Heather Klimchuk

Minister of Culture, Alberta


Some think culture in Alberta is the Calgary Stampede and, well, that’s it.

Let’s be clear: the Stampede is a don’t-miss event, and this year, after the floods, it was more important than ever for showing what we’re made of.

But anyone who thinks Alberta closes up when the Stampede ends is about 100 years out of date. Alberta’s cultural offerings are so abundant, there’s more to do than time to do it.

So much to offer

Pick a festival — or try to.  Folk music in Calgary, Edmonton, and Canmore, the continent’s largest country music festival in Camrose, Reggae in Calgary, Jazz in Medicine Hat, the North Country Fair…

Beyond music, festivals celebrate Shakespeare, dragon boats, sand sculpture, street performance, food and wine, film, world media... There’s the Tour of Alberta, Canada’s Pro Cycling Festival. To name a few.

"I won’t even try to go into detail about year-round theatre, symphony, choral music, opera, touring productions, concerts, film makers, authors, digital media artists…"

Families grow — closer, wiser, up — at our historic sites and museums. There’s a World Heritage Site where buffalo hunters perfected their technique millennia before the pyramids. There’s Albertosaurus, a sportier cousin of Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Frank Slide, Canada’s deadliest rock slide. That’s a start, anyway.

You can’t spell Alberta without ART — the Art Gallery of Alberta, Alberta College of Art and Design, the rightly famous Banff Centre, and many more. Edmonton’s Fringe Theatre Festival is still the biggest, with sister festivals throughout Alberta and imitators across the continent.

I won’t even try to go into detail about year-round theatre, symphony, choral music, opera, touring productions, concerts, film makers, authors, digital media artists…

Community spirit

How does it all work? Alberta runs on community spirit. Whenever someone praises an Alberta cultural organization, festival or event, they put volunteers at the top of the kudos list. Volunteering builds pride.  And it’s great fun.

It’s all part of a unique Alberta quality — of experience, and of life.


Heather Klimchuk
editorial@mediaplanet.com