The Northeast Alberta Information Hub (Alberta HUB) is hoping to meld history, culture and tourism in a winning formula to bring visitors to the region.
Métis Crossing sits at the centre of that cultural tourism initiative. The multi-use facility includes everything from refurbished original homesteads to an 11,000-sq ft cultural gathering centre. Construction at the site recently began on a new 40-room lodge and future additions include a series of Bison paddocks and star-gazing domes.
Métis Crossing is hoping to attract up to 17,000 visitors per year once COVID-related restrictions are relaxed and then up to 80,000 visitors per year in the future.
Alberta HUB at a Glance
- Member Communities: 38
- Area: 38,110 sq km
- Population: 135,000
- Major Projects Value: $23.8 billion
- Number of Businesses: 4,114
- Key Industries: Aerospace, Agriculture, Defence, Energy, Industrial Hemp, Tourism
- Website: albertahub.com
Sources: Government of Alberta, Alberta HUB
“We know that in the past people used to travel to go to places. Then people travelled to do things. Now they want to experience different cultures and change their world view,” says Juanita Marois, executive director of Métis Crossing.
Tourism is a major draw for the Alberta HUB region – which sits northeast of Edmonton and stretches to the border of eastern provincial neighbour Saskatchewan – from the boreal forests to good stretches of road for motorcycling.
“Tourism is a very important sector and economic driver for the Alberta HUB region. We have a playground of lakes, activities, hiking for the adventurist landscape,” says Bob Bezpalko, executive director of Alberta HUB. “We also have a very strong cultural tourism aspect. We are in the Métis homeland where the story, the food, their traditions, the coming together of two cultures that created a new nation is everywhere around us.”