Grande Prairie began as a Hudson Bay trading post in 1881, and has grown
into a dynamic and vibrant city in the South Peace Region of Alberta,
so named for the Peace River which flows through it. Grande Prairie is
located just east of the dog leg in the BC/Alberta borderand is approximately
484 Km (300 miles) west northwest of Edmonton.
European settlement of the Peace Country dates back to 1770 when the first
fur traders entered the region. Father Grouard a Catholic Missionary,
described the rolling plains and open prairie as "la grande prairie" which
led to the present day name of the city.
A large surge of settlers arrived in the 1930's as farmers from the drought
stricken southern prairies came north to farm the moister soils of the
Peace. The region currently produces more grain, for example, than the
entire province of Manitoba.
Grande Prairie was one of the key links on the air route for the American
war effort. 500 planes passed through Edmonton and Grande Prairie during
one day in June of 1942. As many as 500 Canadian and American Air Force
personnel were stationed at Grande Prairie’s airfield during the military
The discovery of oil at Leduc, Alberta, in 1947, ignited a series of explorations
leading to the discovery of bountiful reserves of oil and natural gas
in the Peace Region. The economy expanded and the region's population
increased dramatically as those reserves were exploited. The community
was incorporated as a City in 1958.
Grande Prairie offers visitors a diverse range of exciting amenities and
activities; A Class "A" Art gallery (one of only four in the entire province),
a creative, high quality Community Theater, a well developed Sports Complex,
three golf courses, challenging cross country ski trails and a fully equipped
Alpine Ski Hill complete with chalet, pro shop, rentals and lifts.
We´re very proud to have the finest Urban Park in the entire Province
where celebrations and festivals are held year round; the Dinosaur Festival,
People in the Park, the Highland Games, Balloon Races, Winterlude, and
much more! There is so much to be said about the wonder of the City of
Grande Prairie but the best way for you to find out about our community
is to come for a visit! See for yourself why Grande Prairie is the Greatest
Place to be in the province of Alberta!
Today, Grande Prairie has a population of almost 37,000 people and it's
land mass covers over 60 square kilometers.