Edmonton is Alberta's capital city and is home to the Alberta's government and the province's largest academic institution, the University of Alberta. The Universitiy of Alberta is one of the top 5 public universities in Canada, with almost 40,000 students across 5 campuses. The U of A is also critically acclaimed as one of the top research institutions in the country.
In addition, Edmonton is considered a very entrepreneurial city with strong initiatives such as Start Up Edmonton and TECH Edmonton. Edmonton's people also provide a strong volunteer force for the city's not-for-profit sector and are known for giving back to the community.
Edmonton surrounds the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley and is known as "Festival City" for its numerous festivals throughout the year (particularly in the summer due to good weather).
Edmonton is home to North America's largest shopping mall, West Edmonton Mall. WEM is full of countless stores, attractions, and restaurants. Some of its main features include the World Waterpark (home to the largest indoor wave pool), Galaxyland (an indoor amusement park), Icepalace (indoor skating rink), and many other features such as a giant indoor lake and a number of different animals including sea lions, penguins, and sharks!
Edmonton has one of Canada's youngest populations and is full of clubs, sports, and activities for students and young people to join. Edmonton also loves its hockey and is home to the Edmonton Oilers (NHL) and the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL). The main streets of Whyte and Jasper ave are often filled with countless fans filling the pubs and cheering on their home team during hockey season. In the summer, Edmontonians get outside to soak up the sun whether it is with a bike ride through the river valley or hanging out on the rooftop patio of their favourite restaurant downtown.
For more information on Edmonton, check out the City of Edmonton website.
Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and is known as the financial hub of the province. Many of the Canada's large corporations are headquartered in Calgary including the majority of energy companies.
Calgary surrounds the Bow river and therefore has countless paths and trails for biking, walking, and running to enjoy the scenic view. Calgary is very close to the Rocky Mountains and cities and national parks such as Canmore and Banff where there are countless outdoor activities to enjoy such as skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, hiking, etc (depending on the time of year).
Calgary hosts one of the largest festivals in Canada, the Calgary Stampede, held in July every year. This is a large rodeo and exhibition with many different events including concerts, chuckwagon races, a parade, and lots of country music! This event takes over the city for ten days and has a little something for everyone.
Calgary is also known to have one of the largest zoo's in the country. The Calgary Zoo is one of the most highly ranked zoos in the world and is filled with more than 1000 animals from different regions around the world. It is a must-see for many tourists visiting Calgary.
Like Edmonton, Calgary also loves their hockey. With this, there is a large rivalry between respective teams and is called "The Battle of Alberta". Calgary is home to the Calgary Flames and the rivalry can prove to be quite entertaining for sports fans in Alberta.
Calgary's downtown is filled with many restaurants and bars and is often full with corporates and students at the end of the day and throughout the weekend. There is always something to do and somewhere to be in this lively downtown area.
For more information on Calgary, check out the City of Calgary website.
LIVING IN ALBERTA
Alberta is a province in Western Canada and is often known for its stunning landscapes, its diverse resources in the Energy sector, and its numerous shopping destinations.
With no more than 4 million people, Alberta is a province filled with outdoor activities and lots of opportunity to explore its many national parks.
ASiiA Participant 2012, Maria-Joanna Ermlich
ASiiA Participant 2012, Katharina Pocher