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Thread: Stereotypical Albertan? Edmontonian?

  1. #1

    Default Stereotypical Albertan? Edmontonian?

    I'm curious how the rest of Canada would describe/generalize Albertans and Edmontonians. Does anyone have an understanding beyond our own perceptions of how we are perceived? Has it changed over the decades?

    I don't get out of Alberta much so if I had to guess I'd probably say the same old tired old "red neck" things but that rarely jives with my own personal experience growing up here or my sense of Alberta's history (i.e. our truly rugged, pioneering forefathers voting in the Liberals for the first couple decades after the province was formed, Albertans among those leading the way for women's rights [in some ways decades before some provinces that I think people today perceive as 'more progressive'], Edmonton being years ahead of other cities on recycling, waste water treatment, etc.)
    Last edited by KC; 03-01-2009 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    I know about 10 years ago, when in Ontario and telling people I was from Edmonton, they would visibly catch themselves from snickering... Happened more than once. I think now that the power base has shifted west, we are perceived better, but I think still not accurately. but then, who is?

  3. #3
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    I talked with some Americans, and they knew where Edmonton was located (wow!). Some of them even visited and said they enjoyed our city.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

  4. #4
    First One is Always Free
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    Speaking as a transplant, I can say the overall impression of Edmonton, Calgary, and Alberta in general was country music loving, gun rack installing, diesel truck driving, Conservative voting, inbred rednecks. Throw in a couple jokes about the cold, and you basically have it. It was not until I was recruited to move here by another board member that I had my opinions changed. But then, this came from Lotusland where snobbery is a sport.

    Your promotional material that the travel bureau published did not help this. All we saw were cowboys, horses, mountains, the odd waterskier complete with cowboy hat wearing boat driver, rodeo, stampede parades, and historic or pioneer interpretive centers. Nothing really overly modern, eclectic or exciting. It is better now, but whoever was in charge of the tourism ads sure needed a kick to the head.

    It is going to take awhile to break these stereotypes. I am now on the receiving end of the jokes when I talk to those back home.
    Go Canucks Go!

  5. #5
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    I don't know ...

    Let's see, I don;t know/talked to too many out of Albertans but I have gotten:

    Vancouverites:
    Reallly seem to love our mall and that's it. They think that is almost all we got (well not all of them, but a few of them I have heard).

    Idaho:
    Actually knew Edmonton and thought it was a neat city.

    Other ones I don't know/remember:
    -thought Edmonton was a redneck city
    -considered Edmonton boring
    -more "only mall" stuff
    -has a beautiful river
    -very lively
    -better than calgary
    -strip mall after strip mall
    -disgusting
    -it's a very dirty city
    -it does not have anything to do

    Stuff we need to work on/promote.
    ----

  6. #6

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    Worth reading...



    Alberta's dirty little progressive secret
    Alberta's political past chock full of socialism, feminism and progressive firsts
    By Erin Collins, CBC News Posted: Dec 17, 2015


    ...it is easy to see how Alberta's conservative reputation was born.

    But is it accurate? Is Alberta an especially conservative place? Not according to University of Calgary political scientist Melanee Thomas.

    "Albertans are not conservative in terms of policy preferences," she says, while allowing that "might sound a bit weird."
    ...



    Not convinced, here are a few more examples of progressive firsts in Alberta:

    The first woman elected to public office in Canada was Annie Gale, as a Calgary alderman in 1917.

    The first woman elected as a member of a legislature in the British empire was Louise McKinney, also in 1917.

    Alberta was home to the Famous Five, the driving force behind Canada's suffragette movement.

    The province was run by the United Farmers of Alberta, a co-operative agrarian party, from 1921-1935.

    The CCF, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, was founded in Calgary in 1932, morphing into the NDP in 1961.

    The first aboriginal Canadian appointed to the Senate was Alberta's James Gladstone in 1958.

    Canada's first Chinese-Canadian MLA was George Ho Lem, elected in Calgary in 1971.

    The first Muslim MLA elected in Canada was Lesser Slave Lake's Larry Shaben in 1975.

    The first Muslim MP elected in Canada was Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton in 1997.

    Canada's first Muslim mayor was Naheed Nenshi, elected in Calgary in 2010.


    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...tion-1.3359242

    Also covered in the above story...

    '71 Progressive Conservative campaign quotes
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ad.php?t=37104



    ~
    Last edited by KC; 28-12-2015 at 01:53 AM.

  7. #7

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    Posted the quotes below in the KKK thread. The quotes below are about Saskatchewan but it’s interesting that the CCF was formed in Calgary. And the 1929s/30s interactives are rather fascinating. (As noted in the post above). I’ve read about socialist and / or communist lesnjng settlers holding meetings north west of Edmonton.




    Relations Between the Catholic Church
    and CCF in Saskatchewan, 1930-1950
    by Sister Teresita KAMBEITZ, O.S.U.
    Holy Cross High School Saskatoon, Sask.

    “But the main reason for the o p p osition of the Catholic Hierarchy toward the CCF was the fear that the CCF was the same as radical European socialism and communism. Radical elements within the party, especially so-cal l ed “ rabid Marxists” in British Columbia, and early efforts by Canada’s communists “to attempt to penetrate the party and to achieve a disguised control”37 made members of the Catholic Hierarchy suspicious of this political development.

    ...

    Another reason for Catholic opposition to the CCF grew out of the religious tensions that existed in the province in the 1920’s against the background of a deeper, worldwide hostility toward communism, a ho s t i l i t y which was the direct consequence of the religious persecutions in Russia and Mexico. Fear of persecution on the part of Catholics came to a climax during the bitter campaign prior to the Conservative victory in 1929. Anti-Catholic feeling in the United States during Al Smith’s campaign for the presidency in 1928, and anti-Catholic activities within the Saskatchewan Conser- vative party, especially the cross-burnings of the Ku Klux Klan in 1929, “kept Catholics on the defensive well into the 1930’s.”40 Thus, Catholics in Saskatchewan united rather solidly with the Liberal party, protector of individual liberty, language rights, and separate schools. Despite their concern over economic matters as the Depression worsened, many Catholics tended to give prime emphasis to reli g i o u s matters and to consider economic factors as secondary. T hen, too, the fact that some CCF candidates openly declared themselves as “outspoken atheists”41 aroused fears among Catholics that the new party was indeed based on godless communism and was spelling the loss of liberty and possible totalitarianism.
    ...”




    http://www.umanitoba.ca/colleges/st_...9/Kambeitz.pdf


  8. #8

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    Also interesting:

    American Imprint on Alberta Politics
    Nelson Wiseman
    Dept. of Political Science University of Toronto

    “Characteristics assigned to America‟s classical liberal ideology – rugged individualism, market capitalism, egalitarianism in the sense of equality of opportunity, and fierce hostility toward centralized federalism and socialism – are particularly appropriate for fathoming Alberta‟s distinctive political culture. This paper advances the interrelated arguments that Alberta‟s early American settlers were pivotal in shaping Alberta‟s political culture and that Albertans have demonstrated a particular affinity for American political ideas, movements, and policies. Alberta came to resemble the liberal society Tocqueville described in Democracy in America where the self-made man was accorded high status, laissez-faire defined the economic order, and a multiplicity of churches and sects competed in the market for salvation.1 This thesis is contentious: “It is an effort to reinforce current political myths about Alberta political life: myths that have little or no base in the historical record and provide a false/incorrect view of the province,” wrote one reader of an earlier draft of this paper. A second reader opined, “the author‟s thesis is obviously true,” but its “execution” was lacking.2 This paper outlines its theoretical framework to account for the trajectory of Alberta politics and then focuses on the demographic impact of Alberta‟s charter group of American settlers and points to some ideological and cultural affinities of Alberta and American politics.
    ...”

    “Alberta’s Charter Americans

    In the first decade of the twentieth century, when Canada‟s population grew by 34 per cent, Alberta‟s population grew by a phenomenal 413 per cent. The province expanded from one to five per cent of the national population and in several of those years, Americans outnumbered Britons as emigrants to Canada and to Alberta in particular.7 Alberta, in 1911, was the only province in which the Canadian-born were a minority.
    Trains from St. Paul, Minnesota brought hundreds of settlers nightly to Regina and Moose Jaw; from there they connected to the CPR line to Alberta. Some American capitalists came by special train to buy land; others came as horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and whiskey smugglers.8
    Alberta‟s immigrant continental Europeans generally clustered in...”

    https://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2010/Wiseman.pdf

    Bolding was mine
    Last edited by KC; 23-08-2018 at 01:28 AM.

  9. #9
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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    Transplanted Edmontonian here from YVR last week.

    Her comments?

    A) Not the city I remember
    B) Sounds crazy I know, but Edmonton seems even more multi-cultural than YVR
    C) True crazy, is anyone who misses the Fringe
    ... gobsmacked

  10. #10
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    ^^ I've never thought the thesis about Alberta's longterm political culture being midwifed by American immigrants holds much water, though I know it maintains a certain cache elsewhere in Canada.

    A lot of those early American immigrants were supporters of the United Farmers Of Alberta, in its day probably the most economically radical government in Canada, and one of the parent parties of the NDP. If Albertans were still taking their cue from how those early pioneers voted, they'd be supporting quasi-leftist, populist parties along those lines.

    As for religion, according to the census, quintessentially Canadian Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and United Church-ism, along with "No Religion", claim the allegiance of over 60% of Albertans. Even if every single one of the "other Christian" adherents belongs to some sort of American-derived "sect", added to Pentecostal and Baptist, that still gives you less than 20% of the population. Maybe a bit higher if you assume that all Lutherans and Presbyterians are of American descent(unlikely).

    And the funny thing is, there is a strong case to be made for American influence over Alberta politics, but it's indirect, via the oil industry. But arguments about resource-extraction and its effect on political culture aren't as easy to understand as "A bunch of Midwesterners moved there and made everything right-wing".

    link

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBoo View Post
    Transplanted Edmontonian here from YVR last week.

    Her comments?

    A) Not the city I remember
    B) Sounds crazy I know, but Edmonton seems even more multi-cultural than YVR
    C) True crazy, is anyone who misses the Fringe
    I've observed that those that move to Vancouver tend to think of Edmonton as it was 10 or 20 years ago or whenever they moved away, so I am not surprised they are surprised when they come back - things change!

    Edmonton seems very multi cultural to me and for those that have stereotypes about all of Alberta - Edmonton is about as similar to Olds as Toronto is to Goderich or Vancouver is to Williams Lake. I don't know why people often paint provinces so broadly with the same brush.

    Unfortunately for me, the Fringe for me has become a disappointment. I have gone for years, but all the shows I wanted to see were sold out this year. Maybe in the future, I will skip the hassle of Fringe in August and go to Vancouver - its fairly nice there at this time of year.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by McBoo View Post
    Transplanted Edmontonian here from YVR last week.

    Her comments?

    A) Not the city I remember
    B) Sounds crazy I know, but Edmonton seems even more multi-cultural than YVR
    C) True crazy, is anyone who misses the Fringe
    I've observed that those that move to Vancouver tend to think of Edmonton as it was 10 or 20 years ago or whenever they moved away, so I am not surprised they are surprised when they come back - things change!

    Edmonton seems very multi cultural to me and for those that have stereotypes about all of Alberta - Edmonton is about as similar to Olds as Toronto is to Goderich or Vancouver is to Williams Lake. I don't know why people often paint provinces so broadly with the same brush.

    Unfortunately for me, the Fringe for me has become a disappointment. I have gone for years, but all the shows I wanted to see were sold out this year. Maybe in the future, I will skip the hassle of Fringe in August and go to Vancouver - its fairly nice there at this time of year.
    You can buy tickets On-Line OR py phone OR in-person OR TIX on the Square downtown OR at Fringe Box Office well before the Fringe even opens. Zero hassle ...

    1. Online
    2. Prior to Festival starting August 8 at the ATB Financial Arts Barns Box Office (10330 84 Avenue)
    3. By phone at (780) 409-1910 starting August 8
    4. In person at any Festival box office location
    5. In person from TIX on the Square

    https://www.fringetheatre.ca/plan-yo...e-information/

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmTrekker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by McBoo View Post
    Transplanted Edmontonian here from YVR last week.

    Her comments?

    A) Not the city I remember
    B) Sounds crazy I know, but Edmonton seems even more multi-cultural than YVR
    C) True crazy, is anyone who misses the Fringe
    I've observed that those that move to Vancouver tend to think of Edmonton as it was 10 or 20 years ago or whenever they moved away, so I am not surprised they are surprised when they come back - things change!

    Edmonton seems very multi cultural to me and for those that have stereotypes about all of Alberta - Edmonton is about as similar to Olds as Toronto is to Goderich or Vancouver is to Williams Lake. I don't know why people often paint provinces so broadly with the same brush.

    Unfortunately for me, the Fringe for me has become a disappointment. I have gone for years, but all the shows I wanted to see were sold out this year. Maybe in the future, I will skip the hassle of Fringe in August and go to Vancouver - its fairly nice there at this time of year.
    You can buy tickets On-Line OR py phone OR in-person OR TIX on the Square downtown OR at Fringe Box Office well before the Fringe even opens. Zero hassle ...

    1. Online
    2. Prior to Festival starting August 8 at the ATB Financial Arts Barns Box Office (10330 84 Avenue)
    3. By phone at (780) 409-1910 starting August 8
    4. In person at any Festival box office location
    5. In person from TIX on the Square

    https://www.fringetheatre.ca/plan-yo...e-information/
    Thank you for telling me now - that won't help me catch the shows I will be missing. I never had problems buying on site in the previous years. I think it has just become too much of a hassle - maybe too busy. I'll just go somewhere else in August where it is not so difficult to enjoy things and leave the Fringe to the fanatics who plan their lives out six months in advance.

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