Alberta Central

Shawn Bell, director of community services for the Town of Vermilion, has a dilemma on his hands. Not just himself, but also the people organizing this year’s Canada Day celebrations in the town about an hour east of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway.

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The East Coulee Spring Fest is one of Alberta's best-kept secret festivals. Held in a valley of beautiful nature inspirations, the musicians who come to the stage have unique talents to make this a weekend to remember.

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Vermilion hosts Art in the Park in conjunction with Alberta Cultural Days on Oct. 1. 

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The Drumheller Valley is home to dinosaurs, a prolific coal mining history, art galleries, festivals and the Canadian Badlands Passion Play. All great reasons to pop in for a weekend getaway, and The Heartwood Inn and Spa is the perfect hub for your adventures.

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Just outside of Red Deer is a special kind of music festival that for the past six years has been developing a reputation for being one of the most popular family-friendly all-genre musical events in Alberta.

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It’s smack dab in the middle of summer, you’ve got the kids in the car and you’re vacation bound. Instead of spending a boring night in a motel, why not make a stop in lovely Oyen, Alberta on July 25 for the 14 th Annual White Lightning Dodge Pro Cowboy Crunch.

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Flames lick the rib tails as they fall onto the grill, sizzling. The coleslaw isn’t going to prep itself, so while the meat sears I dive in. It’s my first ever shot at being a line cook but I’m in good hands with Anthony MacPhee, the owner and chef of Anthony’s Classic Grill in Vermilion.

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East of the Stampede, it’s about as big an ag fair as you’ll find. And yet the charm of that old, small town brand of hospitality and community celebration remains at the heart of Colonial Days.

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Walk down 50th Street in Camrose and you’ll notice two things – the city has a lot of gutsy women and they’re well dressed.

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It’s only eight seconds, but it can feel like an eternity for some cowboys. Canada’s border town of Lloydminster will once again play host to some of the top cowboys in Canada at this year’s Wrangler Bull Riders Canada Finals on Oct. 2 and 3. 

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I’ll admit straightaway – I am not a huge country music fan. But after attending the Big Valley Jamboree two years in a row, I’ve discovered this annual event is way more than just folks twanging on a geetar about their lost dog down by the river.

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If you’re looking for an authentic Alberta experience, here’s what I’d suggest; from Edmonton, take Highway 21 south, turn left at Highway 609, then right at Highway 56. Stop when you reach Stettler, and head straight for the Steel Wheel Stampede. This is the real deal folks.

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Before she moved to Vermilion, Carol Wasylik knew from visiting the town that it had lots of activities and plenty of community involvement. Now that she’s a resident and storeowner, it was only natural she would become one of those involved residents.

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When Ron Pilger purchased a house in Camrose, he had no idea he was also getting a new hobby.

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