Picture Butte
Town of Picture Butte
Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada
Picture Butte is located in Alberta
Picture Butte
Picture Butte
Location of Picture Butte in Alberta
Coordinates: 49°52′23″N 112°46′48″W / 49.87306°N 112.78000°W / 49.87306; -112.78000
RegionSouthern Alberta
Census division2
Municipal districtLethbridge County
 • VillageFebruary 4, 1943
 • TownJanuary 1, 1960
 • MayorCathy Moore
 • Governing bodyPicture Butte Town Council
 • Land3.02 km2 (1.17 sq mi)
Elevation905 m (2,969 ft)
 • Total1,930
 • Density639.7/km2 (1,657/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Postal code span
HighwaysHighway 25
Highway 519
WaterwayOldman River
WebsiteOfficial website

Picture Butte is a town in southern Alberta, Canada. It is located 27 km (17 mi) north of the city of Lethbridge. It claims the title of "Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada."


In 2010, Ernest and Austin Mardon stated that "the name is descriptive, being a translation of the Blackfoot 'the beautiful hill.'"[6]


Picture Butte received its name from a prominence southeast of town. By 1947, however, the prominence's soil had been reworked and used for street improvements, highway construction and a dyke on the shore of the Picture Butte Lake Reservoir. The prominence no longer exists.

Homesteading in the area began in the early 20th century. The building of the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation System in 1923 and the CPR rail line in 1925 stimulated an influx of settlers. The first post office opened in 1925.[7]

In 1943, Picture Butte became a village, and it attained town status in 1961 with a population of 978.

The Canadian Sugar Factory closed in 1978 and resulted in the loss of tax revenues and employment opportunities to the town. Industrial activity consists of small service, warehousing and wholesaling industries.

Scholten farms

The town annexed approximately 165 acres (0.67 km2) in 1991, significantly changing the town's boundary since the general municipal plan of 1980.[8]

A number of farms and properties in the Picture Butte area have changed and adapted over time; for example, in 2016, the Natural Resources Conservation Board approved Scholten Farms' request to convert swine feeders to cattle feeders.[9]


Historical population
1946 689—    
1951 865+25.5%
1971 1,062+22.8%
1976 1,177+10.8%
1981 1,393+18.4%
1986 1,576+13.1%
1991 1,559−1.1%
1996 1,669+7.1%
2001 1,701+1.9%
2006 1,592−6.4%
2011 1,650+3.6%
2016 1,810+9.7%
Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Picture Butte had a population of 1,930 living in 689 of its 729 total private dwellings, a change of 6.6% from its 2016 population of 1,810. With a land area of 3.02 km2 (1.17 sq mi), it had a population density of 639.1/km2 (1,655.2/sq mi) in 2021.[3]

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Picture Butte recorded a population of 1,810 living in 672 of its 706 total private dwellings, a 9.7% change from its 2011 population of 1,650. With a land area of 2.85 km2 (1.10 sq mi), it had a population density of 635.1/km2 (1,644.9/sq mi) in 2016.[10]


As of 2023, Picture Butte has an art gallery, three schools, three churches, a sports complex, a community league, a museum and a historical village.[11]


Picture Butte's first mayor John M. Gibbons stands with Alberta Premier Ernest Manning in 1946

List of mayors of Picture Butte

Current municipal council

The current Picture Butte town council was elected on October 18, 2021 in the 2021 Alberta municipal elections.[12] As of 2023, the Mayor of Cathy Moore and councilors include Henry deKok, Teresa Feist, Cynthia Papworth and Scott Thomson.[13]


Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Location and History Profile: Town of Picture Butte" (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 7, 2016. p. 477. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  2. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. May 9, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities)". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  4. ^ "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF) (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  5. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada and population centres". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  6. ^ Mardon, Ernest G.; Mardon, Austin (2010). Community names of Alberta (3rd ed.). Edmonton: Golden Meteorite Press. p. 262. ISBN 9781897472170.
  7. ^ Coyote Flats Historical Society (1967). Coyote Flats : historical review, 1905-1965. Volume 1. Lethbridge: Southern Printing. p. 275.
  8. ^ "Town of Picture Butte Municipal Development Plan" (PDF). Oldman River Regional Services Commission. March 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  9. ^ "Confined Feeding Operations". The Sunny South News. Coaldale. December 13, 2016. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Buzz (2013-05-23). "ROAD TRIP: What Is There To Do In Picture Butte?". The Blog According To Buzz. Retrieved 2023-10-14.
  12. ^ "Council Members". Town of Picture Butte. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  13. ^ "Council Members". Town of Picture Butte. Retrieved March 9, 2023.