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About St. Albert

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St. Albert is a suburban city in Alberta, located northwest of Edmonton, on the Sturgeon River. It was originally settled as a Métis community, and is now the second largest city in the Edmonton area. St. Albert first received its town status in 1904 and was reached by the Canadian Northern Railway in 1906. Originally separated from Edmonton by several miles of farmland, the 1980s expansion of Edmonton's city limits placed St. Albert immediately adjacent to the larger city on St. Albert's south and east sides.

 

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St. Albert Arts & Culture

Located in the heart of downtown, St. Albert Place is the focal point of many community events and activities. Designed by world-renowned Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal, its sculptural symmetry mimics the curves of the Sturgeon River that runs behind it. There are no corners; only curves. Built in 1984, St. Albert Place was designed as a "people place", housing a unique combination of civic government and cultural activity. Currently it houses the St. Albert Public Library, Musée Héritage Museum, Visual Arts Studio and Arden Theatre, as well as City Hall and associated city government services. The Musée Héritage Museum celebrates and explores the story of St. Albert through a variety of programs which seek to preserve the community's history for the future. The museum houses both permanent and temporary exhibits and also contains a Children’s Discovery Room and gift shop. The archives at the museum consist of over 6,500 artifacts, 1,100 programming objects, 70 linear metres of textual record, around 3,000 pre-1948 photographs and thousands of post-1948 photographs. The museum is operated by Arts and Heritage St. Albert.

St. Albert has a rich arts scene. St. Albert is home to a writers' guild and painters' guild and renowned bands like Social Code and Tupelo Honey hail from St. Albert. The Arden Theatre is a popular venue for many plays and musical performances. The St. Albert public art gallery, Art Gallery of St. Albert is a focal point of St. Albert’s downtown. The gallery is housed in the historical Banque d'Hochelaga building in the heart of downtown St. Albert. The gallery features monthly exhibitions, a variety of public programs and also runs an annual art auction in St Albert. The Art Gallery of St. Albert is one of the stops on the St. Albert ArtWalk. The gallery is operated by Arts and Heritage St. Albert.

St. Albert is also notable for its Aboriginal heritage. The city is home to the Michif Institute founded by former Senator Thelma Chalifoux, dedicated to preserving and spreading knowledge of the city's Métis background. The Musée Héritage Museum contains many Métis artifacts. Many of the street signs in the city's downtown core are also trilingual, written in French and Cree in addition to English, as a tribute to the city's multiracial and multilinguistic origins. A current city project is to replace English-only signs with trilingual versions as the English-only versions wear out. In 2008, NBC decided to film portions of its new horror/suspense anthology series Fear Itself in St. Albert's downtown and river valley. St. Albert also has a St. Albert Children's Theatre group putting on two large musicals a year with many summer camps to participate in. St. Albert is home to the St. Albert Community Band, whose motto is "Music is for Life!" There are two distributed newspapers published in St. Albert, the St. Albert Gazette and the "St. Albert Leader". In 2011 a previous newspaper in St. Albert, the Saint City News, closed after 13 years of activity. Due to the city's adjacency to Edmonton, all major Edmonton media—newspapers, television, and radio—also serve St. Albert. See Media in Edmonton.

Festivals & Events

The Northern Alberta International Children's Festival in St. Albert is one of the longest-running children's festivals in North America, attracting over 40,000 participants over 5 days, at the end of May. During the five days of the Festival, children experience sights and sounds of many different cultures while learning through the medium nearest and dearest to their hearts - by playing! The mainstage events feature a host of international artists from Scotland, Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Cuba, New Zealand, and (of course) Canada offering performances of puppetry, music, dance, acrobatics, clowning and theatre that will amaze and delight.

The Kinsmen Rainmaker Rodeo starts with a parade that winds its way through the heart of St. Albert. After the parade, the rodeo begins, with exciting rodeo events, midway, and musical performances. The Outdoor Farmers' Market, held in downtown St. Albert, is Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers' market, attracting 10,000 to 15,000 people every Saturday from June to October. You can find locally grown fresh produce, handmade products and crafts and listen to the music of the buskers.

As many as 6,000 participants come to St. Albert to enjoy Rock'n August, a week-long festival held to celebrate the rumbles of chrome pipes and the rim shots of classic Rock and Roll music. Hotrodders come from kilometres around with their masterpieces to show them off and look at the creations of others as well. Other annual events include the St. Albert Rotary Music Festival, and Mambos & Mocktails, a 3 hour jazz concert played every December at Bellerose Composite High School by the jazz band and choir. St. Albert also host an annual Harvest Festival at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park. The Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Festival, held at the Arden Theatre is one of the largest dance festivals of its kind in North America. It is hosted annually by the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company and generally takes place during the second weekend in May. The St. Albert Public Library (SAPL) is located in St. Albert Place in the heart of downtown and provides WiFi access.

 

St. Albert Sports & Recreation

Parks - The Red Willow park trail system winds its way all through St. Albert and connects many parks, schools, and residential areas, including Lacombe Lake Park.

Facilities - In September 2006, a $42.77-million multi-purpose leisure centre, Servus Credit Union Place, was built. It features a recreational aquatic centre, a kid's play area, the Troy Murray and Mark Messier hockey rinks, a 2000-seat performance rink, two soccer fields, three basketball courts, a large exercise room, and a running track among other amenities. Construction of the facility, touted as an eventual break-even operation, was approved via plebiscite during the 2004 municipal election. In December 2007, it was learned the facility would lose $2.1 million during its first year of operation, losses that were eventually subsidized by local property taxpayers to the tune of $21.28 per $100,000 of assessment in spring 2008. In 2011, the budgeted operating deficit was $860,800.

There was some controversy in 2006 when the city announced that they were renaming the Mark Messier and Troy Murray hockey rinks, and were going to offer these rights for sale. The two rinks, which together were known as Campbell Arena, were originally named after these local hockey stars shortly after the arena opened in 1992. There was such a controversy, which included an article in Sports Illustrated that mayor Paul Chalifoux decided to repeal the decision. The Campbell twin arena has since been added onto as part of the creation of the St. Albert Multi-Purpose Leisure Centre (now Servus Credit Union Place). There is also Fountain Park pool and Grosvenor pool, offering a variety of pools, tennis courts, racketball courts and a child play area.

Hockey - St. Albert was twice formerly home to an Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) franchise. Between 1977 and 2004, it was home to the St. Albert Saints, which produced players such as Mark Messier and Mike Comrie. The team moved to Spruce Grove in 2004, becoming the Spruce Grove Saints. In 2007, the AJHL returned to St. Albert when the Fort Saskatchewan Traders relocated to the city, becoming the St. Albert Steel. Playing out of Servus Credit Union Place, the team lasted five seasons before moving to Whitecourt in 2012, become the Whitecourt Wolverines.

NHL ice hockey player Jarome Iginla, is from St. Albert. He played his entire minor hockey career in the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association, which included stints with the Bantam AAA Sabres and the Midget AAA Raiders. It was during the 1992-93 season with the Raiders that Iginla, then an under-age midget player, scored 87 points to lead the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey league in scoring. Following this season Iginla joined the Kamloops Blazers as a 16 year old. Other hockey players that have played in St. Albert are Mark Messier, Rob Brown, Geoff Sanderson, Fernando Pisani, Paul Comrie, Mike Comrie, Troy Murray, Stu Barnes, Brian Benning, Steven Goertzen, René Bourque, Jamie Lundmark, Steve Reinprecht, Todd Ewen, Dion Phaneuf, Ryan Kinasewich, and Drew Stafford.

 

St. Albert Education

K-12 Education School Districts

  • Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division No. 29: This separate school division operates 17 schools and serves approximately 7600 students. In St. Albert, GSACRD's high school students attend St. Albert Catholic High School.

  • St. Albert Public Schools #5565: Serving over 6000 students taught in a non-denominational setting. In St. Albert, St. Albert Public Schools' high school students attend Bellerose Composite High School or Paul Kane High School. Constitution Act, 1867; Alberta Act, 1905. St. Albert is also home to the North Central Francophone School Board. Their school's name is "La Mission" located in the Heritage Lakes sub-division. This school jurisdiction has minority language rights assured by the Constitution Act, 1982 (section 23).

Post-secondary Education

  • Athabasca University has its Centre for Innovative Management in St. Albert.

  • NAIT has an applied research centre and business incubation space in St. Albert. NovaNAIT offers 8,600 square feet (800 square meters) of applied research lab and incubation space, with seven office suites available for early stage companies and entrepreneurs. Meeting space is available for tenants, who also have access to NAIT business consultation and technical expertise.

Continuing Education

St. Albert Further Education, known as "Further Ed", provides learning opportunities to the residents of St. Albert. The STAR Literacy Program matches volunteer tutors with adults who wish to improve their reading and writing skills.

 

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St. Albert History

St. Albert was founded in 1861 by Father Albert Lacombe, OMI, who built a small chapel: the Father Lacombe Chapel in the Sturgeon River valley. This chapel still stands to this day on Mission Hill in St. Albert. The original settlement was named Saint Albert by Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché O.M.I. after Lacombe's name saint; Saint Albert of Louvain. Although Lacombe had originally intended to found the mission at Lac Ste. Anne, the soil proved infertile and he moved the settlement to what would become St. Albert. The location offered several advantages, notably its easy access to supplies of wood and water, its excellent soil, it being a regular stopping point for First Nations peoples on their travels, and its proximity to Fort Edmonton, where the priests could purchase necessary supplies and minister to Catholic workers. A few years later, a group of Grey Nuns would follow Lacombe from Lac Ste. Anne.

During the late 20th and early 21st century it was mistakenly assumed that the community had been named after St. Albert the Great. This was due to incorrect information in the 1985 history of St. Albert; The Black Robe's Vision, published by the amateur historians of the St. Albert Historical Society. This led to the City of St. Albert erroneously promoting St. Albert the Great as the community's patron saint and even erecting a statue of the wrong saint in the downtown area. This misconception was not corrected until 2008. The original chapel has since become an historic site staffed with historical interpreters and is open to the public in the summer season.

Also in St. Albert is the St. Albert Grain Elevators Park. There are two historic Grain Elevators there; one constructed in 1906 by the Alberta Grain Company, the other was built later in 1929 by The Alberta Wheat Pool company. There is also a reproduction of the original 1909 railway station housed at the Grain Elevators Park, the reproduction was constructed in 2005. On Madonna Drive stands the Little White School House which is open to the public. Arts and Heritage - St. Albert maintain this site as well as the Grain Elevators and other heritage buildings and sites under restoration in the city. In June 2009, the City Council approved a multi-staged plan for the heritage sites. The plan features the restoration of the grain elevators and the opening of both a Métis and French Canadian farm on adjacent lots by the River.

Information provided by wikipedia.org


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