Archives for 15 July 2015

Visit Edmonton!

The oldest and most vibrant Alberta tradition is the bitter rivalry, amounting to actual hatred, between Calgary and Edmonton. This dates back to 1905, when the Canadian government (over the objections of most Albertans) made Edmonton, then a village in the remote North, the capital of the new province, instead of the thriving young city of Calgary. As a sop, Calgary was supposed to be the site of the new University of Alberta… but that went to Edmonton as well. (Calgary did not get its own university until the 1960s.)

The long history of actual insults and injuries is largely forgotten now, except by old curmudgeons like myself; the rivalry has largely been sublimated into the realm of professional sports. The ‘Battle of Alberta’ between the NHL’s Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, in particular, is heated and acrimonious, and in days gone by (when both teams were good) produced some of the most viciously entertaining hockey ever played. Just recently, the Oilers tried to freeze Calgary out of the act by trademarking the phrase ‘Battle of Alberta’, despite more than 30 years of usage in the public domain. This is how Albertans keep warm in the insanely long winters.

Herewith, one Calgarian’s effort to spruce up Edmonton’s public image.


Visit Edmonton – Alberta's Own Frozen Wasteland (poster)