Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

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Prince Albert
City of Prince Albert
Prince Albert Saskatchewan in fall 01.JPG
Flag of Prince Albert
Nickname(s): "P.A."[1]
Motto: Gateway to the North
Prince Albert is located in Saskatchewan
Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Location of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan
Coordinates: 53°12′N 105°45′W / 53.200°N 105.750°W / 53.200; -105.750
Country  Canada
Province  Saskatchewan
Census division No. 15
Town 1885
Incorporated City October 8, 1904
 • City Mayor Greg Dionne
 • Governing Body Prince Albert City Council
 • MPs Randy Hoback (CON) - Prince Albert
 • MLAs Darryl Hickie (SKP) - Prince Albert Carlton
Victoria Jurgens (SKP) - Prince Albert Northcote
 • City 65.68 km2 (25.36 sq mi)
Elevation 440 m (1,440 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • City 35,129
 • Density 534.4/km2 (1,384/sq mi)
 • Metro 42,673
 • Metro density 22.6/km2 (59/sq mi)
Demonym Prince Albertan
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
Isbister Settlement 1862
SK HQ North-West Mounted Police 1886
Website Official website
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria and the namesake of the city chosen by Reverend Nisbet[5]

Prince Albert is the third-largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is situated near the centre of the province on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The city is known as the "Gateway to the North" because it is the last major centre along the route to the resources of northern Saskatchewan. Prince Albert National Park is located just 51 km (32 mi) north of the city and contains a huge wealth of lakes, forest, and wildlife. The city itself is located in a transition zone between the aspen parkland and boreal forest biomes. Prince Albert is bordered by the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert No. 461 and the Rural Municipality of Buckland No. 491. Prince Albert and Area have many great provincial parks including Great Blue heron Provincial Park, Narrow Hills Provincial Park and Candle Lake Provincial Park. Candle Lake has many attractions including the Candle Lake sand dunes located within Minnawakaw, Purple Sands beach (purple sand that is created from Garnet stone), Geoff's Beach, Candle Lake Golf Course and many venues. Prince Albert National Park is world known and serves a variety of great tourist favorites including Waskaseiu lake, Creen lake and Hanging Hearts lake. It also offers many great restaurants, beautiful beaches in the town site, luxurious cabins, a golf course, a marina and as of 2014 a zip line.


The area was named by the Cree as kistahpinanihk, which translates to sitting pretty place[6] a great meeting place[7] or meeting place[3] The Assiniboine name is wazíyam wákpa.[8]

The first white man to travel through the area that is now Prince Albert was Henry Kelsey in 1692. The first establishment in the area was a trading post set up in 1776 by Peter Pond.[9] James Isbister, an Anglo-Métis employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, settled on the site of the current city in 1862. He farmed there until 1866, and had been joined by a number of families who called the site Isbister's Settlement.

The community received a boost in 1866 when Reverend James Nisbet, a Canada Presbyterian Church minister arrived to establish a mission for the Cree. Nisbet named the mission after Albert, Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria,[10] who had died in 1861, from which the present city derives its name. In 1879 the Presbyterian Church brought out Lucy Margaret Baker to run the local mission school.[11] During the same year, the local Freemasons established the first lodge in what is now the province of Saskatchewan: Kinistino Lodge No. 1, which still exists.[12] "The Mission", the settlement centrally located, and "Porter Town", located to the west, were the two communities that would come together to form what is now Prince Albert.[4] The settlement east of Prince Albert was termed Goschen before finally amalgamated, however East Prince Albert still appears on a 1924 map.[4][13]

In 1884, Honore Jaxon and James Isbister were involved in the movement which brought Louis Riel back to Canada. Riel returned from the United States following a political exile resulting from the Red River Rebellion that had occurred in 1869–1870. Five hundred people gathered to hear Riel speak one month after his return.

In the Northwest Rebellion of the 1885, Prince Albert Volunteers bore the heaviest casualties of the fighting at the Battle of Duck Lake. Surrounding settlers took refuge with the North-West Mounted Police in a hastily improvised stockade at Prince Albert, fearing an attack by Gabriel Dumont, which never came. After the Battle of Batoche, Major General Frederick Middleton marched to Prince Albert to relieve the town. Prince Albert was incorporated as a town the same year under its first mayor, Thomas McKay. Although Prince Albert never saw a battle, it was a key strategic area for the Metis to conquer as it led to many of the northern areas of which key and final battles took place which in example, the last battle of the North-West Rebellion was at Steele Narrows.

The first recorded stagecoach robbery in what is now Saskatchewan occurred in 1886, when a lone outlaw held up a carriage near Prince Albert.[14]

Prince Albert has a number of small rural communities that at one time where small towns connected via the railroad or a trail. The regions in the south include Davis, Fenton and Red Deer Hill as well as many others. The old school house, hotel, convent and graveyard and many other buildings that are now private property to the people of the Davis Road community can still be observed.

In 1904, the settlement was incorporated as the City of Prince Albert. Its government is of a council-mayor type.

Prince Albert was the capital of the District of Saskatchewan, a regional administrative division of what then constituted the Northwest Territories. The District of Saskatchewan was formed on May 8, 1882, and named Prince Albert as its capital.[15] This ended in 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province and Regina was designated the new provincial capital.

The federal constituency of Prince Albert has been represented by three prime ministers of Canada:

Prince Albert was one of the rival candidates to house either the University of Saskatchewan or the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary. The university was built in Saskatoon and the penitentiary was built in Prince Albert in 1911.[19]

In the summer of 2002 the Crutwell fire burned its way to the outer limits of the small town of Crutwell just west of Prince Albert. It was stopped just in time and although much forest was burnt, very little property damage occurred. The fire is believed to have been started by natural causes.

Royal visits[edit]

Prince Albert has welcomed the following members of Canada's Royal Family:


Prince Albert is situated on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, with rich agricultural land to the south and the boreal forest to the north. Although Prince Albert is centrally located in Saskatchewan, it is the second most northerly city in the province after Meadow Lake. This physical location has led to the creation of the slogan "Gateway to the North".

After being established as a mission centre, the main impetus for growth was speculation that the Transcontinental Railway would travel north from the Red River Valley along Hind's fertile belt through to Edmonton.[20] When the Canadian Pacific Railway chose a more southerly route, Prince Albert's growth collapsed:[21]

By 1914, Prince Albert had become the terminus of four railway branch lines. However, neither the Hudson Bay and Pacific or the Canadian Northern had started any line to the north. In all, the city had not become the great gateway to north as it had planned.

—City of Prince Albert Website[19]
The La Colle Falls hydroelectric power dam under construction in 1916.

The La Colle Falls hydroelectric power dam project was an attempt to provide affordable electricity to attract industry[22] By 1927, the project was abandoned as the city was close to bankruptcy.[23] In 1945, Prince Albert National Park was established, and the tourism sector helped to again revive Prince Albert's economy.[21]

The city's location has benefited the community in many ways through the years as an agriculture, forestry, tourism, mining, retail, and service centre for the immediate market and the northern communities. Prince Albert has a total trade area of 140,000 people, including an additional 12,000 that can be included if Flin Flon and The Pas are accounted for. The major contributing factor to this is the role of Prince Albert as a retail and service centre to these northern communities.[19]

There are a number of major developments that are happening around Prince Albert. Diamond exploration is currently occurring east of the City in the Fort à la Corne region and it is expected a mine may go up around 2010–2011.[24] In addition to diamond prospects, Bio-fuels are also playing a significant role to the area. The Prince Albert region is one of the richest areas in the province for agriculture, and with the current emphasis on bio-fuel technology from the provincial and federal governments, it is expected that this economic sector will grow. Uranium is also expected to play a bigger role in the future development of Prince Albert. There is speculation that, due to the proximity the uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan, the area could be ideal for a value-added type of business.

Prince Albert is still heavily reliant on its government service sector, which accounts for about 11% of the workforce. There are three prisons, the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, Pine Grove Correctional Centre and the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary.

Chief Joseph Custer, Kistapinanihk 231, Northern Lights 220, Muskoday 99 and Wahpeton 94B Indian Reserves are within 20 kilometres (12 mi) of the city.[25]

The forestry industry is also a major contributor to the economy of Prince Albert. Prince Albert currently hosts the Provincial Forestry Centre, a building that hosts significant wood and forestry related types of businesses and associations.

Pulp Mill[edit]

Prince Albert Pulp Company was the area's largest employer.[21]

The mill was closed down in 2006 by its then owner, Weyerhaeuser.[26] The mill was subsequently sold. Paper Excellence purchased the long-closed down Prince Albert Pulp Inc. from Domtar in April 2011. This mill will be in a refurbishing and construction phase for the next 18 months. When complete, Prince Albert will operate a dissolving pulp mill producing 1000 tonnes per day employing about 250 people.[27]

Chamber of Commerce[edit]

The formation of the original board of Trade in 1887 was an important event in the history and evolution of the Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce objective is to promote, support and encourage business and community.

From the beginning, probably the overriding singular concern of the local chamber was to assist Prince Albert to obtain rail transportation. Delegations were sent by the Chamber to present the case for a Prince Albert route to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. These delegations may not have been able to identify concrete results, but they were certainly a major and influential factor in obtaining rail service sooner than what may have otherwise been possible.

Today the Chamber of Commerce still exists to be the voice of business for Prince Albert & District which advocates for a positive and progressive business climate.


Prince Albert is located on the White Fox Plain of the Saskatchewan River lowlands. These lowlands are located in the physiographic region of the Saskatchewan Plains Region of the Central Lowlands Province.[28]:40, 41 The natural vegetation of the area consists of aspen parkland to the south and southern boreal forest to the north of the North Saskatchewan River.[28] These two ecoregions have differing soil types: the northern forested soils are brunisolic and sandy, whereas south of the river are black chernozemic soils.[28]:131, 131 The North Saskatchewan River runs through the centre of Prince Albert. The main soils of the city of Prince Albert are those of the valley complex consisting mainly of regosolic soils which produce natural vegetation which are not forest nor grassland but a complex of the two.[28]:70, 71 It is here that the treeline of Saskatchewan begins, and to the north of the city begins the forested growth of Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana), as well as other boreal forest growth in the Prince Albert National Park, and Nisbet forest The forests north of the city, especially those containing Jack Pine are infected with Dwarf Mistletoe and various projects have been undertaken to stop the spread of this disease. .[28]:92, 93 The agricultural soils around Prince Albert have some limitations and about 35% of the land is covered with sloughs or potholes. Creek systems such as the Red Deer Hill creek and McFarlane creek drain into the South Saskatchewan River. In the past these creeks have been known to dry up allowing farmers to cut hay, but in recent years these waterways have been overfilling due to large amounts of winter run-off and increase of the water table. [28]:106, 107 The land use is divided into the southern woodland area north of Prince Albert and cropland to the south.[28]:110, 111

The Quaternary glacial geology precludes the region to have been covered by a large glacial lake called lake Agassiz. The ancient shoreline can be seen along the "Esker Trail" in Narrow Hills Provincial Park which is just North-East of the City. Many different types of fossils have been found in the Prince Albert region. Along the riverbanks of the Shell River it can be observed a strata containing Quaternary bivalve mollusk shells and in 2014 the vertebrate and bone fragments of a bison ( Bison bison) were found by local college students attending Saskatchewan Polytechnic in the Shell River area. Various areas (especially eroded river banks) have been known to reveal bison skulls and other various types of fossils. Claims have also been made of various types of marine fossils including oysters, clams, corals and other invertebrates are to be found mixed in fossil matrixes just east of the city near the small town of Love, SK. . [29] The bedrock geology is a part of the phanerozoic basin and belongs to the Lea Park and Milk River Formation.[28]:76, 77


Prince Albert experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The coldest month on average is January with an average low of −25.2 °C, and July is the hottest month with an average high of 23.9 °C. The highest temperature ever recorded in Prince Albert was 39.4 °C on July 19, 1941. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Prince Albert was −56.7 °C on February 1, 1893.[30]

The area is frequent to plow winds and in the summer of 2012 the city experienced a power blackout for four days due to a strong wind knocking down 5 and damaging many others of the main power lines feeding the city its electricity. Although no casualties or fatalities were accounted for, this massive storm damaged much property of the regions south to south east of the city. In the Davis community, railroad carts where flipped on there side and grain bins as well as a shop where thrown more then 100 meters from their foundations. The Nisbet Forest East of the city was reduced to twisted and fallen trees as well as property damage to those communities lying in the way of the storm.

A similar plow wind took place two years earlier within the city limits, knocking down trees, ripping roofs off of house and it tore one section of the roof off at Carlton Comprehensive High school.

Twisters or tornadoes, although rare to uncommon have also been sighted near and within the Prince Albert region.


According to the 2011 Canadian Census,[32] the population of Prince Albert is 35,129, a 2.9% increase from 2006. The population density is 534.4 people per square km. The median age is 34.7 years old, which is lower than the national median age at 40.6 years old. There are 14,779 private dwellings with an occupancy rate of 92.3%.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median value of a dwelling in Prince Albert is $224,963 which is lower than the national average at $280,552. The median household income (after-taxes) in Prince Albert is $49,421, a bit lower than the national average at $54,089.

Census Population
1901 1,785
1911 6,254
1921 7,558
1931 9,905
1941 12,299
1951 17,149
1961 24,168
1971 28,464
1981 31,380
1991 34,181
1996 34,771
2001 34,291
2006 34,138
2011 35,129
Population by ethnic group, 2011
Ethnic group[36] Population Percent
European 24,315 71%
First Nations 8,835 25.8%
Métis 5,380 15.7%
Asian 1,000 2.9%
African 255 0.7%
Total respondent population 34270 100%

Prince Albert has one of the highest Aboriginal population ratios for any Canadian city at 41.5%.

Most of Prince Albert is either a Christian (74.4%), or affiliates with no religion (23.4%). The remaining 2.2% affiliate with another religion.

For residents over the age of 25 years old, 82.7% have a high school diploma (or equivalent too), 55.3% have a post-secondary degree, and 17.3% don't have any certificate, diploma or degree.


  • Prince Albert is a multicultural city and has many languages spoken by the people besides English and some French. Two native american languages that one will often here spoken is Dene and Cree. Prince Albert is on the increase for immigration so many languages are spoken from the continents of Asia, Africa, the sub-continent of India, South America and Europe.
  • Many schools including ecole Valois, ecole Vickers and Carlton Comprehensive high school have integrated French-immersion courses and classes to teach students the French language and culture.


The first hospital was constructed in 1899, followed by a maternity home built in 1945 which lasted approximately twelve years.[28]:63


The Diefenbaker Bridge at Prince Albert

At present, only a single road bridge, the Diefenbaker Bridge, connects the north and south shore in Prince Albert; this bridge is also the only river crossing connecting southern and northern Saskatchewan in the immediate vicinity (one needs to drive many miles to the east or west to find another).

This has long been a subject of concern in the region, especially in light of a partial closure of the bridge in August 2011 that occurred when cracks were found during an inspection.[37] Grassroots efforts are under way to lobby for the construction of a second bridge over the North Saskatchewan River within Prince Albert.[38]

Historic trails[edit]

In 1866, Prince Albert was established as a mission post, and a trail to Fort Carlton arose. This trail connected the growing community to the Carlton Trail, the main land transportation route in Western Canada of the 19th century. The trail followed along the current Lily Plain grid road in Saskatchewan to the ferry service at Lilly Plain post office.

The Qu'Appelle (Troy) – Prince Albert Trail was in use from 1883 transporting mail and freight goods from the rail depot at Qu'Appelle across the ferry at St. Louis to Prince Albert.[20] Besides these two trails, Prince Albert was also served by the Montreal Lake–PA, Green Lake–PA, and Fort à la Corne–PA trails.[29]:11


Canadian Northern & Grand Trunk Pacific[edit]

Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railroad and Steamboat Company (QLSRSC) arrived in Prince Albert in October 1890 as a means to link the three major cities of Saskatchewan through one railroad. For the next few years the line was seldom used, and in order to raise capital, QLSRSC leased the line out to the Canadian Pacific Railway.[39] Canadian Pacific soon realized the economic uncertainty of the line, and the lease was cancelled after only a few years of service.

By 1906, less than twenty years after the line was completed, it was sold to the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR). Canadian Northern also crossed the North Saskatchewan River, heading west towards Shellbrook. Prince Albert was slated to become a northern hub for rail service into the north, however with little economic activity in the area, no branch lines were ever extended into the north except for the Paddockwood spur, which was subsequently abandoned during the 1990s as a grain-dependent branch line.

Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) also serviced Prince Albert through a branch line that headed north from Young, through St. Louis and North into Prince Albert. Later both the CNoR and GTP were nationalized, eventually becoming the Canadian National Railway (CN).[40]

Canadian National and Canadian Pacific[edit]

For years the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway dominated the city of Prince Albert, operating on both sides of 15th Street. The Canadian Pacific Railway branched off at Lanigan moving north up to Hagen, then under trackage rights with CN, and curved towards the northeast end of Prince Albert. This was CPR's principal northern site, with many of the branch lines feeding back to Prince Albert. These branch lines almost entirely served lumber mills and grain elevators as principal commodities.

In 1991 CPR decided to shut down rail line operations in Prince Albert and the surrounding area. CPR sold the Meadow Lake line to CN, and abandoned the Meath Park branch up to Choiceland. Many small CN branch lines extended past Prince Albert hauling primarily grain, but proved ineffective due to larger and more accessible grain elevators. As a result, many were abandoned through the 1990s. Lines that have been abandoned include the Paddockwood Spur (CN), CPR to Meath Park, CPR to Lanigan, CN to Shellbrook, and CN to St. Louis. As grain storage and sorting technology improved over the years, a state of the art Inland elevator was built, located north of Prince Albert. This facility was owned by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, later succeeded by Viterra. The smaller elevator located in the CN yards — owned by United Grain Growers, later acquired by Agricore United which was also succeeded by Viterra — operated in Prince Albert until Viterra announced its cease of operations on April 1, 2008. Today, only the Inland terminal owned by Viterra, located in White Star, continues to operate.

In December 1997, CN announced the branch line was up for sale due to lack of productivity. The engines primarily used by CN at the time were GMD1s for short haul and yard shunting, and EMD SD40-2W/EMD SD40-2s for long-haul trips. CP utilized switchers due in part to the light rail on many of their branch lines. These switchers were manufactured by Montreal Locomotive Works (Bombardier) and were designated as RS-23.

Carlton Trail Railway[edit]

Carlton Trail Railway locomotive crossing the North Saskatchewan at Prince Albert

OmniTRAX, an American shortline railway company, bought the former CN line and named it Carlton Trail Railway (CTRW or CTR). Currently, Carlton Trail Railway resides in the old CN yard, storing tank cars for CN, transporting grain, and refurbishing diesel engines for other OmniTRAX lines. Carlton Trail has recently discussed abandoning several parts of the shortline due to increasing costs and poor track condition. The Railroad bridge in Prince Albert had the ability to turn in on itselfs to allow ferry ships to pass through.[41] In 2001 CTRW announced the abandonment of the Birch Hills branch line, but the City of Prince Albert intervened, citing the possibility of an ethanol plant. In 2008 Carlton Trail announced the Meadow Lake line would be abandoned by April 1, 2009.[42] Carlton Trail primarily operates EMD GP10s for switching and long-haul transport.


Prince Albert is located on SK 2, SK 3, SK 11, SK 55, and SK 302. Prince Albert demarks the change of name for SK 2. The stretch of Highway 2 from Moose Jaw to Prince Albert was designated in 2005 as Veterans Memorial Highway. The renaming coincided with Veterans Week 2005.[43] 176.3 miles (283.7 km) of Saskatchewan Highway 2 contribute to the CanAm Highway[44] between Prince Albert and La Ronge.[45] The CanAm highway south of Prince Albert is designated on SK 3 between Melfort and Prince Albert.[45] SK 11 connects Saskatchewan's three largest cities: Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert. On June 20, 2001, the entire length of Saskatchewan Highway 11 was re-named the Louis Riel Trail at a ceremony which took place at the Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre. The Louis Riel Trail connects major sites of the 1885 North-West Rebellion.[46]


Prince Albert Transit is the local city bus service with Saskatchewan Transportation Company providing intercity service for passengers and freight throughout Saskatchewan, with connecting service to national bus routes.

Air Transport[edit]

Glass Field Airport has regular flights to Saskatoon and Regina and serves as an access point to communities and mining operations North of Prince Albert.


Anglican Bishop John McLean opened Emmanuel College on November 1, 1879, the first University of the District of Saskatchewan. A federal act later incorporated Emmanuel College into the University of Saskatchewan Emmanuel College moved to Saskatoon in 1907 to become a part of the provincial University of Saskatchewan, following the inception of Saskatchewan as a province in 1905.[47]

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division operates 33 schools[48] and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division operates nine schools. The city has five high schools. St. Mary High School, and Rivier Academy (private, co-ed) are part of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division, while Carlton Comprehensive High School (largest high school in Saskatchewan), Wesmor (Acronym of the rural elementary schools Wildrose, East Central, Spruce Home, Meath Park, Osborne, and Redwing), and P.A.C.I (Prince Albert Collegiate Institute) are in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division.

The Prince Albert travel club plans trips every year that high school students can attend upon payment and have gone to Greece, Thailand and China for some examples. In the last five years Carlton Comprehensive opened up a travel club to its students and two trips have been undertaken for historical education. The first trip in 2012 was to the 95th anniversary at Vimy Ridge as well as Juno beach, Paris, Amsterdam, Passchendaele, Ypres and Brugge. Each student represented two soldiers which were assigned to them and research had to be done and the grave sites were visited by each student. A second trip was undertaken and was to educate students about the Holocaust and this trip took place in the spring of 2014.

Post-secondary schools found in Prince Albert use to include Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) Woodland Campus which as of the fall of 2014 became known as Saskatchewan Polytechnic and has a University-off Campus for both the U of R and U of S. Prince Albert also has the First Nations University of Canada (Northern Campus), Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), and Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP).

Local media[edit]




Carlton High School is known for its productions dealing with topics such as Nazism, dark Gothic romances, and light-hearted children's plays. Every year, three productions are put on with one being a children's play that tours the public elementary schools in November. The next play is put on in early March and is a contestant in the region 7 drama festival. The final play is often presented in early May, consisting of a large cast and crew. Most often this play is of a Shakespearean genre, but with a strange modernized twist. The drama club often does a short film to complement the final play. In 2012 the Mad Hatter Theatre Company supplied materials such as costumes and replica supplies and replica rifles to a group of students who made a memorial documentary for a World War 2, Juno beach veteran named Rifleman William Halcro of the Regina rifles.[51]

Carlton High School also has a French drama group called Les Solipsistes, directed by Michael Bowden, a French immersion and core French teacher. The group performs two plays every year, one Christmas play, directed towards children, and a competition play for the drama festival.[citation needed]

Prince Albert is also home to the Odyssey Dinner Theatre, which puts on two or three plays a year, which are always accompanied by a dinner.[52]

Over the last three years Shakespeare in the Park has been performed in Kinsmen Park, and produced by Prince Albert's ShortStuff Productions. ShortStuff Productions is a local theatre group started by Joan and Desmond Short. Their past shows have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Baba & Gido's 50th Wedding Anniversary, and The Rocky Horror Show.[citation needed]

Prince Albert's newest theatre group, SmokeScreen Productions, was formed in 2005. The group was formed by 4 friends who love theatre and wanted to have fun.[citation needed] The group's first production was The Ferris Wheel, and they have since performed numerous plays such as The Midlife Crisis of Dionysis, Whoppers, and many more. SmokeScreen productions has won numerous awards at Saskatchewan's Theatre festivals such as Best Play, Best Director, Best Technical, Best Actor, as well as numerous Honorable Mentions.[citation needed]

Broadway North started back in 1994 by a group of creative visionaries looking to stage a summer theatre performance of “West Side Story”, Broadway North has since grown a reputation for staging fabulous Musical Theatre productions and as an excellent training ground for young performers.


Every year Prince Albert has a variety of festivals, fairs, shows, etc. Different times of the year have different festivals.

  • Aboriginal Music & Arts Festival – October 4–8, 2007– Music & Performing Arts & Artist Showcases — Industry Trade Show — followed by major international pow wow.[53]
  • Canada Day celebrations – July 1 – Prince Albert in the park.[54]
  • Canadian Challenge International Sled Dog Race – The longest all-Canadian sled dog race — January 31 – February 4, 2007[55]
  • Downtown Street Fair – Prince Albert — held in June[54]
  • Evergreen Artisan Market – Annual arts festival in Prince Albert which celebrates craft, art, music and food. — November[56]
  • Farm Fair[57]
  • Focus on Women- Annual Trade Show -[58]
  • Founder's Day- June — on the North Saskatchewan river bank — Prince Albert.[59]
  • James Smith Annual Pow Wow- James Smith Cree Nation — first weekend of August.
  • Kidzfest – held in July
  • Prince Albert International Children's Festival
  • Lifestyles Annual Trade Show -900 CKBI – held late October.
  • Metis Fall Festival – 3 Day Festival honoring Métis Heritage — held in September
  • Muskoday Rodeo & Chuckwagon Races- Muskoday First Nations — Held in June
  • Muskoday Pow Wow- Muskoday First Nation — held in August.
  • Prince Albert Exhibition & Summer Fair[60]
  • Prince Albert Winter Festival – February 7–25, 2007 – Largest in Western Canada.[61]
  • SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival – Holds concerts in conjunction with this provincial event[62]
  • Shakespeare in the Park- Kinsmen Park — by Short Stuff Productions of Prince Albert.[63]
  • Sturgeon Lake Pow Wow- Sturgeon Lake First Nations — held in July.[60]
  • Taste of Prince Albert – Restaurants provide samples of their cuisine for a small price — Entertainment — held in the Kinsmen Park.[64]
  • Thanksgiving Annual International Pow Wow- October 5–8, 2007 – More than 1500 dancers.[60]
  • Vintage Power Machines Threshing Festival- held in July.[65]
  • Waskesiu Festival- Waskesiu — PA National Park — held in July.[66]


The city is home to the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League. The Raiders, who won the Memorial Cup in 1985, play out of the 3,571 seat Art Hauser Centre.[67] The city is also home to the Prince Albert Mintos of the Midget AAA Hockey League. They won the 2006, 2007 and 2014 Telus Cup. They also play out of the Art Hauser Centre.[68]

A few of the sporting events of the Prince Albert area include the Bull Riders Challenge, Canadian Challenge Dog Sled Race, Canoe tours on the North Saskatchewan, Celtic Games (By McDowell), Chuck wagon and Chariot Races, Fresh Air Experience Road Race, Potash Golf Tournament, Rotary Club Ice Fishing Derby, and Sask-Loppett.[7] The Sports Hall of Fame honours Prince Albert and area athletes, builders, and teams of notable merit. Prince Albert area and athletics also known as P4A is a sports league that takes place from grades 6 to 10 and includes cross country, volleyball, basketball, golf, curling, basketball, badminton and track and field from grades 5 to 8.

Prince Albertans enjoy a many of sports depending on the season. In the summer months many can be observed hiking, biking and skate boarding at the BMX park, soccer, baseball and fishing on the many lakes. Water activities such as canoeing on the Saskatchewan river system, water skiing, wake boarding and tubing on the many lakes just north of the city is also very popular. An increase of spear fisherman can be noted and many lakes north of Prince Albert including East Trout lake, Candle lake and White Swans lake are popular spots. In the fall months it is common to see people riding around on ATVs in the rural areas. The winter brings snowmobile riding, skating, hockey and cross country skiing and down hill sledding which is really popular at Little Red River park.

Geo-caching is known in Prince Albert and there are many spots in which to enjoy this sport.

The Alfred Jenkins Soccer Field House, budgeted at 11.1 million dollars, became operational in 2009.[citation needed]

Local Knowledge on Site Seeing and Urban Legends[edit]

  • Prince Albert has many neat but somewhat hidden spots to see for anyone visiting the city. Little Red River park has a main entrance along the highway #55, but what many people don't know is that just previous to this turn off is a back entrance which leads to a ball diamond field and a parking lot. Hiking trails are located in this area and one trail in particular has a fresh water stream running past it which is a must see if you can locate it.
  • Highway #302 East is the beginning journey to the Saskatchewan River forks and the famed La Colle falls. The falls is a great place to see beavers and also a great place to take pictures at any time of the day. It is often wet on the road leading to the dam so advice to walk is given and to park your vehicle on the top of the road. Now what is neat about La Colle falls is its many tunnels and passage ways, but many go without realizing that stalactites can be found forming in one tunnel caused by the erosion by water of the lime in the old concrete.
  • Local legend has it that years ago a trapper built a cabin somewhere along the North Saskatchewan River edge in a forest. According to locals the cabin itself has not been around for a while but the root cellar containing the trappers guns is said to be out in the area still to this day undiscovered.
  • When Princess Margaret visited Prince Albert in 1980, she was fed Lake Trout as part of one of her meals. She was noted to say it was the best fish she had ever tasted and when asked of which where the fish came it was found out they came from the White Swans Lakes.
  • Another great place to visit is on the South Saskatchewan in the Fenton Ferry region. A train bridge which is no longer used is often visited by locals and is a great spot to capture photos of eagles and a sunset.
  • If it can be found when the river is low on the South Saskatchewan, a long beach is revealed. This beach is unique due to the fact that it squeaks as you walk on it and move through the sand. The reason is caused by the properties of the sand itself which is made up of silica particulates.
  • Located on the South Saskatchewan River is an island famed by locals to have wild boar on it. The boar where brought to the island as a result of escaping from a farm and now a well established population can be found on this island and as well as its sister islands.
  • In Fort de la Corne forest, a large number of hunters gather each year during season to hunt game animals. Record size elk have been reported being seen in this forest and many believe this is due to the topography of the land itself. Some reports have surfaced in recent years of potash on the surface in certain areas unknown in the forest. The elk as well as other deer species use these areas as natural salt licks and this may be one of the factors attributed to their record sizes.
  • Along the banks of the Shell River just north west of the city a great observation of stratification can be observed. Some points in the river bank contain bivalve mollusk shells which themselves come from the Quaternary period and is hence how the river got its name.
  • Candle lake is named so due to an old legend in native culture which tells of lights being observed across the lake which where said to be haunting spirits. Others credit these strange lights to be created by swamp gas but this conclusion does not satisfy everyone and thus this effect is still not known. This is similar to another legend of the St.Louis lights which is south of Prince Albert and many draw conclusions that these two lights may be linked. But what is for sure is that the natives in the area believed Candle lake to be haunted and this is why you do not observe any reservations around the lake compared to lakes in the area for example Bittern lake and Montreal lake.
  • It is told by older generations that crime in young adults used to be much lower in the early 1900s then compared to today. this is believed to be from the public floggings that happened once every few months at the court house when someone young was caught stealing or trying to steal. The screams of those being flogged are said to have been so loud that they could be heard echoing all the way to Little Red River Park. Ever since this was outlawed in the 40s and 50s theft has gone up per-capita in Prince Albert.
  • A very popular place to visit in Little Red River Park is Hands Bridge. Legend has it that a major bus accident took place near the bridge and many school children died and now they haunt the bridge. Regardless of what is to be taken as fact, Hands Bridge is a great spot to visit and some spray paint artist painted the words HANDS BRIDGE in sign language.
  • In 2008 a meteor lit up the sky and made it appear as if night had turned to day for a couple of brief seconds. Although it was seen in Prince Albert the meteorite was reported to have been found in Alberta.
  • Great Blue Heron Provincial Park contains two of many lakes of which are called Emma Lake and Christoper Lake. These lakes get their names from two cooks who for many years worked in this region and their names were Christopher and Emma.

Museums and points of interest[edit]

Prince Albert Historical Museum
Prince Albert Arts Centre (photo by Carolyn Carleton)

There are three historical museums in Prince Albert. The combined The Evolution of Education Museum and Rotary Museum of Police and Corrections are located at the tourist information centre just off of Highway #2 South. The second museum, the Historical Society Museum, is located in an old Fire Hall at the north end of Central Avenue on River Street. The John G. Diefenbaker House is a historic site open to the public and is found on 249 19th Street West. The Prince Albert Heritage Museum (c. 1911) is a Municipal Heritage Property on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.[69]

Across from the Historical Society Museum, is the site of Diefenbaker's constituency office that is not open to the public. Among the other heritage, historic and protected sites of Prince Albert are the Blockhouse from the 1885 Rebellion & First Presbyterian Church/School, Historic St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Honeywood (Dr. A.J. Porter) Heritage Nursery, Keyhole Castle, LaColle Falls Hydroelectric Dam, Oldest Downtown Store, Prince Albert Arts Centre and The Cathedral Church of St. Alban the Martyr. Prince Albert also has urban legends including Hands Bridge, St. Louis Ghost light and many old abandoned homesteads in the rural areas which according to local teenagers are said to be haunted.[63]

Other historical points of interest include:

  • The St. Louis Light, a commonly visited, supposedly paranormal, phenomenon occurring south of the city.
  • Fort de la Corne, a short distance east from Prince Albert, is the furthest westward post of the French Empire in North America (see New France).
  • The Prince Albert Sanitorium, completed in 1930 and treated tuberculosis patients.[70]
  • The Buckland Wildlife Management Unit, located within 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) of the city.[25]

Prince Albertans[edit]

People with varying degrees of public notoriety from Prince Albert including athletes, politicians, authors, actors/actresses, etc..

Name Occupation Notes
Bales, Mike Hockey player Was a NHL goalie for the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators.
Barlow, Burke Musician Barlow was a guitarist for the folk band The Deep Dark Woods from 2005 to 2012.
Bergen, Todd Hockey player Bergen is a retired NHL player who played one season with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984–85.
Bower, Johnny William "The China Wall" Hockey player Bower is a National Hockey League Hall of Famer.[71]
Burgess, David Luther World War I pilot and politician Burgess was a World War I flying ace who, in 1926, was the sole challenger to Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in a by-election held in Prince Albert. He ran as an Independent.
Cameron, Angus Hockey player Cameron was an NHL player for the New York Rangers.
Clarke, Lawrence HBC official Clarke was a Hudson's Bay Company Official, early Territorial Government Representative and prominent local citizen considered by some to be the instigator of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.[72]
Comiskey, John Football player Plays center with the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL.
Crawford, Neil Stanley Politician and jazz musician Crawford practised law in Edmonton, Alberta, in the 1950s and 1960s. He served as an executive assistant to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker between 1961 and 1963 and served as Young Progressive Conservative Association President from 1963 to 1964. He had a jazz band composed of provincial MLAs called the Tory Blue Notes and played trumpet.
Dallman, Rod Hockey player NHL player for the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers; career penalty minute leader for the Springfield Indians. Born in Quesnel, British Columbia, played junior hockey for the Prince Albert Raiders, currently lives in Prince Albert.
Davis, Thomas Osborne Politician Davis was a Liberal Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons representing the Provisional District of Saskatchewan, and later a member of the Canadian Senate. He served on the town council for Prince Albert and was mayor from 1894 to 1895. He died in office as mayor when he was 60.
Dent, Ivor Politician Dent, CM was born in Prince Albert and became a politician in Alberta, Canada, a former mayor of Edmonton, and a former candidate for the Canadian House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[73]
Dewdney, Selwyn Hanington Author, illustrator, artist, activist and pioneer in both art therapy and pictography Born in Prince Albert, moved to Kenora, Ontario. Received post secondary education at the University of Toronto where he received a general Bachelor of Arts. Ontario College of Education and received a High School Assistant's Certificate and Art Specialists Certificate. He also took a course in landscape painting.
Diefenbaker, John Prime Minister Diefenbaker, PC, CH, QC, FRSC, FRSA (September 18, 1895 – August 16, 1979) was the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 21, 1957, to April 22, 1963. Diefenbaker House in Prince Albert is open as a museum to the public in the summer season. It is a home where Diefenbaker lived for ten years with his first wife, Edna Brower and when she died, his second, Olive Palmer.[74][75]
Dougherty, Liam Ice dancer Dougherty, born in Prince Albert is a provincial, national, and international ice dancer with several different partners.
Ducommun, Rick Actor Ducommun, born July 3, 1956, in Prince Albert is a Canadian actor and comedian, often seen in supporting roles on both television and the silver screen.[76]
Fresh, Tanner Hip Hop musician, songwriter, and producer Fresh is a former member of Fresh City, but moved to Toronto to start a solo career. He has achieved success locally, provincially, and nationally.
Fleming, Robert Composer, pianist, organist, choirmaster and teacher
George, Robert Naval officer Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy[77]
Goertzen, Glenda Author Goertzen, BFA, born in Morse, currently lives in Prince Albert and is a children's author.[78]
Guard, Kelly Hockey player Was signed to a contract in the NHL with Ottawa Senators though he never played a game. Played in Europe during the later part of his career, but retired due to sustaining an injury.
Haakensen, Monique Scientist, Entrepreneur, Public Figure (nee Simair) Dr. Haakensen is the founder, president and Principal Scientist of Contango Strategies Ltd. She was named by Profit (magazine) as one of Canada's Future Entrepreneurial Leaders under the age of 30 in 2011.[79] In 2014 Monique was appointed to Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation Council (Canada).[80]
Hanson, Leot Musician Guitarist for the The Sheepdogs.
Harvie, Ellie Actress Actress, who portrayed Morticia on The New Addams Family, was raised in Prince Albert.
Henry, Dale Hockey player Henry played 132 games in the NHL for the New York Islanders.
Hicks, John V. Poet Hicks, born in England but resided in Prince Albert, became a published poet during the last two decades of his life receiving the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Saskatchewan.[81]
Hill, Douglas Author Hill was a Canadian science fiction author, editor and reviewer born in Brandon, Manitoba but raised in Prince Albert.[82]
Hoback, Randy Politician Hoback was elected to represent the electoral district of Prince Albert in the 2008 Canadian federal election. He is a member of the Conservative Party.
Hovdebo, Stanley Politician and educator Hovdebo was a New Democratic Party member of the Canadian House of Commons. He was an educator by career. He served terms provincially and nationally.
Isbister, James Métis leader Isbister was a Canadian Métis leader who founded the Isbister settlement the precursor of Prince Albert and may have been the first farmer to grow wheat in the area.[83]
Jackson, Honoré Métis leader Louis Riel's secretary, leader of the Prince Albert Settler's Union in the early 1880s.[84]
Jerome, Harry Sprinter
Karloff, Boris Actor Karloff was famous for his roles in horror films portraying characters like Frankenstein's Monster and The Mummy, resided in Prince Albert during the early 20th century.[85] He applied to Harry St. Clair of Prince Albert's Harry St. Clair players and toured with them between 1912 and 1914 before becoming famous in Hollywood.[86][87]
Lamont, John Henderson Supreme Court Justice Lamont was born in Horning's Mills, Canada West, but became a Prince Albert lawyer, Liberal politician, and Supreme Court Justice.[88]
Mair, Charles Poet Mair was a 19th-century Canadian nationalist poet who resided in Prince Albert for several years in the early 1880s.[89]
MacDowall, Day Hort MLA MacDowall was a prominent citizen and was elected as a representative for Prince Albert to the Legislative Assembly of Northwest Territories in 1883 and served until 1885.[90]
Mason, Chris Musician Mason is the bassist for the folk rock band The Deep Dark Woods.
Manson, Dave Hockey player Manson is a retired NHL player starting out with the Chicago Blackhawks who is now an assistant coach with his former junior hockey team, WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.[91]
McKay, Thomas Politician and farmer McKay represented Prince Albert in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories from 1891 to 1894 and from 1898 to 1905. McKay was the brother-in-law of Lawrence Clarke, and like Clarke was connected to the Conservative Party of Canada. McKay was a Protestant Métis or Anglo-Métis individual, and was involved in the Saskatchewan Rebellion on the side of the federal government.
Montgomery, Lucy Maud Author Montgomery, CBE, between 1890 and 1891 at the age of 16, lived in Prince Albert with her father and step-mother. She later went on to publish 20 novels, over 500 short stories, an autobiography and a book of poetry.[92]
Morgan, Blair Motocross/Snowcross athlete Morgan was a five-time X-Games gold medalist for snowcross
Mrazek, Jerome Hockey player Mrazek is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played in one NHL game for the Philadelphia Flyers.[93]
Nelson, Jeff Hockey player Nelson played in the NHL for the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators. He current plays for the Mississippi RiverKings in the Central Hockey League.
Nerland, Carney RCMP informant Nerland was a white supremacist, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police informant, who garnered national media attention in 1991 after killing a man on the basis of his skin colour.[94]
Newall, Ted Entrepreneur businessman
Parent, Ryan Hockey player Parent, born in Prince Albert, is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who plays for the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Parenteau, Donny Country music singer, songwriter, and musician Parenteau is a former fiddle player for country music star Neal McCoy, but moved back to Prince Albert to start a solo career. He has achieved success locally, provincially, and nationally.
Pederson, Denis Hockey player Pederson played 435 games in the NHL with such teams as New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues. He currently plays for Eisbären Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Robinson, Jessica Country music singer Robinson has achieved some success nationally in the country music genre.
Robson, Jim Broadcaster Born in Prince Albert, Robson was a radio and television broadcaster for the Vancouver Canucks from 1970 to 1999 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.[95]
Ruskowski, Terry Hockey player Ruskowski is a retired NHL centre, who played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Minnesota North Stars. Previously, he played for the Houston Aeros of the WHA. Ruskowski is the only player to captain four different NHL teams.
Stevenson, John Politician Liberal MLA and Senator.
Tapper, Richard Findlay Swimmer Tapper competed for New Zealand at the 1992 Summer Olympics
Taylor, Allan R. Banker
Thompson, Max Nordic combined skier Thompson has competed nationally and internationally at the Olympics in the event.
Vickers, John Opera singer Vickers, CC was born in Prince Albert and is a retired Canadian opera tenor singer.[96]
Walter, Owen Hockey player In 2003 Walter was awarded the Brown University Charles A. Robinson Memorial Trophy for academic achievement before playing professionally.[97]
Weaver, George Politician and metallurgical engineer
Wilson, Rick Hockey player Wilson, also born in Prince Albert, is a retired professional ice hockey defenceman and head coach. He is currently an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars.[98]
Yeo, Dylan Hockey player Yeo currently plays for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL.[99]

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Book references[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°12′N 105°45′W / 53.200°N 105.750°W / 53.200; -105.750