Heritage & Culture


The settlement and development of the Palliser region is a story of overcoming adversity and hardship with hard work, vision and ingenuity. The area is named after Captain John Palliser, who studied and mapped the agricultural potential of this part of western Canada, virtually unknown to European settlers, in the late 1850s. Captain Palliser concluded that the region’s dry climate, sandy soils and vast, grassy plains were too harsh for agricultural production and therefore virtually uninhabitable.

Early settlers were quickly able to disprove Palliser’s assessment of the area. The region provided exceptional conditions for raising livestock and grain, and is now home to some of the most productive agricultural operations in western Canada. Using the same ingenuity as the original settlers, Palliser farmers skillfully manage the region’s desert-like and drought-prone climate with precision dryland farming and irrigation.


The region’s population density is varied, with many people living either in long-established small communities or in quickly expanding urban centers. These communities are welcoming and inclusive, with many cultural groups represented throughout the area. For example, the City of Brooks is a truly multicultural community: more than 100 languages are spoken in this fast-growing community of just over 13,600 people, earning it the nickname “The city of 100 hellos.”

Museums, arts and cultural celebrations are plentiful throughout the Palliser region, some of the more notable ones include:

Performing Arts

Arts and Culture

Festivals and Events

For signature events throughout the region, visit Travel Alberta or Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Some major festivals include:

Visit our Community Profiles for more historical and cultural sites and events within each Palliser region community.

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