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Edmonton, AB
Edmonton is the capital of the province of Alberta, making it the seat of the provincial Crown. It is on the North Saskatchewan River in the central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta after Calgary, with a population of 730,372, and is the hub of Canada's sixth largest census metropolitan area, with a metropolitan population of 1,034,945, making it the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million.

Edmonton is Canada's second most populous provincial capital (after Toronto) and is a cultural, government and educational centre. It plays host to a year round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of "The Festival City". It is home to North America's largest mall and Canada's largest historic park. In 2004, Edmonton celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a city.

There are also over seventy museums in Edmonton of ranging sizes. The largest is the Royal Alberta Museum (formerly the Provincial Museum of Alberta until renamed by Queen Elizabeth II during her 2005 visit) which houses over 10 million objects in its collection. The museum showcases the culture and practices of the diverse aboriginal tribes of the region. The main building, located on the river valley west of downtown in Glenora, was opened in 1967 and is now in the early stages of large-scale redevelopment.

The Art Gallery of Alberta was the city's largest single gallery. Housed in an inconspicuous production of 1970s architecture, the AGA collection had over 5,000 pieces of art. The Art Gallery was demolished in July 2007, for construction of a new facility designed by Randall Stout estimated to cost over $88 million dollars. The amount that Edmonton City Council has donated towards the construction was met with some controversy. Independent galleries can be found throughout the city, especially along the 124th Street corridor.


2001 Sourdough Raft Race, passing beneath the High Level Bridge's Great Divide waterfall during Klondike Days. 2001 Sourdough Raft Race, passing beneath the High Level Bridge's Great Divide waterfall during Klondike Days.

Edmonton plays host to several large festivals each year, hence its local nickname as "The Festival City". Downtown Edmonton and Churchill Square host numerous festivals each summer. The Works Art & Design Festival, which takes place from late June to early July, showcases Canadian and international art and design from well-know, award-winning artists, as well as emerging and student artists. The Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival takes place in mid-July and showcases street performance artists from around the world.

Edmonton's main summer festival is Capital Ex (formerly Klondike Days.) Klondike Days (or K-Days) was originally an annual fair and exhibition which eventually adopted a gold rush theme. In early 2006, it was decided that the festival would be renamed "The Capital City Exhibition" ("Capital Ex"). Activities include chuckwagon races, carnival rides and fairways, music, trade shows and daily fireworks. Since 1960, the Sourdough Raft Races have also been a popular event. Later in November Edmonton plays host to the Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair. This is a significant event in Canada's rodeo circuit and second only to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in prestige.

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival, which takes place in mid-August, is the largest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America, and second only to the Edinburgh Fringe festival in the world. In August, Edmonton is also host to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, one of the most successful and popular folk music festivals in North America. Another major summer festival is the Edmonton Heritage Festival which is an ethnocultural festival that takes place in Hawrelak Park on the Heritage Day long weekend.

Many other festivals occur such as the River City Shakespeare Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, Edmonton Gay Pride and the Edmonton International Film Festival.

Information courtesy Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
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