Central Alberta is a region located in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Central Alberta is the most densely populated rural area in the province. Agriculture and energy are important to the area's economy.
Central Alberta is bordered by the Canadian Rockies in the west, Southern Alberta and the Calgary Region to the south, Saskatchewan to the east and Northern Alberta to the north. It completely surrounds the Edmonton Capital Region and contains the central part of the heavily populated Calgary-Edmonton Corridor.
The North Saskatchewan River crosses the region from west to east. Other rivers traversing the area are Red Deer River, Battle River, Athabasca River, Pembina River, Brazeau River, Beaver River.
Tourist attractions in the region include: Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre in Leduc, Discovery Wildlife Park, Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Gaetz Lake Sanctuary in Red Deer, Nordegg Heritage Centre and Mine Site, Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and Stephannson House Provincial Historic Site near Sylvan Lake.
Major national, provincial, and municipal parks include Elk Island National Park, William A. Switzer Provincial Park, Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Big Knife Provincial Park, Pigeon Lake Provincial Park, and Sylvan Lake Park.
A series of roadside attractions known as the Giants of the Prairies can be found in Central Alberta. Large mushrooms in Vilna, huge pumpkins in Smoky Lake, giant Perogy (Ukrainian dumpling) in Glendon, huge Kielbasa (Ukrainian garlic sausage) in Mundare, large Pysanka (Ukrainian easter egg) in Vegreville, a UFO Landing Pad in St. Paul and a giant mallard duck in Andrew.
Central Alberta has a population of 240,368 (2004).
|Sector||Labour force||% of total|
|Transportation and utilities||5,945||4.61%|
|Retail and wholesale||19,150||14.87%|
|Business and community services||48,360||37.54%|
Queen Elizabeth II Highway crosses the region from south to north, and the Yellowhead Highway from east to west. Other major highways include Highway 9, Highway 21, Veteran Memorial Highway, David Thomson Highway, Cowboy Trail, Grizzly Trail and Buffalo Trail. Poundmaker Trail runs through the north-east of the region.
The following health regions are located in the region: Aspen Regional Health Authority, David Thompson Regional Health Authority and East Central Health.
Post-secondary institutions in the region are Red Deer Polytechnic, Olds College, Lakeland College, Burman University and the University of Alberta Augustana Faculty (Camrose).
On a provincial level, central Alberta is represented in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta by MLA's elected in the ridings of Battle River-Wainwright, Drayton Valley-Calmar, Drumheller-Stettler, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Lacombe-Ponoka, Leduc-Beaumont-Devon, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, Red Deer North, Red Deer South, Rocky Mountain House, Stony Plain, Vermilion-Lloydminster, West Yellowhead, Wetaskiwin-Camrose and Whitecourt-Ste. Anne.
The region spreads across several census divisions: 7, 8, 9, 10, 14 and parts of divisions 11, 12 and 13.