Local residents are invited to participate in a new celebration this year on September 2, Alberta Day.

In July 2022, the Alberta Government made the anniversary of the day the Alberta Act came into effect, September 1, a civic holiday in the province. While the day is not a statutory holiday, the province is offering grants to communities to encourage celebrations.

In the Brazeau County area, many of the events will be hosted at the Willey West Campground. There will also be some events held at the Drayton Valley Museum. 

Carmen Kowalchuk, the owner of Elevated Experience Camping and chair of the Alberta Day committee, says that many people aren’t even aware of the holiday.

“Because it’s not a statutory holiday, communities didn’t really get involved in it,” says Kowalchuk.

That’s why this year, the government is hoping to stir up some interest by offering to help foot the cost of the festivities.

Kowalchuk says she was recently contacted by Brazeau County to see if she would be interested in hosting the event. Since she operates the Willey West campground and the Drayton Valley RV Park, she is in a position to host events in the Town and in the County.

On Saturday, September 2, there will be opening ceremonies and several events. These will likely include a pop-up vendors’ market, a petting zoo, bouncy castles, indigenous dancers, a band, and other family-friendly activities.

On Sunday, September 3, the celebrations will move to the Drayton Valley Museum, where there will be free tours, free frisbee golf, a dance party at the campground, and an outdoor movie in the evening.

Because the grant request was only submitted on August 8, Kowalchuk says the events they plan to offer aren’t set in stone. “The turnaround [for the grant] will obviously be quick,” she says.

The plan is to make Alberta Day a regular occurrence in the community. “We want to do a really good job this year, and then we plan to do this annually,” says Kowalchuk.

For more information about the upcoming event, residents can contact Kowalchuk at 780-515-1007.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 10, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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