Grande Prairie is a popular shopping destination for residents of northern communities in the neighbouring province of British Columbia, but it’s also drawing shoppers from major metropolitan hubs.

Grande Prairie at a Glance

  • Population: 69,626
  • Median Family Income: $118,340
  • Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
  • Residential Vacancy Rate: 5.1%
  • Life Stress: 23.3%
  • Sense of Belonging: 65.8%

Source: Government of Alberta

For instance, Grande Prairie’s downtown is home to the popular Sole Addiction, a shoe store that draws shoppers from as far as Edmonton and Calgary.

“We have everything from big box stores to amazing, independent locally owned shops,” says says Terry Dow, executive director of Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association. “We are the shopping hub of the north.”

While Dow says thousands of visitors flock to Grande Prairie every month, there’s more to the northwestern Alberta city than shopping.

Depending on the season, visitors can head out of town for the day to do some hiking, white-water rafting, camping, fishing and motorbiking in the summer or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There’s also the local ski hill that’s open for nighttime tubing.

Year-round, visitors can spend an exciting afternoon at Evergreen Park — a massive exhibition centre that includes a casino and features horse racing in the summer. Rodeos, like Grande Prairie Stompede and Teepee Creek Rodeo, are also popular, drawing thousands annually. “We want people to say, ‘that was a great three-day weekend. I loved it, and I will be back,’” says Dow.