3 Reasons to check out Grande Prairie’s buzzing urban scene
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Drop in to downtown Grande Prairie to explore the city’s walkable core, with a tasty urban vibe, arts scene and nature close by.
Grande Prairie, AB – “I'd say the farmer's market here in downtown Grande Prairie is a huge hit. Just look at this place, it's hopping,” says local photographer Travis Isert on a sunny Grande Prairie Saturday. Over the past five years one of Canada’s most northern cities has been in transformation, and this is just one mark of that success.
The community realized that a litmus test to any successful City was the feeling a visitor or local had experiencing its downtown core. Now, $35 million dollars later, it’s a magnet for those looking for an urban fix surrounded by any outdoor experience you can think of. Infused with new energy, Grande Prairie’s downtown is the northern Alberta urban centre you need to visit on your next getaway. Check out our top three reasons to visit this summer!
Top 3 reasons to explore downtown Grande Prairie this summer
#1: The downtown farmers market is filled with local creators and goods, unique to the region.
“It's pretty fun down here. It's always a good time to check out free samples of all the different types of food here at the Farmers’ Market. Great tacos, live music out front on Saturdays,” Isert says.
“And if anybody loves plants, there's an amazing plant store in here as well.”
Isert was first brought to Grande Prairie for work 12 years ago, but now it is his home, “there is an outdoor aspect to the community that’s kept me here, and you can’t beat the chance to connect with great people as well.”
Now with Grande Prairie’s City Centre transformation making those human connections is now a whole lot easier considering all the events and hospitality venues taking over downtown.
“There's also a ton of great live music that's been put on at Better Than Fred's and other venues around here over the years, I try to make it out to as many live music events they host as they are always awesome.”
#2: A lively arts scene, with programs like Art in the Alley.
Next to the weekly bustling farmers’ market and live music, Isert suggests many will be surprised by the look of the newly renovated downtown core and its colourful murals, installed by an array of local artists.
“Art in the Alley has been expanding over the years,” says Wendy Bosch, executive director, Grande Prairie Downtown Association. Art in the Alley showcases local artists' talents in a big way by taking over entire walls on some of the city centre’s buildings.
“I want to see this community thrive,” explains City Centre Business Association manager Wendy Bosch, “I like to see people successful, and doing well.”
Bosch is a self-proclaimed urbanite and has found her spot in Grande Prairie’s city centre, home to an array of arts, restaurants and events. “As more from Grande Prairie realize what we have in our city centre, it develops that pride of place and when that is established, they will do my job for me as they will encourage more visitation to our downtown shops.”
#3: Urban experiences next to nature.
Next to all of the shops, restaurants, and attractions, Grande Prairie’s downtown true heart is Muskoseepi Park. “It's gorgeous in the park during summertime,” says Isert. He mentions how this ties together so well, the blend between urban and a gorgeous outdoor park setting.
The City of Grande Prairie has realized that pride of place, by making this multi-million-dollar investment in revitalizing its downtown core, bringing it up to a modern 2022 existence while still preserving its past. “The City realized that for any community, the vibrancy of its downtown core is the litmus test for its sustainability,” says Bosch.
“We get that people don’t just come here to go mountain biking at Nitehawk, or exploring the history of Sexsmith. They should and likely will end up in our city centre, checking out our Farmers’ Market, a restaurant or perhaps an event at the Art Gallery,” invites Bosch.
When you Go
Discover Grande Prairie’s City Centre before you’ve even left your computer – start the discovery here on the downtown association’s website
The friends at Grande Prairie Tourism have you covered on where you’ll spend the nights, check out their accommodation listings
#exploreNWAB is your invitation to experience Alberta’s North West, while discovering the region this summer or fall, use the #exploreNWAB hashtag in your posts so we can engage with you. We @ZenSeekers ideally keep you inspired to make that visit with a wide range of stories you can find here.