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Edmonton Intl Holidays Overview
Edmonton, Canada, is located along the North Saskatchewan River in the middle of Alberta province. It is the capital of Alberta and the 6th largest metropolitan area in the country. Approximately 780,000 people inhabit the city; over 1 million reside in the greater metropolitan area. Today, roughly 70% of the population is of mixed European descendants; 5% are aboriginal peoples and the rest of different ethnicities.
It is thought the area may have been settled as early as the end of the last ice age. At the end of the 18th Century, Fort Edmonton was established here as an outpost for trading fur with the aboriginal peoples. A century later, the area grew as agricultural production flourished here. In 1904, it became a city; a year later it woud come to be connected by the young railroad to the rest of Canada. Growth continued with the discovery of oil nearby. Oil is still an important part of the diverse economy here.
There is an extensive system of buses as well as a Light Rail Train which is under expansion to outlying areas. Four or 5 major shopping districts and plenty of restaurants and clubs for world class entertainment can be found. The Sir Winston Churchill Park is along the river and at the centre of the downtown. Chinatown is a few blocks from the downtown as well.
Skyscrapers mix with historic buildings and neighborhoods. Although the Canadian Rockies lie only 220 km away, the topography around the city is of rolling hills, splattered with lakes and ravines.
Several golf courses and ski slopes are nearby. In the summer, temperatures rarely break 30 degrees Celsius. In the winter however, they plummet to -20 degrees Celsius regularly. The city has all of the cultural venues one would expect in a major population centre. It is renowned for its frequent festivals that occur annually.
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holidays - Top Events
Festivals and events are signature for this Canadian city. Since 1999, Visualeyez has been organized for a week in September and again in May, around the city. It features Canadian artists working to create interdisciplinary performances exploring the relation between performer/artist and audience. Each year the festival has a different theme. (http://www.latitude53.org/visualeyez/mandate)
Canada’s only creative non-fiction literary festival, LitFest is held for four days in October. It began in 2002, emerging out of a 20-year tradition, the Alberta Book Fair. The works and authors showcased provoke reflection and thought in the reader. (http://www.litfestalberta.org/)
The Global Visions Festival is one of several film events that occur annually. This festival began in the early 1980s and occurs over 4 days in November. It emphasizes but is not exclusive to Canadian film and video. Each year, documentaries that provoke thought and reflection are showcased. 15-25 films may be in the festival in a given year. (http://www.globalvisionsfestival.com/)
Since the 1970s, November has also meant that the Canadian Finals Rodeo is being held. This annual competition is a national rodeo event. It brings together western-style riding, roping and steer wrestling champions from throughout Canada. $1 million is awarded to the all round best cowhand. (http://www.canadianfinalsrodeo.com/)
holidays - How to Get There
Air Canada, Delta and United are the Airlines arriving here with regular flights from Australia. Travel to this airport, known by the International Code YEG, departs from Sydney. United Airlines travel through San Francisco (SFO) has an 8.5 hour layover, making travel last slightly over 24 hours. There is a Delta flight for just under 22 hours travel.
The nearest consular services to this destination are provided by the Australian High Commission in Ottawa. (http://www.ahc-ottawa.org/)