Lethbridge is the biggest city in southern Alberta. It is the third biggest following Calgary and Edmonton, and the 4th biggest in population after Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton. Called the "Cultural Capital of Canada" for the 2004 to 2005 seasons, Lethbridge city is home to venues and events for marketing the arts. The Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge is the biggest organization which is devoted to preserving the local arts. Southern Alberta Art Gallery houses contemporary and modern pieces of art; the Bowman Arts Centre has three galleries, and the University of Lethbridge Art gallery has modern exhibitions which consist of works from its numerous Americans, Canadians and European art collections. Music is also an important part of the city's culture, and the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has been existing ever since 1960. Its spin-off music groups are the Southern Alberta Chamber Orchestra and Lethbridge Musical Theatre. A part of University of Lethbridge's choir is Vox Musica, whereas the university's theatre division is New West Theatre. The Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre consists of two theatres: Yates Theatre and the 180-seat black box Sterndale Bennet Theatre.
Lethbridge has numerous historical highlights. One of the more common ones is its steel trestle bridge: the Lethbridge Viaduct (also normally referred to as the High Level Bridge). The last battle between the Cree and the Blackfoot First nations in 1870 is commemorated at the Indian Battle Park, within the coulees of the Oldman River. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden (south of Lethbridge) was opened during 1967 to be able to celebrate the centennial event that was attended by Prince and Princess Takamatsu of Japan. Galt Museum and Archives is considered to be the biggest museum in the Lethbridge area, and its building was previously utilized as a hospital during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Various well-known structures include the water tower and the Alberta Terminals grain elevators.
Fifty percent of Lethbridge's occupations come from service and trade industries, with emphasis on food processing, finance/insurance, construction, real estate, public sector services and construction. Several national companies are based within Lethbridge. They comprise Taco Time Canada, the Canadian Freightways, H&R Transport and Minute Muffler. In 2006, the Economic Development Lethbridge had a joint partnership with SouthGrow Regional Initiative and Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance so as to create the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership. Their amalgamation supports alternative energy, like for example wind power, biofuel and solar power. During 2007, it was ranked as 4th among Canadian economic development groups for "volume of capital investment and job creation" by Site Selection magazine, and in 2007-2008, it won first place at the Economic Developers Association of Canada Awards.