Alberta, a seller for all seasons...
By Laura Gelder | January 2018 | 5 minute read
While summer may draw the biggest crowds, Alberta really is a province for all seasons. Whether its snow or sun, cities, wilderness or the Rockies, you can find options to sell whatever the departure date, says Laura Gelder
Why sell it
This vast province covers a plethora of landscapes each offering different experiences across the seasons: the maroon-striped canyons of the mysterious Canadian Badlands, where dinosaurs once roamed; the jagged peaks and sweeping passes of the Rockies, the remote lakes and forest lodges of the north and the endless prairies and open skies of the east.
Savvy agents who want to upsell or offer tempting return trips to would-be repeat visitors do well to remind their clients of Canada’s incredible seasonal variation and wise up to its fulsome calendar of seasonal events.
Alberta is famed for its world-class wintersport resorts – Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper – open until May. Even those on a city stay in Edmonton can access smaller resorts. The city’s annual Ice on Whyte Festival is typical of the snow culture that takes over the province, and sees artists carve up 70,307kg of ice into quirky art, the centrepiece for a week-long party. And it’s not just about skiers and boarders, across Alberta you can sell dog sledding, snowmobiling, bobsleighing, tobogganing, snow tubing or ice climbing. And for those looking for a slower snow experience, mention snowshoeing through the forest, cross-country skiing in the prairies, ice walking along a glittering frozen canyon, romantic sleigh rides or ice skating on one of Alberta's frozen lakes. Not to mention the amazing clear night skies for star gazing.
Spring & summer
As the snow melts, meadows are filled with wild flowers, the rivers rush and waterfalls thunder - it’s a great time for white water rafting, canoes and kayaks. There’s also the opportunity to spot young wildlife such as baby bison and bears.
Summer time sees the Rockies reinvent themselves and peaks become more accessible. Visitors can explore up high by gondola as well as the opportunity to photograph bears in their natural environment. Trails are sliced by mountain bikers and hikers, while climbers tackle rock faces using Via Ferrata, ropes or bare hands.
Events range from the Waterton Wildflower Festival to Edmonton International Street Performers Festival.
The outdoor adventures continue in autumn but with a cooler climate, fewer crowds and the added bonus of spectacular golden hues as the trees put on a display. The Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival is a top pick for star gazers while Bon Appetit Banff offers 10 days of culinary exploration at low prices.
Winter sports: Some of the world’s best powder, Olympic-standard facilities and lots of family-friendly activities, suitable for non-skiers too. Alberta is a cool prospect for wintersports lovers.
Stampede: Dubbed the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, this annual event is a rodeo, festival and agricultural exhibition rolled into one - a cowboy extravaganza not to be missed!
Rockies: Lofty snow-capped peaks, lush green alpine meadows, icy blue glaciers, peaceful forests and vivid turquoise lakes which you can hike, bike, horse ride, skate or paddle through - there are endless options.The gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain is a must for stunning views.
Park life: Alberta is home to five National Parks, each bursting with their own unique wildlife: bison, elk, moose, black bear, Canadian lynx, coyote, bighorn sheep, whooping crane, wolf and more.
Urban scenes: Calgary boasts a hip dining and bar scene, including farm-to-fork restaurants, breweries and distilleries, while Edmonton draws crowds for its 30 annual festivals plus great shopping and culture.