Known for its sunshine, fresh air, and open spaces, Alberta is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. The people of Alberta celebrate this diversity, each year, with Heritage Day, which is observed on the first Monday in August. Museums run special events and there is a different theme for the day each year. The annual observance even has its own three-day festival, which is attended by thousands of Albertans. If you are proud of Alberta’s heritage (and the famed Canadian cooperation), we have some creative ways you can celebrate it.
Heritage Day in Alberta - History
The Birth of Servus Heritage Festival
No fewer than 11 ethnic communities come together to hold the first Servus Heritage Festival, which becomes an annual fixture on Edmonton's calendar.
Heritage Day is Announced
Government of Alberta marks the first Monday of August as Heritage Day, meant to celebrate the cultural and historical heritage of the province.
Alberta Becomes a Province
Alberta gets its provincial status on September 1, 1905, along with Saskatchewan.
Heritage Day in Alberta Activities
1. Trace your family's history
Invite your extended family to lunch, sit down under the sun, and try to piece together your family's history. You never know, there could be pleasant surprises lurking there.
2. Take the day off
True, it's not a designated holiday. However, you can always take the day off and enjoy a long weekend. Use the opportunity for a quick getaway, while attending the Servus Heritage Festival and avoiding the Sunday rush.
3. Tour the museums
Museums have special events on the day. For instance, Fort Calgary has treasure hunts and interpretive tours. Take a trip to museums in your city and convert the day into family time.
5 Fun Facts About Alberta
The Birthplace of "Trick or Treat"
According to documented history, the "trick or treat" phrase, associated with Halloween, was first heard in Blackie, Alberta.
St. Paul has a UFO Landing Pad
The town even has an UFO information center, which has pictures of allegedly real crop circles and UFOs.
It is the Birthplace of Bloody Caesar, too
The famous (or infamous) cocktail was invented by one Walter Chell for Westin Hotel in Calgary.
Edmonton has an Artificial Waterfall
Built near Edmonton's downtown, the artificial spectacle is higher than Niagara Falls.
Why We Love Heritage Day in Alberta
New year — new theme
Heritage Canada Foundation picks a different theme to celebrate the day each year. For instance, in 2015, the theme was Main Street at the Heart of the Community. Iconic commercial areas in Alberta were decorated and an awareness campaign was launched to promote the importance of business districts in the province.
It is Servus Heritage Festival time
Each year, a 3-day festival takes place in Alberta during this time. The festival features stalls and displays from several communities, meant to celebrate the diversity and cultural roots of the country. More importantly, there's a whole variety of artwork on sale, and delectable food from different communities to experience.
There are plenty of cultural shows
You will find the most variety at the Servus Heritage Festival, but look around your neighborhood for less crowded options. For single folks, there is every chance you might meet someone interesting at these shows!