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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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North-Central Alberta agricultureNorthlands Park has been creating memories for residents of Northern and Central Alberta since it emerged in 1879. Through its community events, partnerships, and celebrations, the organization has had a wide-reaching social impact.

During the earliest decades of the organization, it served to promote settlement in the region. A spirit of cooperation, and the showcasing of splendid crops that could be grown in the northern climate, helped to accomplish this.

Donald RossNorthlands Park’s pioneering leaders served in their volunteer capacity, but also played prominent community roles through enterprises, and later municipal and provincial politics. Being interwoven into the area’s early history secured a place of influence and trust for the organization.

Historically, Northlands Park has prided itself in bringing "town and country" together—this intermingling is part of what has made it socially relevant. Early successes paved the way for bridging rural and urban communities. Through the organization, worldly elites came together with visionary locals like Donald Ross; their shared vision was of a city that would grow in prominence, culture, and industry.

First World WarCreating unity and social inclusion was important work in the young region and Northlands Park confidently worked to this end. Speaking to the organization’s social status and community pride, Dominion Day celebrations were held at the Rossdale Flats exhibition grounds. By contributing to a cultural fabric made unique by immigrants and rural and urban populations, Northlands Park assisted the province in moving forward.

Performers at Klondike DaysAs Canada and its provinces moved into the war and interwar period, social cohesion established earlier on was tested. A tenacious organization, Northlands Park demonstrated its community spirit and provided housing and training space for military personnel, even though this compromised its own activities and stability.

Despite difficult years, Northlands Park’s eagerness to boost morale led to festivities like the summer fair and hockey games. The organization established shared traditions by providing leisure and excitement that could alleviate hardships created by the First and Second World Wars and the Depression. During the post-war years, Northlands’ social role remained intact as it introduced novel festivities and participated in planning for citywide events.

Edmonton's social eventThough a North-central Alberta luminary, Northlands Park has had trying relations. Tensions arose from the organization’s shift towards urban entertainment, especially in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Over the organization’s history, competing interests and shared goals have both forged and tested relationships. Despite challenges, Northlands Park has established a social legacy and is positioned to continue contributing to Edmonton and Alberta’s collective well-being.

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