Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared September 1 as Alberta Day. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared September 1 as Alberta Day. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Province set to celebrate first-ever Alberta Day

The province’s first-ever Alberta Day will kick off a weekend of celebrations.

Earlier this summer, Premier Jason Kenney declared Sept. 1 in order to follow a recommendation by the Fair Deal Panel to “explore ways and means to affirm Alberta’s cultural, economic and political uniqueness.”

On Sept. 1, 1905, the Alberta Act came into effect, formally establishing the Province of Alberta.

“Creating a new annual tradition of Alberta Day – the day we entered Confederation – will be one way of showing our pride in this amazing province,” Kenney said at the time.

“Alberta is exceptional in every way. We are the custodians of one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse natural environments. The Indigenous people of this place are an inspiration in how they have overcome great adversity to create an ever brighter future, rooted in their ancient cultures and customs.”

Several areas in Central Alberta will let people in on the party, including Blackfalds, Lacombe, Olds and Sylvan Lake. In Blackfalds at the Ag Society Amphitheatre on Saturday as part of the weekend-long celebration, there will be $2 ice cream, a tipi raising ceremony, an aboriginal Dance Troupe, as well as musical performances by Ashley Ghostkeeper and Chevy Beaulieu.

In Lacombe, there will be a number of free events at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, including a family skate, indoor sports and a bouncy castle. The Lacombe Memorial Centre and the Michener House Museum will also host a number of events throughout the day Saturday.

Olds will have a special event at its Farmer’s Market on Saturday and Sylvan Lake will have family fun in Lion’s Park, a magic show at the pier from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by fireworks after dark.

The weekend of activities will also serve as a kickoff to Alberta Culture Days, a month-long provincial celebration.

“This year’s Alberta Culture Days will be a delightful blend of visual and performing arts, ethnic and socio-cultural groups – all made-in-Alberta content,” said Ron Orr, Minister of Culture.

“Albertans have an advantage in that we have an entire month dedicated to the celebration of our province’s diverse, rich, social and cultural tapestry. I encourage every Albertan, wherever they are in our province, to make time to celebrate that diversity by visiting as many events as they can.”

According to a provincial government release, nearly 225,000 Albertans participated in virtual and in-person Alberta Culture Days celebrations in 2021, with 49 communities hosting 924 events.

This year, Alberta’s government provided almost $350,000 to assist with planning and coordinating a record 104 celebration sites across the province.

September is also the month of the artist and Alberta is the only province to dedicate an entire month to them.

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