Southern Alberta

 

Southern Alberta

Southern Alberta has a rich mix of prehistoric history, First Nations culture, and encompasses towns with attractions as unique as a Japanese Garden or an energetic cafe culture. Wandering around Southern Alberta’s Badlands is an otherworldly experience unlike anything you’ve seen. Every crag and fissure tells the story of a prehistoric past. This is the kind of experience you can really lose yourself in, feeling as if you’ve landed on another planet. It’s also a place you can get a hands-on learning experience by joining a real-live dinosaur bone dig. The rich heritage of Southern Alberta is deeply entrenched in the sights found in the cities and towns that make up the region. In Drumheller, wander through the hoodoos in Dinosaur Provincial park and also learn about a prehistoric past, and camp where extinct creatures once roamed. For another fascinating immersion into a different kind of history, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is set on the backdrop of 6,000-year-old escarpment that tells the story of the buffalo that were sacrificed for the indigenous Blackfoot peoples. You can even get a an immersive experience taking part in a simulated buffalo jump. Meanwhile, in the city of Medicine Hat, called Canada’s sunniest city, you can attend unique art events like the Tongue on the Post Festival in winter, inside an old pottery factory, or learn the art of drawing in chalk at the Chalk Art Festival in summer.

Province
Alberta
  • Brooks Faire

    All around me there’s medieval mayhem and much merriment. Standing at the tournament ring, fighters head to toe in steel armour try to knock each other down to the ground. To the backdrop of the baritone sounds of drums, the clashing swords ring out somewhere behind me. Costumed characters walk by as I hear the herald calling out for the crowd to gather in the tournament ring with the king and queen. It’s time for the height of medieval entertainment – the jousting tournament.

  • “The first thing every artist wants is a packed, fun venue. That can be a 20-person house party or a 20,000-person arena.” With that thought, Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra lead Kurt Loewen waxes philosophical about friendship, taking your shot, quality versus quantity and staying up way too late getting lost in a hook. 

  • The Huckleberry Festival at Castle Mountain Resort is the quintessential summer wrap-up party. With good times, great views, and huckleberries, it has become an annual tradition for many, including the Carmichaels, who are here for the 11th year in a row.

  •  It’s likely a few pints of German beer were consumed in the planning of what has become one of the merriest and most popular events in town over the past three years – the Lethbridge Oktoberfest.

  • Corb Lund played in Lethbridge a few years ago, but he can’t quite remember the details. We’ll cut him some slack because he has been kind of busy touring. Catch him this summer at the Shine on Festival in Lethbridge.

  • It wasn’t a typical Sunday morning. Looking out over Lethbridge’s signature coulee, the bright blue Alberta sky promising a spectacular summer’s day, the happy-go-lucky sound of a banjo came to life, its quick-paced notes immediately making my foot tap the rusty shale path below me.

  • Like most forms of art, chalking can be very messy. The pastel colours get on your hands, on your clothes, on your face and in your hair. Medicine Hat native and local artisan Kristine Ens doesn’t mind though. For her, the messiness of “chalking” is what she loves about the medium.

     

  • I steadied myself, held my breath and unholstered my camera. Moments later, a dozen horses thundered past. Before I could breathe again, chunks of dirt and mud rained from the sky – debris kicked up by the galloping horses. Most fell around me, but some landed on my shoulders, exploding into dust.

  • It had been more than two decades ago since I’d picked up a musical instrument – a stint playing a saxophone for a few semesters in junior high. But within 15 minutes “Kool” Ray Martens had me laying down a groovy line on the bass guitar alongside a couple of his bandmates.

     

  • Waterton National Park is best known for its dramatic scenery, sparkling blue lakes, and abundant wildlife, but did you know it has a food festival?

     

  • “What’s that funny smell?” My son Finn asks as we sit down at the pottery wheel for a clay experience. “Know what that smell is? It’s Medicine Hat,” says Aaron Nelson, Medalta’s associate director.

  • Winters in Canada are long and most music fans don’t want to wait until the weather thaws to enjoy the energy and special performances that come with a traditional Western Canadian music festival.  

  • Medicine Hat may be known for its natural gas, but I discovered it also has a wonderful reputation for a fuel of a different kind - caffeine.

  • Roy Pogorzelski travelled all the way to Bavaria, Germany to get a taste of the most authentic Oktoberfest he could - and brought it back to Lethbridge.

  • It was potentially a dumb idea. After taking a tour around the Medalta Museum we walked into the artist’s studio and there in front of us was a pottery wheel. To most people it’s an awkward looking contraption.

  • Popping up from the prairies in the southeast corner of Alberta are the highest hills you’ll find between the Rockies and Labrador.  

  • If you’re a mountain biker looking for a fantastic variety of uncrowded, world-class trails then it’s time you made a visit to Alberta’s best kept secret – Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. With roughly 50 kilometres of trails – and more in the works, you’ll find lots of choice.

  • Driving through the towns in the Canada’s Mormon Trail on a beautiful summer’s day with farm land stretching as far as the eye can see and the majestic mountain backdrop, it’s easy to imagine a simpler time where volunteers worked together to build whatever was needed in their community.

  • Kneeling over my grey square on the sideway – I drew … a blank. The fresh box of chalk beside my knee was screaming out ideas but I was afraid to start. What if I can’t draw? What if it looks dumb? What if it rains?... No wait, please rain!

  • One of the cornerstones of Medicine Hat’s pottery industry was Medalta Potteries, whose facilities still stand in Medicine Hat’s Historic Clay District – one of Canada’s National Historic Sites in Alberta.

  • Jazz music usually evokes images of smoky nightclubs on big city streets rather than sunny skies and prairie hospitality, but great things often things happen in unlikely places.

  • Medicine Hat, Alberta is known for a lot of things — a big reserve of natural gas, the sunniest skies in Canada, a historic ceramics industry — but did you know it’s also a destination for coffee lovers? #DareToExplore destination tip - fuel your creativity in Medicine Hat via an artisan coffee tour experience.

  • When singer-songwriter Linda McRae heard of the Tongue on the Post music festival, she immediately thought of the childhood dare. “I love it.”

  • Artists create masterpieces that can take days to create, and sometimes within days of completing one, the wind or rain could erase it all. 

  • The Village of Waterton is still small. Main street takes 20 minutes to stroll because you stopped for 15 minutes to watch a herd of deer go by.