Named for the large prairie to the north, east and west of the city, Grande Prairie was formerly settled by First Nation groups before a trading post was established in the area around 1880. Settlers followed in the early 20th century and today, the city houses some 55,000 people with an economy based in agriculture, oil and gas, forestry, and food services.
Situated in northwestern Alberta, Grande Prairie is sometimes known as "Swan City." The city adopted the animal as an official symbol when trumpeter swans were found to have summer nesting grounds in the area. More recently, though, Grande Prairie has also become associated with dinosaurs because of major paleontology discoveries nearby. With the Muskoseepi Park in Bear Creek Valley, opportunities are abundant in Grand Prairie for hiking, biking, swimming, and ice skating. Plus, golf courses, concert halls, the Second Street Theatre, musical theatre company Broadway Live Broadway, and the Reel Shorts Film Festival make this city a great place to be.