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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Background

Jasper AvenueEdmonton and Northern Alberta enjoy a vital source of agricultural, entertainment, and community history through Northlands Park. With historical roots in both Alberta's rural and urban communities, the non-profit organization provides a window into the past of Edmonton and surrounding areas. Northlands Park was created for the purpose of bringing together farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists to share information on what was happening in their industries. Ultimately, the community-minded organization aspired to contribute to the region's greater good, both socially and economically.

Children at the exhibition groundsThe creation of a dedicated organization and an annual fair, provided a special and exciting opportunity for many volunteer participants—as characteristics of farming in Alberta, primarily isolation, proved a challenge for sharing regionally held knowledge on technology, available stock, and methods of production.

Northlands Park's first agricultural fair was held the year of its inception and has progressed into several different annual events such as FarmFair International and the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Northlands' agricultural involvement reverberates throughout the year via educational outreach programs, such as 4-H, that contribute to the new generations of Alberta farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists.

Fresh drinks being offeredBeyond more traditional roles encompassing the organization's roots, Northlands Park has successfully introduced venues for urban dwellers to learn about the vitality of agriculture while rousing community spirit and providing entertainment. Audiences are engaged through a variety of activities that take place in multi-purpose facilities. 

Several periods of remarkable change mark the evolution of Northlands Park. The organization has situated itself in various spots including the original Fort Edmonton site, Rossdale, and its current location at the Kirkness Lake property in Northeast Edmonton. With each move, different surrounding communities have been affected, and the organization’s activities have been reexamined and redefined.

Prize-winning calf and ownerAs a longstanding community member, periods of economic depression and war have required altered uses of Northlands Park’s people and resources. Post-war shifts, diversified audiences and clients, and the need for more space necessitated the renovation of existing buildings as well as the creation of new structures. As an integral part of the greater community, the organization has responded to a growing urban audience and accordingly adapted its programming.


Featured Audio: Stinson's ground-breaking deliveries

Katherine Stinson and her ground-breaking air mail deliveries. Listen Now



Partnerships have been fundamental to Northlands Park's continual survival and growth, including corporate sponsorships and significant funding from municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government. Gordie Watt

Beyond finances, relationships with government have been crucial to developing the organization into one that meets the expectations of its many volunteers, visitors, and contributors. Like many non-profit organizations, Northlands has realized its potential through monumental volunteer contributions and joint work with the government.

The organization's history is undoubtedly tied to what has been deemed important, appropriate, and entertaining at various moments in time—as well as what has been considered financially feasible and culturally enticing. The importance of Northlands Park to Alberta encompasses the local and regional economy, culture, and leisure.


Featured Audio: Chief Factor Rowand, one of Northlands founders.

The ascension of Chief Factor Rowand, one of Northlands Park's founders, within the Hudson's Bay Ranks is shared. Listen Now



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