“Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2021: Education is the new Buffalo, Calgary

00 Downtown Calgary Library (29)

I was intrigued by this work of art, created by Lionel Peyachew, which is prominently displayed in Calgary’s new Central Library.
Historically the key to survival on the prairies was a successful buffalo hunt.  Today the key to success is a good education.  Peyachew has used welded steel letters and numbers to construct a an icon that combines past and present tools for survival. 
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars along the Highway: 1935 Ford Pickup

191-Show and Shine Car Show (215)

Came across this lovely souped-up Ford Pickup in Calgary — and in one of my favorite colors.
Hard to believe it’s almost 85 years old.  Powered by a 302cc V8, it was popular when it was made and still a very desirable collectible.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

St. Andrews-on-the-Red, Manitoba

St Andrew’s Anglican Church 00

One of the oldest churches on the Canadian prairies is St. Andrews.  It’s an Anglican (Episcopalian) church in the community of St. Andrews and is situated on the Red River — hence the name, St. Andrews-on-the-Red.
The church is more than 170 years old.  In the 1820’s, the stretch of the Red River north of (what is now) Winnipeg was largely settled by former workers of the Hudson’s Bay and Northwest Trading Companies, many of whom were immigrants from the Orkney Islands.  Archdeacon W. Cockran established a mission and built a wooden church here in 1831. This wooden church soon became too small to accommodate the congregation and a new stone church was begun in 1844 and completed in 1849.  The …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2021. A January Drive down the Cowboy Trail

05 Cowboy Trail in January (10)

One of the most underrated scenic drives in Canada is Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, highway 22X.  The 100-or-so mile stretch from the Crowsnest Pass to Longview contains nothing but an expanse of prairie rolling over the foothills and abutting the lovely Rocky Mountains.  It’s especially scenic in late spring/early summer, when the prairie grass is lush and green and there’s still some snow on the mountain peaks, but winter has its own charm.

These photos were a few years ago, a winter which had been pretty mild up to that point, with little snow on the ground.  The winter daylight so far north is soft, especially in the afternoon.  Lots of cattle grazing, a few ranches here and there, including the …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Tractor Pull in Markerville, Alberta

13 Markerville Tractor Pull (7)

One of my stops when visiting rural Alberta was the village of Markerville, a farming community built by Icelandic immigrants northwest of Calgary.  Markerville has a popular ice cream shop, which was the main reason I visited.  While I was enjoying my scoop of chocolate ice cream, I heard an announcer’s voice echoing in the distance.  I couldn’t understand what was being said, but had to find out what was going on.
I walked over the pedestrian bridge across the Red Deer River and was surprised to find a colorful collection of tractors in the town’s baseball field, with a scattering of antique cars and other farm equipment.

A gathering of old tractors, Markerville

A gathering of old tractors, Markerville

I’d come across a “tractor pull” that was part of weekly series of events …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 25, 2020: Some Scenes from Central Alberta

00 Rural Alberta

The terrain of Alberta is mostly that of the great Canadian prairies.  It’s where farms on gently rolling hills yield vast crops of canola, wheat and beef.  It’s where lots of oil is pumped from the ground — part of the rich dinosaur heritage of the region.
This past summer I spent several days driving around the central part of the province, between the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, exploring small towns and destinations I’d not yet seen.  Here’s a sampler of what that’s like:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Calgary’s New Central Library

00 Downtown Calgary Library

Calgary’s new Central Library is located on the eastern edge of downtown.  It opened about two years ago on Nov 1, 2018, replacing the existing library branch in Downtown Calgary.  As you can see, the exterior of the building uses textured and clear glass panes in an effective manner.
The building is considered a new landmark in the city and has been a popular destination, with visitation so far at about 2,000,000 people per year.
The city had begun planning for a new library in 2004 and contracted with architectural firms Snøhetta (an international/Norwegian firm) and Dialog (a Canadian firm).  Their design features an oval shape with a large central skylight  and a spacious central four-story atrium.

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America / Saskatchewan

Rambling around Wolseley, Saskatchewan

one clue mystery (2) – Copy

A roadtrip across the Canadian prairies can be both interesting and boring.  There’s always something to see near the TransCanada highway if one looks — colorful fields, animals, etc — but much of the drive is across hundreds of miles of flat farmland where one mile often resembles the next, so it’s important to take breaks to keep from day-dreaming while driving.
My mind was starting to wander when I spotted a sign for a town in eastern Saskatchewan that offered two unusual sites :  1) a swinging bridge, and 2) an Opera house.  You don’t see many opera houses in small Canadian towns, so I decided to pull off, get a coffee, and see what was of interest in Wolseley.
Wolseley …

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