Photostory #483A: Alberta: Canada's Big, Booming, Cowboy Province
National Film Board of Canada
December 7, 1968
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archive
There are still lots of cowboys and farmers across the province's 255,000 square miles (they run 2,500,000 head of prime cattle and produce an annual 350,000,000 bushels of grain plus a variety of other foods) but today they are outnumbered nearly four to one by other Albertans who have turned their vast, exciting land into a modern industrial giant. This province has everything - and in full good measure. There are the amazing oil-bearing tar sands; wide-screen, picture-postcard, mountain-wood-lake scenery; natural gas bonanzas which in turn spin off fortunes in vitally-needed sulphur; and, to top it all off, as sunny and comfortable a climate as can be found. Up in the Swan Hills roam the continent's biggest grizzly bears and in the province's 10 cities, 93 towns and 167 villages the standards of living are second to none. There is a welter of manufacturing plants with products ranging from delicate electronic components, through versatile, rough-terrain, tracked vehicles, to ponderous industrial machinery and, in scores of research laboratories, scientists probe such problems as man's most serious diseases and the mysterious properties of outer space. Across the province there are the finest luxury resorts, skiing chalets, golf courses and natural parklands. In the Peace River region there is a thriving homesteading scheme designed to give modern-day pioneers big assists in making good on a square mile of their own, and widespread mineral and construction developments throughout the province call to all active men of purpose looking for good wages to earn. This and much more is Alberta. A province with a gross product value of 1,283 millions of dollars earned by just 1,520,000 people. A province with expanding international trading relations - including bulk materials to Japan and manufactured items to Russia - and a land which may well be destined to become the oil centre of the western hemisphere. In all, a land so rich that it is potentially capable of supporting future populations of many more millions of thriving Canadians.