Edmonton is the actual capital of Alberta, contrary to popular belief. Most people don't even realize he exists. Of all the provincial capitals, he is the furthest north and actually on the same lattitude as Moscow.
Official Nicknames: City of Champions, Gateway to the North, The Festival City, E-Town, River City, Oil Capital of Canada, Oil City, Oil Country
Unofficial Nicknames: Deadmonton, Redmonton, City of Losers (all made up by Calgary)
Motto: Industry, Integrity, Progress
Incorporated (Town): 1892
Incorporated (City): 1904
Hockey Team: The Edmonton Oilers
Because he is often overshadowed by his brother, Calgary, Edmonton tends to be largely ignored, slightly introverted, and continues to harbour a growing resentment towards the bigger city. Still, he is a good natured and festive person... as long as it isn't one of the eight months of winter. Because of his location, he doesn't get the benefit of chinooks from the Rocky Mountains and therefore has long, cold winters followed by hot and very dry summers. People tend to avoid him because of how irritable and shifty he appears in the middle of winter; during this time most of his citizens have migrated to warmer climes. Less than 40% of the year, he is completely frost free. Despite his frequent complaints of the cold, it was said that he "thrives in the cold" in the December of 2009 when temperatures hit record lows of -59 C. Though grass is green and leaves are beginning to appear, Edmonton knows that he may be facing all four seasons on any given day. His relationship with the cold is somewhat love/hate; he can't stand getting knee-deep in snow most of the time, but he still has bragging rights to extreme temperature tolerance over Calgary.
Due to his weather and wide open spaces, Edmonton has expanded to the point where he seems to have made it deliberately impossible to go anywhere without having to drive there. This might just be an excuse to show off his new pick-up, but some spots like the South Edmonton Common are so inconveniently designed that it's too far to walk and too close to drive between stores. Of course, being a lazy Albertan who works hard for his gas-money, Edmonton would much rather drive than walk. This only leads to roads being clogged up by unnecessarily large trucks that are seldom used for actually towing things around, and serious road rage.
Edmonton also fits the insanely rich Albertan stereotype in that he spends a great deal of his budget maintaining and expanding the West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest mall (until 2004 when it was beaten by a broom closet... but that's only a rumour.)
In order to redeem himself a little from his attraction to shiny buildings, big trucks, and the tar sands, Edmonton boasts the best recycling program in Canada and hopes to start reducing litter and carbon emissions... although it's difficult to stop idling your car when it won't start otherwise. He also has one of the best educational programs in the country, but Alberta's boss keeps cutting his education. Eventually the Alberta government will realize that saving a few cents by not printing written response questions on math and science exams is really not worth it... hopefully...
In short, Edmonton is a strange mixture of cultured and red-neck. He has an inferiority complex, like most of Canada, due to being overshadowed by Calgary. The cold is intolerable and the driving brings out his dark side, but he would never want to live anywhere else. Though he knows when it's time to work, he also knows how to have a good party, provided the weather is nice. Environmental concerns are usually at the top of his priorities, but they keep getting pushed back as long as oil brings in the cash. He is a cowboy at heart, deep down somewhere, but since cowboys are usually associated with a certain movie or Calgary, Edmonton's been keeping that image under the radar. He might wear his boots or his hat in public every so often, but usually he tries to dress according to the weather.
Will add more later. Basically Edmonton started out as Fort Edmonton- a trading post for the HBC, and was all awesome and stuff until Calgary appeared and started throwing off his groove. His entire history is basically battles with Calgary over who gets the University, the railway, the hockey team... etc etc.
Events and AttractionsEdit
When he isn't pretending to hate the cold or suffering from severe road rage, Edmonton is the cultural and festival capital of Alberta. In addition to Canada's largest living historical attraction, Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton is the home of about 70 museums and galleries. In 2010, the new Art Gallery of Alberta building was finished and opened to the public. Its design was influenced by the northern lights and the North Saskatchewan river. Other attractions include the Telus World of Science, the Royal Alberta Museum, and the Valley Zoo. Lately Edmonton has been the recipient of a lot of controversy surrounding the poor living conditions of the animals in the Valley Zoo, but his boss has approved the new designs for the exhibits and construction will hopefully begin very soon. Edmonton is called the festival city for events such as Capital EX (Formerly Klondike Days)- an annual summer fairground; the Heritage Festival- where patrons can watch performances and sample cuisine from all corners of the globe; and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival- the largest in North America and second only to Edinburgh.
The West Edmonton Mall currently stands as the 5th biggest mall in the world. Inside its walls are an ice rink, an amusement park, a sea lion show, a waterpark, and a movie theatre that features a fire breathing dragon, not to mention more stores than you can shake a stick at. Though it's heavily advertised and attracts tourists from all over, Edmonton finds it quite mundane. Plus, every time a new movie comes out it takes him at least half an hour to get in to the parking lot only to realize there are no more spots available anyway.
The rivalry between these two is so epic that it has a title: "The Battle of Alberta". Usually this is only limited to sporting events, but it extends to everything from culture to attractions and even way back historically. More will be revealed in the 'Battle of Alberta' video that will hopefully be released... or at least, started, this year.