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For the building in North Dakota, United States, see Beiseker Mansion.
Village of Beiseker
Motto: Crossroads to the Future
Beiseker is located in Alberta
Coordinates: 51°23′13.1″N 113°31′58.5″W / 51.386972°N 113.532917°W / 51.386972; -113.532917Coordinates: 51°23′13.1″N 113°31′58.5″W / 51.386972°N 113.532917°W / 51.386972; -113.532917
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Calgary Region
Census division 6
Municipal district Rocky View County
Founded 1908
Incorporated 1921
 • Mayor Ray Courtman
 • Governing body Beiseker Village Council
 • MP Kevin Sorenson
 • MLA Bruce Rowe
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 2.84 km2 (1.10 sq mi)
Elevation 915 m (3,002 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 785
 • Density 276.8/km2 (717/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
Postal code span T0M 0G0
Highways Highway 9
Highway 72
Highway 806
Website Official website

Beiseker /ˈbsɨkər/ is a village in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Calgary. It is considered to be an outermost part of the Calgary Region and is included within Calgary's Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). The village is surrounded by rural Rocky View County, and the closest neighbouring communities are Irricana and Acme.


Lying in a belt of rich black soil, Beiseker was developed as an agricultural service centre. It was founded by the Calgary Colonization Company whose purpose was to promote settlement by demonstrating the grain growing potential of the area. The Village name comes from Thomas Beiseker, one of the partners and vice-president of the company.[3] Initial colonization took place in 1908 when the company recruited a number of ethnic German settlers from the Great Plains of the Dakotas. This is reflected in the number of German family names which predominate the area.

The Village began to grow in 1910 when the branch line of the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed. In 1910, the first general store was opened in a large two story building which housed the school and dance hall.[4] The Grand Trunk Pacific line - now owned by Canadian National Railway - was constructed in 1912 to the east of the Central Business district. Telephone arrived in 1912 and electricity in 1928.[5] With the construction and intersection of Highways 9, 72 and 806 at the northeast edge of the Village, Beiseker came to have a very favourable location in terms of road and rail access. Since it is located almost equidistant from Calgary and Drumheller, Beiseker began to emerge as a local service and trade centre for the surrounding rural agricultural area. Village status was achieved in 1921.

The surrounding area's great potential for grain-growing is shown by Beiseker's status as "World Wheat King Capital", or as a top producing area of wheat.


An elementary and high school is located in the village, and Beiseker Community School is part of the Rocky View School Division.[6]

The village is also home to Baptist, Catholic and Anglican congregations. As Beiseker is at the intersection of three Provincial highways, equipped with a campground and motel it is a popular stop for campers and other travellers coming to and from Saskatoon and Drumheller. There is also a small airport which serves the community, located a few miles east of town along Alberta Highway 9.


Beiseker currently serves as a centre for local agricultural services including fertilizer, seed cleaning, and soil testing. There is also a local UFA outlet serving farmers in the area. Local industries also serve the oilpatch, and there are many sites extracting natural gas in the immediate area surrounding Beiseker, as well as several major pipelines.

Beiseker also has a number of small businesses on its main street offering a variety of services, including a local credit union, grocery store, pharmacist and hair dressers, as well as several small restaurants.

The Canadian office of Lampson International, a large international company specializing in construction cranes, is based in Beiseker. There is also a biomedical incinerator based in Beiseker, which handles medical waste from hospitals in the Province and abroad.

Notable people[edit]

William Samuel McGee (b 1868, Lindsay, Ontario - d 1940, Beiseker) lived for several years on a farm with his wife and daughter just outside of Beiseker and is buried in the area. His name was to be the inspiration for the poem The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service.[7]

Arts and culture[edit]

Several locations in and around Beiseker were featured in the filming of Ang Lee's Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain, including the site of the 'Twist Ranch' that figures importantly in the penultimate scene of the film.


In the early 1990s, the Village of Beiseker began promoting itself with the mascot, "Squirt the Skunk" which included promotional items such as pins, and postcards. A 13' "Squirt the Skunk" statue was erected in the campground near highway 72. In addition, a "Squirt the Skunk" costume was made so the mascot may appear at important village events such as grand openings or the annual Sports Day Parade.[8]


In the 2011 Census, the Village of Beiseker had a population of 785 living in 323 of its 338 total dwellings, a -2.4% change from its 2006 population of 804. With a land area of 2.84 km2 (1.10 sq mi), it had a population density of 276.4/km2 (715.9/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

The population of the Village of Beiseker according to its 2008 municipal census is 837.[9]

In 2006, Beiseker had a population of 804 living in 318 dwellings, a 4.1% decrease from 2001. The Village has an area of 2.84 km2 (1.10 sq mi) and a population density of 283.5 inhabitants per square kilometer.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ Jennings, A. Owen (1911). Merchants and manufacturers record of Calgary. Calgary: Jennings Publishing Company. p. 103. 
  4. ^ Read, Tracy (1983). Acres and Empires : a history of the Municipal District of Rocky View no. 44. p. 58. 
  5. ^ Schissel, Wendy (1977). Beiseker's Golden Heritage. Beiseker Historical Society. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Beiseker Community School web site
  7. ^ Up Here magazine. My Search for Sam McGee by Randy Freeman
  8. ^
  9. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2009-09-15). "Alberta 2009 Official Population List" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  10. ^ Statistics Canada. "Canada 2006 Census: Beiseker - Community Statistics". Retrieved 2007-06-05. 

External links[edit]