoos, universities and colleges, and recognized research institutions. In 2009, several rats were found and captured, in small pockets in southern Alberta, putting Alberta's rat-free status in jeopardy. A colony of rats were subsequently found in a landfill near Medicine Hat in 2012 and again in 2014.


Paleontology

Alberta has one of the greatest diversities and abundances of
Late Cretaceous The Late Cretaceous (100.5–66 Ma) is the younger of two epochs into which the Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a that lasted from about 145 to 66 (Mya). It is the third and final period of the , as well as the longest. At around 79 millio ...
dinosaur fossils in the world.
Taxa In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechani ...
are represented by complete fossil skeletons, isolated material, microvertebrate remains, and even
mass graves A mass grave is a grave A grave is a location where a dead body A cadaver or corpse is a dead human body that is used by medical students A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, that te ...
. At least 38 dinosaur
type specimens In biology, a type is a particular wiktionary:en:specimen, specimen (or in some cases a group of specimens) of an organism to which the scientific name of that organism is formally attached. In other words, a type is an example that serves to anc ...
were collected in the province. The
Foremost Formation The Foremost Formation is a formation (stratigraphy), stratigraphic unit of Late Cretaceous (Campanian) age that underlies much of southern Alberta, Canada. It was named for outcrops in Chin Coulee near the town of Foremost, Alberta, ForemostGlass ...
,
Oldman Formation The Oldman Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Cretaceous The Late Cretaceous (100.5–66 Year#SI prefix multipliers, Ma) is the younger of two epoch (geology), epochs into which the Cretaceous geological period is divided in the geologic time ...
and
Dinosaur Park Formation The Dinosaur Park Formation is the uppermost member of the Belly River Group (also known as the Judith River Group), a major geologic unit in southern Alberta. It was deposited during the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, between about 76.9 ...
s collectively comprise the Judith River Group and are the most thoroughly studied dinosaur-bearing strata in Alberta. Dinosaur-bearing strata are distributed widely throughout Alberta. The Dinosaur Provincial Park area contains outcrops of the Dinosaur Park Formation and Oldman Formation. In the central and southern regions of Alberta are intermittent
Scollard Formation The Scollard Formation is an Upper Cretaceous The Late Cretaceous (100.5–66 Ma) is the younger of two epochs into which the Cretaceous geological period is divided in the geologic time scale The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chro ...
outcrops. In the
Drumheller Drumheller is a town within the Red Deer River The Red Deer River is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_la ...
Valley and
Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Central Albert ...

Edmonton
regions there are exposed Horseshoe Canyon
facies In geology, a facies ( , US also ; same pronunciation and spelling in the plural) is a body of rock with specified characteristics, which can be any observable attribute of rocks (such as their overall appearance, composition, or condition of f ...
. Other formations have been recorded as well, like the and Foremost Formations. However, these latter two have a lower diversity of documented dinosaurs, primarily due to their lower total fossil quantity and neglect from collectors who are hindered by the isolation and scarcity of exposed outcrops. Their dinosaur fossils are primarily teeth recovered from microvertebrate fossil sites. Additional geologic formations that have produced only few fossils are the
Belly River Group The Belly River Formation is a Stratigraphy, stratigraphical unit of Late Cretaceous Geochronology, age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. It takes the name from the Belly River, a tributary of the Oldman River in southern Alberta, and wa ...
and St. Mary River Formations of the southwest and the northwestern Wapiti Formation. The Wapiti Formation contains two ''
Pachyrhinosaurus ''Pachyrhinosaurus'' (meaning in Greek "thick-nosed lizard", from ' (), thick; ' (), nose; and (), lizard) is an extinct genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of thin ...

Pachyrhinosaurus
'' bone beds that break its general trend of low productivity, however. The
Bearpaw Formation The Bearpaw Formation, also called the Bearpaw Shale, is a geologic formation of Late Cretaceous The Late Cretaceous (100.5–66 Year#SI prefix multipliers, Ma) is the younger of two epoch (geology), epochs into which the Cretaceous geological peri ...
represents strata deposited during a
marine transgression A marine transgression is a geology, geologic event during which sea level rises relative to the land and the shoreline moves toward higher ground, which results in flooding. Transgressions can be caused by the land sinking or by the ocean basins ...
. Dinosaurs are known from this formation, but represent specimens washed out to sea or reworked from older
sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by the action of wind, water, or ice or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. ...

sediment
s.Ryan, M. J., and Russell, A. P., 2001. Dinosaurs of Alberta (exclusive of Aves): In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 279–297.


History

Paleo-Indians Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
arrived in Alberta at least 10,000 years ago, toward the end of the last ice age. They are thought to have migrated from
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
to
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
on a
land bridge In biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A sp ...
across the
Bering Strait The Bering Strait (russian: Берингов пролив) is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and the United States slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude. The present Russia-US east–west boundary is a ...
and then possibly moved down the east side of the Rocky Mountains through Alberta to settle the Americas. Others may have migrated down the coast of British Columbia and then moved inland. Over time they differentiated into various
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
peoples, including the
Plains Indian Plains Indians or Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native American tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant usage of the term ...
tribes of southern Alberta such as those of the
Blackfoot Confederacy The Blackfoot Confederacy, ''Niitsitapi'' or ''Siksikaitsitapi'' (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or " Blackfoot-speaking real people"), is a historic collective name for linguistically related groups that make up the Blackfoot or Black ...
and the Plains Cree, who generally lived by hunting buffalo, and the more northerly tribes such as the
Woodland Cree The ''Saāwithiniwak'' or Woodland Cree, are a Cree people, calling themselves Nîhithaw in their own dialect of the language. They are the largest indigenous group in northern Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta ...
and
Chipewyan The Chipewyan (chi-pew-yan/tʃɪpə'waɪən or chip-ə-WHY-en, also called ''Denésoliné'' or ''Dënesųłı̨né'' or ''Dënë Sųłınë́'', meaning "the original/real people") are a Dene The Dene people () are an indigenous Indigenous ...
who hunted, trapped, and fished for a living. After the , approximately half of the province of Alberta, south of the
Athabasca River The Athabasca River (French: ''Rivière Athabasca'') is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = Engl ...

Athabasca River
drainage, became part of
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
which consisted of all land drained by rivers flowing into
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
. This area was granted by
Charles II of England Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of government by which a hereditary m ...

Charles II of England
to the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with va ...
(HBC) in 1670, and rival fur trading companies were not allowed to trade in it. The Athabasca River and the rivers north of it were not in HBC territory because they drained into the Arctic Ocean instead of Hudson Bay, and they were prime habitat for fur-bearing animals. The first European explorer of the Athabasca region was
Peter Pond Peter Pond (January 18, 1739 or 1740 – 1807) was a soldier with a 19th Continental Regiment, Connecticut Regiment during the French and Indian War, a fur trader, a founding member of the North West Company and the Beaver Club, an explorer and ...
, who learned of the
Methye Portage The Methye Portage or Portage La Loche in northwestern Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang ...
, which allowed travel from southern rivers into the rivers north of Rupert's Land. Fur traders formed the
North West Company The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and t ...
(NWC) of
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and w ...

Montreal
to compete with the HBC in 1779. The NWC occupied the northern part of Alberta territory. Peter Pond built Fort Athabasca on Lac la Biche in 1778. Roderick Mackenzie built
Fort Chipewyan Fort Chipewyan , commonly referred to as Fort Chip, is a hamlet in northern Alberta Northern Alberta is a List of regions of Canada#Alberta, geographic region located in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Alberta. An i ...

Fort Chipewyan
on Lake Athabasca ten years later in 1788. His cousin, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, followed the
North Saskatchewan River The North Saskatchewan River is a glacier-fed river that flows from the Canadian Rockies continental divide east to central Saskatchewan, where it joins with the South Saskatchewan River to make up the Saskatchewan River. Its water flows eventuall ...

North Saskatchewan River
to its northernmost point near Edmonton, then setting northward on foot, trekked to the Athabasca River, which he followed to Lake Athabasca. It was there he discovered the mighty outflow river which bears his name—the
Mackenzie River The Mackenzie River (Slavey language, Slavey: ' èh tʃʰò ''literally'' big river; Inuvialuktun: ' uːkpɑk''literally'' great river; French: ) is a river in the Canadian boreal forest. It forms, along with the Slave, Peace, and Finlay ...

Mackenzie River
—which he followed to its outlet in the Arctic Ocean. Returning to Lake Athabasca, he followed the
Peace River The Peace River (french: links=no, rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canada that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows to the northeast through northern Alberta. The Peace River joins the Athabasca River in the ...
upstream, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean, and so he became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico. The extreme southernmost portion of Alberta was part of the French (and Spanish) territory of
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...
, in 1803; in 1818, the portion of Louisiana north of the Forty-Ninth Parallel was ceded to Great Britain. Fur trade expanded in the north, but bloody battles occurred between the rival HBC and NWC, and in 1821 the British government forced them to merge to stop the hostilities. The amalgamated Hudson's Bay Company dominated trade in Alberta until 1870, when the newly formed
Canadian Government The Government of Canada (french: gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federal administration of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces a ...
purchased Rupert's Land. Northern Alberta was included in the
North-Western Territory The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America extant until 1870 and named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land. Due to the lack of development, exploration, and cartographic limits of the time, the exact boundarie ...
until 1870, when it and Rupert's land became Canada's
North-West Territories The Northwest Territories (abbr. NT or NWT) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, fir ...
. First Nations negotiated treaties with the Crown in which the Crown gained title to the land that would later become Alberta, and the Crown committed to ongoing support of the First Nations and guaranteed their hunting and fishing rights. The most significant treaties for Alberta are
Treaty 6 Treaty 6 is the sixth of the Numbered Treaties, numbered treaties that were signed by the Canadian Crown and various First Nations between 1871 and 1877. It is one of a total of 11 numbered treaties signed between the Canadian Crown and First Nat ...
(1876),
Treaty 7 Treaty 7 is an agreement between the Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories ...
(1877) and
Treaty 8 Treaty 8 is an agreement concluded on June 21, 1899, between the Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, ...
(1899). The
District of Alberta Image:Canada-1895.png, 300px, thumb The District of Alberta was one of four districts of the Northwest Territories created in 1882. It was styled the Alberta Provisional District to distinguish it from the District of Keewatin which had a more auto ...
was created as part of the North-West Territories in 1882. As settlement increased, local representatives to the North-West Legislative Assembly were added. After a long campaign for autonomy, in 1905 the District of Alberta was enlarged and given provincial status, with the election of
Alexander Cameron Rutherford Alexander Cameron Rutherford (February 2, 1857 – June 11, 1941) was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the first premier of Alberta from 1905 to 1910. Born in Ormond, Canada West, he studied and practised law in Ottawa Ottawa ...
as the first premier. Less than a decade later, the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
presented special challenges to the new province as an extraordinary number of volunteers left relatively few workers to maintain services and production. Over 50% of Alberta's doctors volunteered for service overseas.


21st century

On June 21, 2013, during the Alberta experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding throughout much of the southern half of the province along the
Bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

Bow
,
Elbow The elbow is the visible joint between the upper and lower parts of the arm. It includes prominent landmarks such as the olecranon, the antecubital fossa, elbow pit, the Lateral epicondyle of the humerus, lateral and Medial epicondyle of the hum ...
, Highwood and Oldman rivers and tributaries. A dozen municipalities in Southern Alberta declared local states of emergency on June 21 as water levels rose and numerous communities were placed under evacuation orders. In 2016, a
wildfire A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...
resulted in the largest fire evacuation of residents in Alberta's history, as more than 80,000 people were ordered to evacuate. Since 2020, Alberta has been affected by the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...
.


Demographics

The
2016 census Sixteen or 16 may refer to: *16 (number), the natural number following 15 and preceding 17 *one of the years 16 BC, AD 16, 1916, 2016 Films * ''Pathinaaru'' or ''Sixteen'', a 2010 Tamil film * Sixteen (1943 film), ''Sixteen'' (1943 film), a 1943 ...
reported Alberta had a population of 4,067,175 living in 1,527,678 of its 1,654,129 total dwellings, an 11.6% change from its 2011 population of 3,645,257. With a land area of , it had a population density of in 2016.
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of ...
estimated the province to have a population of 4,436,258 in Q1 of 2021. Since 2000, Alberta's population has experienced a relatively high rate of growth, mainly because of its burgeoning economy. Between 2003 and 2004, the province had high birthrates (on par with some larger provinces such as British Columbia), relatively high immigration, and a high rate of interprovincial migration compared to other provinces. In 2016, Alberta continued to have the youngest population among the provinces with a median age of 36.7 years, compared with the national median of 41.2 years. Also in 2016, Alberta had the smallest proportion of seniors (12.3%) among the provinces and one of the highest population shares of children (19.2%), further contributing to Alberta's young and growing population. About 81% of the population lives in urban areas and only about 19% in rural areas. The
Calgary–Edmonton Corridor The Calgary–Edmonton Corridor is a geographical region of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is the most urbanized area in Alberta and is one of Canada's four most urban regions. It consists of Statistics Canada Alberta census divisions N ...

Calgary–Edmonton Corridor
is the most urbanized area in the province and is one of the most densely populated areas of Canada. Many of Alberta's cities and towns have experienced very high rates of growth in recent history. Alberta's population rose from 73,022 in 1901 to 3,290,350 according to the 2006 census.


Census information

According to the
2016 census Sixteen or 16 may refer to: *16 (number), the natural number following 15 and preceding 17 *one of the years 16 BC, AD 16, 1916, 2016 Films * ''Pathinaaru'' or ''Sixteen'', a 2010 Tamil film * Sixteen (1943 film), ''Sixteen'' (1943 film), a 1943 ...
, Alberta has 779,155 residents (19.2%) between the ages of 0-14, 2,787,805 residents (68.5%) between the ages of 15–64, and 500,215 residents (12.3%) aged 65 and over. English is the most common mother tongue, with 2,991,485 native speakers. This is followed by
Tagalog Tagalog may refer to: Language * Tagalog language Tagalog (, ; ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language spoken as a first language by the ethnic Tagalog people, who make up a quarter of the population of the Philippines, and as a se ...
, with 99,035 speakers, German, with 80,050 speakers, French, with 72,150 native speakers, and hindi, with 68,695 speakers. 253,460 residents identify as
Aboriginal Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, including: ***Aboriginal Australians ****Australian Aboriginal identity ...
, including 136,585 as
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
, 114,370 as
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or au ...
, and 2,500 as
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
. There are also 933,165 residents who identify as a visible minority, including 230,930 South Asian people, 166,195 Filipinos, and 158,200 Chinese respondents. 1,769,500 residents hold a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree, 895,885 residents have obtained a secondary (high) school diploma or equivalency certificate, and 540,665 residents do not have any certificate, diploma or degree. The 2006 census found that English, with 2,576,670 native speakers, was the most common mother tongue of Albertans, representing 79.99% of the population. The next most common mother tongues were Chinese with 97,275 native speakers (3.02%), followed by German with 84,505 native speakers (2.62%) and French with 61,225 (1.90%). Other mother tongues include:
Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a ge ...
, with 36,320 native speakers (1.13%);
Tagalog Tagalog may refer to: Language * Tagalog language Tagalog (, ; ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language spoken as a first language by the ethnic Tagalog people, who make up a quarter of the population of the Philippines, and as a se ...
, with 29,740 (0.92%);
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
, with 29,455 (0.91%); Spanish, with 29,125 (0.90%);
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
, with 21,990 (0.68%);
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, with 20,495 (0.64%);
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, with 19,980 (0.62%); and
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...

Vietnamese
, with 19,350 (0.60%). The most common aboriginal language is
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Can ...

Cree
17,215 (0.53%). Other common mother tongues include Italian with 13,095 speakers (0.41%);
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
with 11,275 (0.35%); and
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...
with 10,845 (0.33%); then
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
8,985 (0.28%);
Farsi Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category ...
7,700 (0.24%);
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
7,205 (0.22%); and
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
6,770 (0.21%). Alberta has considerable ethnic diversity. In line with the rest of Canada, many are descended from immigrants of Western European nations, notably
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
, but large numbers later came from other regions of Europe, notably
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...
and
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
. According to Statistics Canada, Alberta is home to the second-highest proportion (two percent) of
Francophones This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the ...
in western Canada (after
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
). Despite this, relatively few Albertans claim French as their mother tongue. Many of Alberta's French-speaking residents live in the central and northwestern regions of the province, after migration from other areas of Canada or descending from Métis. As reported in the 2001 census, the Chinese represented nearly four percent of Alberta's population, and South Asians represented more than two percent. Both Edmonton and Calgary have historic
Chinatown A Chinatown () is an ethnic enclave File:India Square JC jeh.JPG, India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey#Demographics, Jersey City, New Jersey, one of 24 Indian American, Indian ethnic enclaves in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In ...

Chinatown
s, and Calgary has Canada's third-largest Chinese community. The Chinese presence began with workers employed in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s. Aboriginal Albertans make up approximately three percent of the population. In the 2006 Canadian census, the most commonly reported ethnic origins among Albertans were: 885,825 English (27.2%); 679,705 German (20.9%); 667,405 Canadian (20.5%); 661,265 Scottish (20.3%); 539,160 Irish (16.6%); 388,210 French (11.9%); 332,180 Ukrainian (10.2%); 172,910
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
(5.3%); 170,935
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
(5.2%); 169,355
North American Indian The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America South America is a continent entirely ...
(5.2%); 144,585
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
(4.4%); and 137,600
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
(4.2%). (Each person could choose as many ethnicities as were applicable.) Amongst those of British heritage, the Scots have had a particularly strong influence on place-names, with the names of many cities and towns including Calgary, Airdrie, Canmore, and Banff having
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...
origins. Alberta is the third most diverse province in terms of
visible minorities A visible minority () is defined by the Government of Canada The Government of Canada (french: gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federal administration of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North A ...
after British Columbia and
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
with 13.9% of the population consisting of visible minorities in 2006. Over one third of the populations of Calgary and Edmonton belong to a visible minority group. Aboriginal Identity Peoples made up 5.8% of the population in 2006, about half of whom consist of First Nations and the other half are
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or au ...
. There are also small number of
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
people in Alberta. The number of Aboriginal Identity Peoples have been increasing at a rate greater than the population of Alberta. As of the
2011 National Household Survey The 2011 Canadian Census was a detailed enumeration of the Canada, Canadian population on May 10, 2011. Statistics Canada, an agency of the Canadian government, conducts a nationwide census every five years. In 2011, it consisted of a mandatory sho ...
, the largest religious group was Roman Catholic, representing 24.3% of the population. Alberta had the second-highest percentage of
non-religious Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion, or indifference to it. Irreligion takes many forms, ranging from the casual and unaware to full-fledged philosophies such as secular humanism. Other examples are atheism, agnost ...

non-religious
residents among the provinces (after British Columbia) at 31.6% of the population. Of the remainder, 7.5% of the population identified themselves as belonging to the
United Church of Canada The United Church of Canada (french: link=no, Église unie du Canada) is a mainline Protestant The mainline Protestant churches (also called mainstream Protestant and sometimes oldline Protestant) are a group of Protestant denominations in th ...
, while 3.9% were
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
.
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology a ...
made up 3.3% of the population while
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Cath ...
comprised 1.9%. The remainder belonged to a wide variety of different religious affiliations, none of which constituted more than 2% of the population. Members of
LDS Church The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
are mostly concentrated in the extreme south of the province. Alberta has a population of
Hutterite Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a Communalism, communal ethnoreligious group, ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Refo ...
s, a communal
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-ba ...
sect similar to the
Mennonite Mennonites are members of certain Christianity, Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the tea ...
s, and has a significant population of
Seventh-day Adventists The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the ...
. Alberta is home to several
Byzantine Rite The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or the Rite of Constantinople, identifies the wide range of cultural, liturgical, and canonical practices that developed in the Eastern Orthodox Church of Constantinople. The canonical hours are v ...
Churches as part of the legacy of Eastern European immigration, including the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, and the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC; french: Église orthodoxe ukrainienne du Canada) is an Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox church in Canada, primarily consisting of Orthodox Ukrainian Canadians. Its former name (before 1990) ...
's Western Diocese which is based in Edmonton. Muslims made up 3.2% of the population, Sikhs 1.5%, Buddhists 1.2%, and Hindus 1.0%. Many of these are immigrants, but others have roots that go back to the first settlers of the prairies. Canada's oldest mosque, the
Al-Rashid Mosque The Al-Rashid Mosque was the first mosque built in Canada. It was constructed in Edmonton, Alberta. History Al-Rashid Mosque was expected to be the first mosque in North America but was built in 1938 just after the Mother Mosque of America in Ced ...

Al-Rashid Mosque
, is located in Edmonton, whereas Calgary is home to Canada's largest mosque, the
Baitun Nur Mosque Baitun Nur (also spelled Baitunnur or Baitun Noor) (Arabic language, Arabic for "House of Light") is an Ahmadiyya mosque in Calgary, Alberta. Baitun Nur is the largest mosque in Canada. Public opening (left) seated with Mirza Masroor Ahmad (r ...
. Alberta is also home to a growing Jewish population of about 15,400 people who constituted 0.3% of Alberta's population. Most of Alberta's Jews live in the metropolitan areas of Calgary (8,200) and Edmonton (5,500).


Municipalities

;Largest metro areas and municipalities by population as of 2016


Economy

Alberta's economy was one of the strongest in the world, supported by the burgeoning petroleum industry and to a lesser extent, agriculture and technology. In 2013, Alberta's per capita GDP exceeded that of the United States, Norway, or Switzerland, and was the highest of any province in Canada at This was 56% higher than the national average of and more than twice that of some of the Atlantic provinces. In 2006, the deviation from the national average was the largest for any province in
Canadian history The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of the Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Prior to History of colonialism, European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited for millenni ...
. According to the 2006 census, the median annual family income after taxes was $70,986 in Alberta (compared to $60,270 in Canada as a whole). In 2014, Alberta had the second-largest economy in Canada after Ontario, with a GDP exceeding . The GDP of the province calculated at basic prices rose by 4.6% in 2017 to $327.4 billion, which was the largest increase recorded in Canada, and it ended two consecutive years of decreases. Alberta's
debt-to-GDP ratio In economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behavio ...
is projected to peak at 12.1% in
fiscal year A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is used in government accounting, which varies between countries, and for budget purposes. It is also used for financial report Financial statements (or financial reports) are formal ...
2021–2022, falling to 11.3% the following year. The Calgary-Edmonton Corridor is the most urbanized region in the province and one of the densest in Canada. The region covers a distance of roughly 400 kilometres north to south. In 2001, the population of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor was 2.15 million (72% of Alberta's population). It is also one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. A 2003 study by TD Bank Financial Group found the corridor to be the only Canadian urban centre to amass a U.S. level of wealth while maintaining a Canadian style
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United N ...

quality of life
, offering
universal health care Universal healthcare (also called universal health coverage, universal coverage, or universal care) is a health care system in which all residents of a particular country or region are assured access to health care. It is generally organized aroun ...

universal health care
benefits. The study found that GDP per capita in the corridor was 10% above average U.S. metropolitan areas and 40% above other
Canadian cities This is a list of incorporated cities in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific ...
at that time. The
Fraser Institute The Fraser Institute is a Canada, Canadian public policy think tank and registered Charitable organization, charity. It has been described as politically conservatism in Canada, conservative and Libertarianism, libertarian. The institute is headquar ...
states that Alberta also has very high levels of
economic freedom Economic freedom, or economic liberty, is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debate Policy debate is a form of debate competition in which teams of two advocate for and against ...
and rates Alberta as the freest economy in Canada, and second-freest economy amongst U.S. states and Canadian provinces. In 2014, Merchandise exports totalled US$121.4 billion. Energy revenues totalled $111.7 billion and Energy resource exports totalled $90.8 billion. Farm Cash receipts from agricultural products totalled $12.9 billion. Shipments of forest products totalled $5.4 billion while exports were $2.7 billion. Manufacturing sales totalled $79.4 billion, and Alberta's ICT industries generated over $13 billion in revenue. In total, Alberta's 2014 GDP amassed $364.5 billion in 2007 dollars, or $414.3 billion in 2015 dollars. In 2015, Alberta's GDP grew despite low oil prices; however, it was unstable with growth rates as high 4.4% and as low as 0.2%. Should the GDP remain at an average of 2.2% for the last two-quarters of 2015, Alberta's GDP should exceed $430 billion by the end of 2015. However, RBC Economics research predicts Alberta's real GDP growth to only average 0.6% for the last two-quarters of 2015. This estimate predicts a real GDP growth of only 1.4% for 2015. A positive is the predicted 10.8% growth in Nominal GDP, and possibly above 11% in 2016.


Agriculture and forestry

Agriculture has a significant position in the province's economy. The province has over three million head of cattle, and Alberta beef has a healthy worldwide market. Nearly one half of all Canadian beef is produced in Alberta. Alberta is one of the top producers of plains for the consumer market. Sheep for wool and mutton are also raised. Wheat and
canola Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from a variety of rapeseed that is low in erucic acid, as opposed to colza oil. There are both Edible oil, edible and industrial forms produced from the seed of any of several cultivars of the plant family ...

canola
are primary farm crops, with Alberta leading the provinces in spring wheat production; other
grains A grain is a small, hard, dry – with or without an attached or layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are s and . After being harvested, dry ...

grains
are also prominent. Much of the farming is dryland farming, often with fallow seasons interspersed with cultivation. Continuous cropping (in which there is no fallow season) is gradually becoming a more common mode of production because of increased profits and a reduction of soil erosion. Across the province, the once common
grain elevator A grain elevator is an agrarian facility complex designed to stockpile or store grain. In the grain trade, the term "grain elevator" also describes a tower containing a bucket elevator or a pneumatic conveyor, which scoops up grain from a lower ...
is slowly being lost as rail lines are decreasing; farmers typically truck the grain to central points. Alberta is the leading
beekeeping Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of bee Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey ...

beekeeping
province of Canada, with some beekeepers wintering hives indoors in specially designed barns in southern Alberta, then migrating north during the summer into the
Peace River The Peace River (french: links=no, rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canada that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows to the northeast through northern Alberta. The Peace River joins the Athabasca River in the ...
valley where the season is short but the working days are long for
honeybee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles t ...

honeybee
s to produce honey from
clover Clover or trefoil are common names for plants of the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining ( ...

clover
and
fireweed ''Chamaenerion angustifolium'' is a perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term ('' per-'' + '' -ennial'', "through the years") is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-liv ...

fireweed
.
Hybrid Hybrid may refer to: Economics and finance * Hybrid market, a system allowing stock trades to be completed either electronically or manually * Hybrid security, a type of economic instrument Technology Electrical power generation * Hybrid generato ...
canola also requires bee pollination, and some beekeepers service this need. Forestry plays a vital role in Alberta's economy, providing over 15,000 jobs and contributing billions of dollars annually. Uses for harvested timber include
pulpwood Pulpwood is timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk ...
,
hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and ...

hardwood
,
engineered wood Engineered wood, also called mass timber, composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board, includes a range of derivative wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a ...
and
bioproductsBioproducts or bio-based products are Raw material, materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources. Bioresources Biological resources include agriculture, forestry, and biologically-derived waste, and there are many othe ...
such as chemicals and
biofuels Biofuel is fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several ...

biofuels
. Recently, the United States has been Canada and Alberta's largest importer of
hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and ...

hardwood
and
pulpwood Pulpwood is timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk ...
, although continued trades issues with the U.S. have likely been a contributing factor towards Alberta's increased focus on Asian markets.


Industry

Alberta is the largest producer of ,
synthetic crude Synthetic crude is the output from a bitumen/extra heavy oil upgrader facility used in connection with oil sand production. It may also refer to shale oil, an output from an oil shale pyrolysis. The properties of the synthetic crude depend on t ...
, natural gas and gas products in Canada. Alberta is the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas and the fourth-largest producer. Two of the largest producers of
petrochemicals Petrochemicals (sometimes abbreviated as petchems) are the chemical products obtained from petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geolo ...
in North America are located in central and north-central Alberta. In both Red Deer and Edmonton,
polyethylene Polyethylene or (incorrectly) polythene (abbreviated PE; IUPAC name polyethene or poly(methylene)) is the most common plastic in use today. It is a polymer, primarily used for packaging (plastic bags, plastic films, geomembranes and container ...

polyethylene
and
vinyl Vinyl may refer to: * Vinyl group In chemistry, vinyl or ethenyl (abbreviated as Vi) is the functional group with the formula Hydrogen, H-Carbon, C=CH2. It is the ethylene (IUPAC ethene) molecule (H2C=CH2) with one fewer hydrogen atom. The name ...
manufacturers produce products that are shipped all over the world. Edmonton's
oil refineries An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some referenc ...
provide the raw materials for a large
petrochemical industry The petrochemical industry is concerned with the production and trade of petrochemicals Petrochemicals (sometimes abbreviated as petchems) are the chemical products obtained from petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a ...
to the east of Edmonton. The surrounding
Fort McMurray Fort McMurray ( ) is an urban service area in the Regional Municipality (RM) of Wood Buffalo in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , ...
have estimated
unconventional oilUnconventional oil is petroleum produced or extracted using techniques other than the conventional method (oil well , such as this one located south of Midland, Texas, is a common sight in West Texas An oil well is a boring (earth), boring in the ...
reserves approximately equal to the
conventional oil Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isocho ...

conventional oil
reserves of the rest of the world, estimated to be 1.6 trillion barrels (254 km3). Many companies employ both conventional
strip mining Surface mining, including strip mining, open-pit mining and mountaintop removal mining, is a broad category of mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lod ...

strip mining
and non-conventional
in situ ''In situ'' (; often not italicized in English) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicar ...

in situ
methods to extract the
bitumen Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or externa ...

bitumen
from the
oil sands Oil sands, tar sands, crude bitumen, or bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional oil, unconventional petroleum deposit. Oil sands are either loose sands or partially consolidated sandstone containing a naturally occurring mixture of s ...
. As of late 2006 there were over $100 billion in oil sands projects under construction or in the planning stages in northeastern Alberta. Another factor determining the viability of oil extraction from the oil sands is the price of oil. The
oil price increases since 2003 :''This article is a chronology of events affecting the oil market. For a discussion of the energy crisis of the same period, see 2000s energy crisis From the mid-1980s to September 2003, the inflation-adjusted price of a barrel of crude oil ...
have made it profitable to extract this oil, which in the past would give little profit or even a loss. By mid-2014, however, rising costs and stabilizing oil prices were threatening the economic viability of some projects. An example of this was the shelving of the Joslyn north project in the Athabasca region in May 2014. With concerted effort and support from the provincial government, several high-tech industries have found their birth in Alberta, notably patents related to interactive
liquid-crystal display A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat panel display, flat-panel display or other Electro-optic modulator, electronically modulated optical device that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals combined with polarizers. Liquid c ...

liquid-crystal display
systems. With a growing economy, Alberta has several financial institutions dealing with civil and private funds.


Tourism

Alberta has been a tourist destination from the early days of the twentieth century, with attractions including outdoor locales for skiing, hiking and camping, shopping locales such as
West Edmonton Mall West Edmonton Mall (WEM) is a shopping mall located in Edmonton, Alberta. It is the second most visited mall in Canada, after the Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, followed by Metropolis at Metrotown, Metrotown Mall in Burnaby, and the 23rd larges ...

West Edmonton Mall
,
Calgary Stampede The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo Rodeo () is a competitive equestrian sport The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) ...

Calgary Stampede
, outdoor festivals, professional athletic events, international sporting competitions such as the
Commonwealth Games The Commonwealth Games, often referred to as the ''Friendly Games'', is an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in ...
and Olympic Games, as well as more eclectic attractions. According to Alberta Economic Development, Calgary and Edmonton both host over four million visitors annually. ,
Jasper Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with ...

Jasper
and the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
are visited by about three million people per year. Alberta tourism relies heavily on
Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
tourists, as well as tourists from other parts of Canada, the United States, and many other countries. There are also natural attractions like
Elk Island National Park Elk Island National Park is a national park A national park is a park in use for Conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land th ...

Elk Island National Park
,
Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest National Parks of Canada, national park of Canada at . It is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories. Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park ...
, and the
Columbia Icefield The Columbia Icefield is the largest ice field in North America's Rocky Mountains. Located within the Canadian Rockies, Canadian Rocky Mountains astride the Continental Divide of the Americas, Continental Divide along the border of British Columbia ...

Columbia Icefield
.
Alberta's Rockies Alberta's Rockies comprises the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , ...
include well-known tourist destinations
Banff National Park Banff National Park is Canada's oldest National Parks of Canada, national park, established in 1885. Located in Alberta's Rockies, Alberta's Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary, Banff encompasses of mountainous terrain, with many glaciers and ice ...

Banff National Park
and
Jasper National Park Jasper National Park is a national park in Alberta Alberta () is one of the thirteen of . It is part of and is one of the three . is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were and 22.2% were . Alber ...

Jasper National Park
. The two mountain parks are connected by the scenic
Icefields Parkway Highway 93 is a north-south highway in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital ...

Icefields Parkway
. Banff is located west of Calgary on , and Jasper is located west of Edmonton on
Yellowhead Highway The Yellowhead Highway (french: Route Yellowhead) is a major interprovincial highway in Western Canada that runs from Winnipeg to Graham Island off the coast of British Columbia via Saskatoon and Edmonton. It stretches across the four western P ...
. Five of Canada's fourteen
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
s are located within the province:
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Sites, World Heritage Site is located in the Canadian Rockies. It consists of seven contiguous parks including four National Parks of Canada, national parks: *Banff National Park, Banff *Jasper Natio ...
,
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is the union of Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exte ...
, Wood Buffalo National Park,
Dinosaur Provincial Park Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations ...
and
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a buffalo jump located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie 18 km (11.2 mi) west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on highway 785. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Wo ...

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
. A number of these areas hold ski resorts, most notably
Sunshine Village Banff Sunshine Village (formerly Sunshine Village) is a ski resort A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mounta ...

Sunshine Village
, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin, Norquay and
Nakiska Nakiska is a ski resort A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mountainous area with pistes (ski trails) and a ski ...
. About 1.2 million people visit the Calgary Stampede, a celebration of Canada's own Wild West and the cattle ranching industry. About 700,000 people enjoy Edmonton's
K-Days K-Days, formerly known as the Edmonton Exhibition, Klondike Days, and the Capital Ex, is an annual 10-day fair, exhibition held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada mostly in late July. In recent years it has attracted between 700,000 and 800,000 visitors ...
(formerly Klondike Days and Capital EX). Edmonton was the gateway to the only all-Canadian route to the
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
gold fields, and the only route which did not require gold-seekers to travel the exhausting and dangerous
Chilkoot Pass Chilkoot Pass (el. ) is a high mountain pass A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a gro ...

Chilkoot Pass
. Another tourist destination that draws more than 650,000 visitors each year is the Drumheller Valley, located northeast of Calgary.
Drumheller Drumheller is a town within the Red Deer River The Red Deer River is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_la ...
, "Dinosaur Capital of The World", offers the
Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (RTMP, and often referred to as the Royal Tyrrell Museum) is a palaeontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and som ...

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
. Drumheller also had a rich mining history being one of Western Canada's largest coal producers during the war years. Another attraction in east-central Alberta is
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions is a heritage railway originating in Stettler, Alberta. The train runs between Stettler and Big Valley, Alberta, Big Valley. The trips last five to six hours, with a stopover (all excursions include a buffet meal) ...
, a popular tourist attraction operated out of Stettler, that offers train excursions into the prairie and caters to tens of thousands of visitors every year.


Government and politics

The Government of Alberta is organized as a
parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
democracy with a unicameral legislature. Its
unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by ...
legislature—the
Legislative Assembly Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. ...
—consists of 87 members elected
first past the post In a first-past-the-post electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral systems are o ...
(FPTP) from single-member constituencies. Locally municipal governments and school boards are elected and operate separately. Their boundaries do not necessarily coincide. As
Queen of Canada The monarchy of Canada is the institution in which a person serves as Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic O ...
,
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
is the head of state for the Government of Alberta. Her duties in Alberta are carried out by Lieutenant Governor
Salma Lakhani Salma Lakhani (born 1951 or 1952) is the 19th lieutenant governor of Alberta The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta () is the viceregal representative in Alberta of the . The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta is appointed in the same manner as the ...
. The Queen and lieutenant governor are figureheads whose actions are highly restricted by custom and constitutional convention. The lieutenant governor handles numerous honorific duties in the name of the Queen. The government is headed by the
premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
. The premier is normally a member of the Legislative Assembly, and draws all the members of the Cabinet from among the members of the Legislative Assembly. The City of Edmonton is the seat of the provincial government—the capital of Alberta. The premier is
Jason Kenney Jason Thomas Kenney (born May 30, 1968) is a Canadian politician who has served as the 18th and current premier of Alberta since 2019, and as leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) since 2017. He was the last leader of the Alberta Pr ...
, sworn in on April 30, 2019. Alberta's elections have tended to yield much more conservative outcomes than those of other Canadian provinces. Since the 1960s, Alberta has had three main political parties, the Progressive Conservatives ("Conservatives" or "Tories"), the
Liberals Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
, and the social democratic New Democrats. The
Wildrose Party The Wildrose Party (legally Wildrose Political Association, formerly the ''Wildrose Alliance Political Association'') was a Conservatism in Canada, conservative provincial political party in Alberta, Canada. The party was formed by the merger i ...

Wildrose Party
, a more conservative party formed in early 2008, gained much support in the 2012 election and became the Opposition (parliamentary), official opposition, a role it held until 2017 when it was dissolved and succeeded by the new United Conservative Party created by the merger of Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives. The strongly conservative Social Credit Party of Alberta, Social Credit Party was a power in Alberta for many decades, but fell from the political map after the Progressive Conservatives came to power in 1971. For 44 years the Progressive Conservatives governed Alberta. They lost the 2015 Alberta general election, 2015 election to the NDP (which formed their own government for the first time in provincial history, breaking almost 80 consecutive years of right-wing rule), suggesting at the time a possible shift to the left in the province, also indicated by the election of progressive mayors in both of Alberta's major cities. Since becoming a province in 1905, Alberta has seen only five changes of government—only six parties have governed Alberta: the Liberals, from 1905 to 1921; the
United Farmers of Alberta The United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is an association of Alberta Alberta () is one of the thirteen of . It is part of and is one of the three . is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were and 22.2% ...
, from 1921 to 1935; the Social Credit Party, from 1935 to 1971; the Progressive Conservative Party, from 1971 to 2015; from 2015 to 2019, the Alberta New Democratic Party; and from 2019, the United Conservative Party, with the 2019 Alberta general election, most recent transfer of power being the first time in provincial history that an incumbent government was not returned to a second term.


Administrative divisions

The province is divided into 10 types of Incorporation (municipal government), local governments – urban municipalities (including city, cities, towns, villages and summer villages), specialized municipalities, rural municipalities (including List of municipal districts in Alberta, municipal districts (often named as List of municipal districts in Alberta, counties), improvement districts, and special areas), Métis settlements, and Indian reserves. All types of municipalities are governed by local residents and were incorporated under various provincial acts, with the exception of improvement districts (governed by either the provincial or federal government), and Indian reserves (governed by local first nation, First Nations people under federal jurisdiction).


Law enforcement

Policing in the province of Alberta upon its creation was the responsibility of the North-West Mounted Police, Royal Northwest Mounted Police. In 1917, due to pressures of World War I, the Alberta Provincial Police was created. This organization policed the province until it was disbanded as a Great Depression-era cost-cutting measure in 1932. It was at that time the now renamed Royal Canadian Mounted Police resumed policing of the province, specifically RCMP "K" Division. With the advent of the Alberta Sheriffs Branch, the distribution of duties of law enforcement in Alberta has been evolving as certain aspects, such as traffic enforcement, mobile surveillance and the close protection of the Premier of Alberta have been transferred to the Sheriffs. In 2006, Alberta formed the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) to combat organized crime and the serious offences that accompany it. ALERT is made up of members of the RCMP, Sheriffs Branch and various major municipal police forces in Alberta.


Military

Military bases in Alberta include CFB Cold Lake, Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake, CFB Edmonton, CFB Suffield and CFB Wainwright. Air force units stationed at CFB Cold Lake have access to the CFB Cold Lake, Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. CFB Edmonton is the headquarters for the 3rd Canadian Division. CFB Suffield hosts British troops and is the largest training facility in Canada.


Taxation

According to Alberta's 2009 budget, government revenue in that year came mainly from royalties on non-renewable natural resources (30.4%), personal income taxes (22.3%), corporate and other taxes (19.6%), and grants from the Government of Canada, federal government primarily for infrastructure projects (9.8%). In 2014, Alberta received $6.1 billion in bitumen royalties. With the drop in the price of oil in 2015 it was down to $1.4 billion. In 2016, Alberta received "about $837 million in royalty payments from oil sands Royalty Projects". According to the 2018–21 fiscal plan, the two top sources of revenue in 2016 were personal income tax at $10, 763 million and federal transfers of $7,976 million with total resource revenue at $3,097 million. Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax. Alberta residents are still subject to the federal sales tax, the Goods and Services Tax (Canada), Goods and Services Tax of 5%. From 2001-2016, Alberta was the only Canadian province to have a flat tax of 10% of taxable income, which was introduced by then-Premier, Ralph Klein, as part of the Alberta Tax Advantage, which also included a zero-percent tax on income below a "generous personal exemption". In 2016, under then-Premier Rachel Notley, while most Albertans continued to pay the 10-per-cent income tax rate, new tax brackets 12-per-cent, 14-per-cent, and 15-per-cent for those with higher incomes ($128,145 annually or more) were introduced. Alberta's personal income tax system maintained a Progressive tax, progressive character by continuing to grant residents personal tax exemptions of $18,451, in addition to a variety of tax deductions for persons with disabilities, students, and the aged. Alberta's municipalities and school jurisdictions have their own governments who usually work in co-operation with the provincial government. By 2018, most Albertans continued to pay the 10-per-cent income tax rate. According to a March 2015
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of ...
report, the median household income in Alberta in 2014 was about $100,000, which is 23 per cent higher than the Canadian national average. Based on Statistic Canada reports, low income Albertans, who earn less than $25,000 and those in the high-income bracket earning $150,000 or more, are the lowest-taxed people in Canada. Those in the middle income brackets representing those that earn about $25,000 to $75,000According to a 2018 CBC article, Albertans whose annual income is less than $25,000 pay the least income tax in Canada; those that earn about $50,000 "pay more than both Ontarians and British Columbians". Residents of British Columbia who earn about $75,000 pay $1,200 less in provincial taxes than those in Alberta. Albertans who earn about $100,000, "pay less than Ontarians but still more than people in B.C." Alberta taxpayers who earn $250,000 a year or more, pay $4,000 less in provincial taxes than someone with a similar income in B.C. and "about $18,000 less than in Quebec." pay more in provincial taxes than residents in British Columbia and Ontario. In terms of income tax, Alberta is the "best province" for those with a low income because there is no provincial income tax for those who earn $18,915 or less. Even with the 2016 progressive tax brackets up to 15%, Albertans who have the highest incomes, those with a $150,000 annual income or more—about 178,000 people in 2015, pay the least in taxes in Canada. — About 1.9 million Albertans earned between $25,000 and $150,000 in 2015. Alberta also privatized alcohol distribution. By 2010, privatization had increased outlets from 304 stores to 1,726; 1,300 jobs to 4,000 jobs; and 3,325 products to 16,495 products. Tax revenue also increased from $400 million to $700 million. In 2017/18 Alberta collected about $2.4 billion in education property taxes from municipalities. Albertan municipalities raise a significant portion of their income through levying property taxes. The value of assessed property in Alberta was approximately $727 billion in 2011. Most real property is assessed according to its market value. The exceptions to market value assessment are farmland, railways, machinery & equipment and linear property, all of which is assessed by regulated rates. Depending on the property type, property owners may appeal a property assessment to their municipal 'Local Assessment Review Board', 'Composite Assessment Review Board,' or the Alberta Municipal Government Board.


Culture

Summer brings many festivals to the province of Alberta, especially in Edmonton. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Edmonton Fringe Festival is the world's second-largest after the Edinburgh Festival. Both Calgary and Edmonton host a number of annual festivals and events, including folk music festivals. The city's "heritage days" festival sees the participation of over 70 ethnic groups. Edmonton's Churchill Square (Edmonton), Churchill Square is home to a large number of the festivals, including the large Taste of Edmonton & The Works Art & Design Festival throughout the summer months. The City of Calgary is also famous for its Stampede, dubbed "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth". The Stampede is Canada's biggest rodeo festival and features various races and competitions, such as calf roping and bull riding. In line with the western tradition of rodeo are the cultural artisans that reside and create unique Alberta western heritage crafts. The Banff Centre hosts a range of festivals and other events including the international Banff Mountain Film Festival, Mountain Film Festival. These cultural events in Alberta highlight the province's cultural diversity. Most of the major cities have several performing theatre companies who entertain in venues as diverse as Edmonton's Arts Barns and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. Both Calgary and Edmonton are home to Canadian Football League and National Hockey League teams (the Calgary Stampeders, Stampeders/Calgary Flames, Flames and Edmonton Football Team/Edmonton Oilers, Oilers respectively). Soccer, rugby union and lacrosse are also played professionally in Alberta. In 2019 the then Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda announced the Alberta Artist in Residence program in conjunction with the province's first Month of the Artist to celebrate the arts and the value they bring to the province, both socially and economically, The Artist is selected each year via a public and competitive process is expected to do community outreach and attend events to promote the arts through out the province. The award comes with $60,000 funding which includes travel and materials costs. On January 31, 2019 Lauren Crazybull named Alberta's 1st Artist in Residence. Alberta is the first province to launch an Artist in Residence program in Canada.


Education

As with any Canadian province, the Alberta Legislature has (almost) exclusive authority to make laws respecting education. Since 1905 the Legislature has used this capacity to continue the model of locally elected public and separate school boards which originated prior to 1905, as well as to create and regulate universities, colleges, technical institutions and other educational forms and institutions (public charter schools, private schools, home schooling).


Elementary and secondary

There are forty-two public school jurisdictions in Alberta, and seventeen operating separate school jurisdictions. Sixteen of the operating separate school jurisdictions have a Catholic electorate, and one (St. Albert, Alberta, St. Albert) has a Protestant electorate. In addition, one Protestant separate school district, Glen Avon, survives as a ward of the St. Paul Education Region. The City of Lloydminster straddles the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, and both the public and separate school systems in that city are counted in the above numbers: both of them operate according to Saskatchewan law. For many years the provincial government has funded the greater part of the cost of providing K–12 education. Prior to 1994 public and separate school boards in Alberta had the legislative authority to levy a local tax on property as a supplementary support for local education. In 1994 the government of the province eliminated this right for public school boards, but not for separate school boards. Since 1994 there has continued to be a tax on property in support of K–12 education; the difference is that the mill rate is now set by the provincial government, the money is collected by the local municipal authority and remitted to the provincial government. The relevant legislation requires that all the money raised by this property tax must go to the support of K–12 education provided by school boards. The provincial government pools the property tax funds from across the province and distributes them, according to a formula, to public and separate school jurisdictions and Francophone authorities. State school, Public and separate school boards, charter schools, and private schools all follow the Program of Studies and the curriculum approved by the provincial department of education (Alberta Education). Homeschooling, Homeschool tutors may choose to follow the Program of Studies or develop their own Program of Studies. Public and separate schools, charter schools, and approved private schools all employ teachers who are certificated by Alberta Education, they administer Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Examinations set by Alberta Education, and they may grant high school graduation certificates endorsed by Alberta Education.


Post-secondary

The University of Alberta, located in Edmonton and established in 1908, is Alberta's oldest and largest university. The University of Calgary, once affiliated with the University of Alberta, gained its autonomy in 1966 and is now the second-largest university in Alberta. Athabasca University, which focuses on distance learning, and the University of Lethbridge are located in Athabasca and Lethbridge respectively. In early September 2009, Mount Royal University became Calgary's second public university, and in late September 2009, a similar move made MacEwan University Edmonton's second public university. There are 15 colleges that receive direct public funding, along with two technical institutes, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Two of the colleges, Red Deer College and Grande Prairie Regional College, were approved by the Alberta government to become degree granting universities There are also many private post-secondary institutions, mostly List of colleges in Alberta#Private Colleges, Christian Universities, bringing the total number of universities to 12. Students may also receive government loans and grants while attending selected private institutions. There was some controversy in 2005 over the rising cost of post-secondary education for students (as opposed to taxpayers). In 2005, Premier Ralph Klein made a promise that he would freeze tuition and look into ways of reducing schooling costs.


Health care

Alberta provides a publicly funded health care, publicly funded, fully integrated health system, through Alberta Health Services (AHS)—a quasi-independent agency that delivers health care on behalf of the Government of Alberta's Ministry of Health (Alberta), Ministry of Health. The Alberta government provides health services for all its residents as set out by the provisions of the ''Canada Health Act'' of 1984. Alberta became Canada's second province (after
Saskatchewan ("From Many Peoples Strength") , image_map = Saskatchewan in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English , capital = Regina, S ...
) to adopt a Tommy Douglas-style program in 1950, a precursor to the modern Medicare (Canada), medicare system. Alberta's health care budget was $22.5 billion during the 2018–2019 fiscal year (approximately 45% of all government spending), making it the best-funded health-care system per-capita in Canada. Every hour the province spends more than $2.5 million, (or $60 million per day), to maintain and improve health care in the province. Notable health, education, research, and resources facilities in Alberta, all of which are located within Calgary or Edmonton. Health centres in Calgary include: *Alberta Children's Hospital *Foothills Medical Centre *Grace Women's Health Centre *Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta *Peter Lougheed Centre *Rockyview General Hospital *South Health Campus *Tom Baker Cancer Centre *University of Calgary Medical Centre (UCMC) Health centres in Edmonton include: *Alberta Diabetes Institute *Cross Cancer Institute *Edmonton Clinic *Grey Nuns Community Hospital *Lois Hole Hospital for Women *Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute *Misericordia Community Hospital *Rexall Centre for Pharmacy and Health Research *Royal Alexandra Hospital (Edmonton), Royal Alexandra Hospital *Stollery Children's Hospital *University of Alberta Hospital The University of Alberta in Edmonton, Edmonton Clinic complex, completed in 2012, provides a similar research, education, and care environment as the Mayo Clinic in the United States. All public health care services funded by the Government of Alberta are delivered operationally by Alberta Health Services. AHS is the province's single health authority, established on July 1, 2008, which replaced nine regional health authorities. AHS also funds all ground ambulance services in the province, as well as the province-wide Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) air ambulance service.


Transportation


Air

Alberta is well-connected by air, with international airports in both Calgary and Edmonton. Calgary International Airport and Edmonton International Airport are the fourth- and List of the busiest airports in Canada, fifth-busiest in Canada, respectively. Calgary's airport is a hub for WestJet, WestJet Airlines and a regional hub for Air Canada, primarily serving the prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) for connecting flights to British Columbia, eastern Canada, 15 major U.S. centres, nine European airports, one Asian airport and four destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Edmonton's airport acts as a hub for the Canadian north and has connections to all major Canadian airports as well as airports in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean .


Public transit

Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge have substantial Public transport, public transit systems. In addition to buses, Calgary and Edmonton operate Light rail, light rail transit (LRT) systems. Edmonton Light Rail Transit, Edmonton LRT, which is underground in the downtown core and on the surface outside the CBD, was the first of the modern generation of light rail systems to be built in North America, while the Calgary C-Train has one of the highest number of daily riders of any LRT system in North America.


Rail

There are more than of operating mainline railway in Alberta. The vast majority of this trackage is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway companies, which operate railway Cargo, freight across the province. Additional railfreight service in the province is provided by two shortline railways: the Battle River Railway and Forty Mile Rail. Passenger trains include Via Rail's Canadian (Toronto–Vancouver) or Jasper–Prince Rupert trains, which use the CN mainline and pass through Jasper National Park and parallel the Yellowhead Highway during at least part of their routes. The Rocky Mountaineer operates two sections: one from Vancouver to Banff and Calgary over CP tracks, and a section that travels over CN tracks to Jasper.


Road

Alberta has over of highways and roads, of which nearly are paved. The main north–south corridor is Alberta Highway 2, Highway 2, which begins south of Cardston at the Carway, Alberta, Carway border crossing and is part of the CANAMEX Corridor. Alberta Highway 4, Highway 4, which effectively extends Interstate 15 into Alberta and is the busiest U.S. gateway to the province, begins at the Coutts, Alberta, Coutts border crossing and ends at Lethbridge. Alberta Highway 3, Highway 3 joins Lethbridge to Fort Macleod and links Highway 2 to Highway 4. Highway 2 travels north through Fort Macleod, Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton. North of Edmonton, the highway continues to Athabasca, Alberta, Athabasca, then northwesterly along the south shore of
Lesser Slave Lake Lesser Slave Lake (french: Petit lac des Esclaves), known traditionally as ᐊᔭᐦᒋᔨᓂᐤ ᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ ayahciyiniw sâkahikan in the Plains Cree language Plains Cree ( endonym: ) is a dialect of the Algonquian language, Cree, w ...
into High Prairie, north to Peace River, Alberta, Peace River, west to Fairview, Alberta, Fairview and finally south to Grande Prairie, where it ends at an interchange with Alberta Highway 43, Highway 43. The section of Highway 2 between Calgary and Edmonton has been named the Queen Elizabeth II Highway to commemorate the visit of the monarch in 2005. Highway 2 is supplemented by two more highways that run parallel to it: Alberta Highway 22, Highway 22, west of Highway 2, known as ''Cowboy Trail'', and Alberta Highway 21, Highway 21, east of Highway 2. Highway 43 travels northwest into Grande Prairie and the Peace River Country; Alberta Highway 63, Highway 63 travels northeast to Fort McMurray, the location of the Athabasca oil sands. Alberta has two main east–west corridors. The southern corridor, part of the Trans-Canada Highway system, enters the province near Medicine Hat, runs westward through Calgary, and leaves Alberta through Banff National Park. The northern corridor, also part of the Trans-Canada network and known as the
Yellowhead Highway The Yellowhead Highway (french: Route Yellowhead) is a major interprovincial highway in Western Canada that runs from Winnipeg to Graham Island off the coast of British Columbia via Saskatoon and Edmonton. It stretches across the four western P ...
(Alberta Highway 16, Highway 16), runs west from Lloydminster in eastern Alberta, through Edmonton and
Jasper National Park Jasper National Park is a national park in Alberta Alberta () is one of the thirteen of . It is part of and is one of the three . is the official language of the province. In 2016, 76.0% of Albertans were , 1.8% were and 22.2% were . Alber ...

Jasper National Park
into British Columbia. One of the most scenic drives is along the
Icefields Parkway Highway 93 is a north-south highway in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital ...

Icefields Parkway
, which runs for between Jasper and Lake Louise, with mountain ranges and glaciers on either side of its entire length. A third corridor stretches across southern Alberta; Alberta Highway 3, Highway 3 runs between Crowsnest Pass and Medicine Hat through Lethbridge and forms the eastern portion of the Crowsnest Highway. Another major corridor through central Alberta is Alberta Highway 11, Highway 11 (also known as the David Thompson (explorer), David Thompson Highway), which runs east from the Saskatchewan River Crossing, Alberta, Saskatchewan River Crossing in Banff National Park through Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer, Alberta, Red Deer, connecting with Alberta Highway 12, Highway 12 west of Stettler. The highway connects many of the smaller towns in central Alberta with Calgary and Edmonton, as it crosses Highway 2 just west of Red Deer. Urban stretches of Alberta's major highways and freeways are often called ''trails''. For example, Highway 2, the main north–south highway in the province, is called Deerfoot Trail as it passes through Calgary but becomes Calgary Trail (for southbound traffic) and Gateway Boulevard (for northbound traffic) as it enters Edmonton and then turns into St. Albert Trail as it leaves Edmonton for the City of St. Albert, Alberta, St. Albert. Calgary, in particular, has a tradition of calling its largest urban limited-access road, expressways ''trails'' and naming many of them after prominent
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
individuals and tribes, such as Crowchild Trail, Deerfoot Trail, and Stoney Trail.


Friendship partners

Alberta has relationships with many provinces, states, and other entities worldwide. * Gangwon Province, South Korea, Gangwon-do, South Korea (1974) * Hokkaido, Japan (1980) * Heilongjiang, China (1981) *
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
, United States (1985) * Tyumen, Russia (1992) * Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Khanty–Mansi, Russia (1995) * Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets, Russia (1997) * Jalisco, Mexico (1999) *
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
, United States (2002) * Saxony, Germany (2002) * Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine (2004) * Lviv, Ukraine (2005) * California, United States (1997) * Guangdong, China (2017)


See also

* Index of Alberta-related articles * Outline of Alberta * Symbols of Alberta


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * * * *


External links


Government of Alberta website
*
Alberta Encyclopedia

List of streets in Alberta with maps
{{Authority control Alberta, 1905 establishments in Canada Provinces of Canada States and territories established in 1905 Canadian Prairies