Our idea of West much less geographical, than it is a mindset. No matter where we live in this country it is about a life that is engaged with western culture – appreciative and honoring the land, from the cowboy tradition to current views. It’s modern, but respectful and mindful of tradition and history. It’s photography, books, gear, travel, music and food. It honors the cowboys, competitors, artisans, musicians, authors, photographers and artists who spend their lives devoted to keeping our idea of the West in Canada alive.
For most who embrace this idea it includes the horse in some respect. At home, in our pastures and barns, on the magnificent trails of this country, and certainly, in the competition arena. Also in our accruements and passions. In our appreciation of the majesty of the animal, in the subtle nuances of the horse’s work and our various sports.
One could say, in our identities.
Which is why, when we think about where to live, we think Western. And, living the Western way, recognizing its authenticity, and celebrating how it enriches our lives.
Now is your chance to help Western Horse Review unfold the real West. Many of Canada’s greatest western hotspots aren’t just great places to live in the western lifestyle: they’re Canada’s best-kept secrets. And its time we celebrated them!
THE BATTLE FOR THE GREATEST WESTERN TOWN IN CANADA IS ON!
We\’ll begin this competition with a nomination period from now until June 27th.
Then the voting begins!
For this purpose the moniker “towns” can refer to towns, cities, hamlets, really, wherever there is a great gathering of western culture. So think small. Think city. Think your corner of this great country. Just keep it Western.
Send us a short (50 word or less) nomination for your western town now. E-mail it to [email protected] with the subject line of CGWT, or just go ahead and comment right here.
Remember, the nomination period ends June 27th, so be sure to get your favourite western corner of this country in on the action!
9 thoughts on “Canada\’s Greatest Western Town”
Pincher Creek Alberta signifies what is western. Not only is it’s history rich in the ranching tradition with the beautiful foothills and some of the most amazing scenery and rich grasslands in all of Alberta, it has also produced some great horsemen and rodeo stars. People like Jim Anderson and Dustin Flundra of modern fame. Pete Knight also came from this region as well. It became well known for it’s cowboy poetry gathering every summer. The great Canadian Barn dance is less than 30 minutes away. Some of the biggest ranches propagate the surrounding foothills and the pro rodeo held every August is a huge draw for people as well as the ranch rodeo put on every summer. The Pincher Creek ranches and the King brothers ranch at one time were some of the biggest ranches in Alberta. It truly is ranching and cowboy country.
Nanton, Alberta is the greatest western town in southern Alberta, and in Canada. There are many generations of ranchers here, and many “newbies” who have moved here to enjoy what the town offers. We learn from each other. We have the Antique Walk…many antique stores and lots of auctions, and the Art Walk, with a new store just opened featuring incredible local talent, and a new Art store and restaurant to open soon. The local stores offer unique products from Fair Trade (Because I Said So) to hand-made stained glass (Mosaic). Then there’s the Candy Store….famous everywhere….and Sweet Queen Burgers, where Andy meets you once and knows your name. The Auditorium Hotel features great talent …that’s where Corb Lund filmed his video, and there are many talented artists performing, including Washboard Hank, with local Lance Loree, and Fred Eaglesmith, and then there’s the Nanton Nite Rodeo…kids from 2 to 92 perform at barrel racing, mutton busting, pole bending, cow roping, bronc busting…..it costs a whopping $2 to see he action…and you can park in the campground…Nanton is the BEST place in the world to live….you get a bit of everything, and if you want to go to the city…it’s 45 minutes…but you won’t want to, or need to…it’s all here in Nanton, Alberta, Canada
Airdrie, the greatest little city in Alberta! Airdrie is the fastest growing city in Alberta. We could say Calgary is a suburb to Airdrie. We were a village of 350 in the mid 50’s and now have a population of 54,000. We have a great pro rodeo, which started as a gymkhana and sports day 40+ years ago. We support a great area of mixed farming and ranching. Having lived here my entire life it was a great place to grow up.
This little gem of a town is the heart of ranchers and farmers, generations before, present and generation of ranchers and farmers to come. Being raised there, on a mixed farm I saw the story book story of neighbors helping neighbors, unity among all and a town that provided entertainment and many necessary shops and stores to service this group of individuals that are not so plentiful now. It is a town that will welcome you and nod they heads as you pass, wave at you when you pass on any road in the area. The Lea Park Rodeo is the highlight for all to attend.
You should go!!!!
My nomination comes from one of the most Eastern parts of Canada, Prince Edward Island. We are our own special kind of western out here, an east meets west fusion which has deep roots in the land and the sea. For this reason I cannot limit my nomination to one community as western culture here is a community in it’s own right. Prince Edward Island actually has the highest number of horses per capita in Canada and although that is largely influenced by Standardbred racing – AQHA and APHA bloodlines here are impeccable. It is not uncommon to see Highbrow Cat, Peppy San Badger, Poco Bueno etc on our horse’s papers. Our Western horses have been brought in from western Canada and the US in hopes of improving the quality of horse we can produce. You won’t see any traditional rodeos or rope throwing in these parts but team penning, sorting and reining are gaining in popularity. Our properties are small in comparison to classic ranches – but our appreciation and respect for the rural lifestyle is alive and strong. On my 75 acres I run a herd of 16 horses year round and in the summer months host a small herd of cattle to help our students and horses improve their skills and add continuity to their western education. As an Island on the opposite end of the country from our desired influences we band together and support one another in bettering ourselves and our horsemanship – it is this spirit that I feel makes PEI the greatest (and most determined) Western community in Canada.
Possessing two of the largest ranches in Alberta and is the “Home of the first Stampede” after being founded in 1901 by Jesse Knight and in 1902 began rodeo history as they put together the first Canadian Stampede. It also has one of the oldest original standing rodeo grounds in Alberta. Many greats have come from Raymond: Jesse & Raymond Knight, The Bascom Brothers, 1957 Miss Rodeo Canada Miss Dixie Broadhead (Forsyth), the 2011 Alberta and National High School Rodeo Queen Miss Dakota Passey-Ripley and the 2014 Miss High School Rodeo Princess Miss Amber Monti and many more! Raymond is as western as they come and it wears it’s western pride well, year round!
Originally considered as the location for the provincial capital, Qu’Appelle has the honor of being the first Rural Municipality in the province. Located off #1 highway this little community boasts a rural/urban lifestyle that mixes commuters with acreages all in one. There is an indoor arena within the town that hosts ropings, barrel racing and everything horsey in between. If you can’t get into the locally owned indoor arena there are 5 privately owned outdoor arenas within town limits as well. It is not uncommon to see someone riding through the town heading to a competition or just enjoying a leisurely ride. In this fast paced world we can escape as we come home to Qu’Appelle.
Has to be Nanton. Greatest little Western town in the world, Where else would they have been concerned about where people would park their horse trailers when they built the new Post Office?
for me is Ponoka the greatest Western Town in Canada 🙂