Within northwest Alberta, Grande Prairie is the biggest city within the area. The city was named after the prairie, that was first occupied by the Beaver First Nation bands. This band first began their trade with the North West Company at Dunvegan in the early 1800's. The Grand Prairie Townsite was sub-divided during 1910 and by the year 1912, the town had a post office, a hotel, a bank and a land office. During 1911, the Edson Trail to Grand Pairie from Edson was opened so as to help settlers reach Grande Prairie. This move led to the development of large scale settlements within the area, moving it further compared to other major farming regions in southern Canada. In the year 1914, Grande Prairie was incorporated as a village by Alberta province. The construction of Highway 43 during the year 1956 significantly cut down traveling time, that further enhanced Grand Prairie's accessibility and economy. It was incorporated as a City during 1958 with an estimated population of 7,600 during that time.
There are several places within the city for music fans to enjoy, including downtown bars, such as the GPRC's Howler's Lounge. There are various festivals which occur within the city like summer-long festivals, that are organized and funded by charitable foundations and private individuals. The genre of its music scene has been dominated by metal, punk, and emo bands. Among the most popular ones comprise The Goodbye Generation, the Emerson Drive, Damn Plastards, Reject, This Conviction and Calculating Collapse. The Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre and the Grand Prairie Live Theatre are great entertainment venues to see a reenactment of life's greatest stories.
The city has several outdoor recreational areas to get pleasure from, consisting of lots of golf courses and parks. One such park, Muskoseepi Park comprises a pavilion, a cafeteria an outdoor swimming pool, and an outdoor parks that transforms into a skating rink during wintertime. One more notable park, Crystal Lake, has a preserved wetland for birdwatching and walking bike paths. The southern part of Grand Prairie also has foothills, and the Grande Cache is a popular site for hikers and snowmobilers everywhere. Kakwa Widland Park is on the Alberta-British Columbia Border, and it is a beautiful and mountainous area called Kakwa Falls, that is considered to be amongst the most wonderful falls.
The major businesses of the city are: food services, forestry, agriculture, oil, and gas. Agriculture is considered to be an important part of the local economy now, and the variety of crops it produces are canola, oats, barley and wheat -- specially in the Peace region. Buffalo, livestock and cattle are also a staple, and the mild type of weather of the region more than enables the farming culture to prosper continuously. gas and oil drilling is also an ongoing project at South Peace, and it did not start to occur on a large scale until the late 1970's. The discovery and exploitation of the Elmworth gas field led the city to grow fast until the last oil boom ended during 1981. Forestry is also a major part of Grand Prairie's economy, with large tracts of forest within the Canadian Rockies and the south part of the foothills. One of its largest employers is the Weyerhaeuser Canada kraft pulp mill. Other major players comprise Canfor, and the Ainsworth OSB.