“Pic of the Week”, April 2, 2021: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer

03 St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer (7)

The small prairie city of Red Deer is not a place one would expect to find great architecture, but St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a notable and interesting exception.
The design of this church was the first project of Canadian architect, Douglas Cardinal Born and raised in Red Deer, Mr. Cardinal is Metis.  Today Cardinal is best known for designing the memorable Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
Planning for the church’s construction began in 1964 and it was completed in 1968. The entire structure is curved — the walls, roofline, even the roof.   There are no windows — light enters …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Prince’s Island: A popular Urban Park in Calgary

00 Prince’s Island Park, Calgary

One of the most popular places in Calgary during the (all too few) warm summer months is Prince’s Island Park.  The park occupies an island in the Bow River and is situated immediately north of downtown Calgary.   It’s open from sunrise to sunset (5 am to 11 pm).  Several pedestrian bridges provide park access from downtown. 
Prince’s Island Park was named after Peter Prince, who moved from Quebec to Calgary in 1886. Mr. Prince founded the Eau Claire Lumber Mill, and formed the Calgary Water Power Company to provide hydroelectricity to the city.  Prince’s Island Park was developed as a community park after the Prince family sold the land to the city in 1947, resulting in the development of a …

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“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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“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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