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About Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat

 

 

 

Medicine Hat is a city of 61,180 people in southeast AlbertaCanada. It is approximately 169 km (105 mi) east of Lethbridge and 295 km (183 mi) southeast of Calgary. This city and the adjacent Town of Redcliff to the northwest are surrounded by Cypress County.

It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), the eastern terminus of the Crowsnest Highway, and the South Saskatchewan River. Nearby communities considered part of the Medicine Hat area include the Town of Redcliff (located immediately adjacent to the city's northwest boundary) and the hamlets of Desert BlumeDunmoreIrvineSeven Persons, and Veinerville. The Cypress Hills (including Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park) is a relatively short distance (by car) to the southeast of the city.

Historically, Medicine Hat has been known for its large natural gas fields, being immortalised by Rudyard Kipling as having "all hell for a basement". Because of these reserves, the city is known as "The Gas City". It is Alberta's sixth largest city. In October 2008, Medicine Hat was named one ofAlberta's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal.

 

History

 


 

Name origins

 

 

The name "Medicine Hat" is the English translation of 'Saamis' (SA-MUS) – the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men – or 'Medicine Hat'. Several legends are associated with the name from a mythical mer-man river serpent named 'Soy-yee-daa-bee' – the Creator – who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife to get mystical powers which were manifest in a special hat. Another legend tells of a battle long ago between the Blackfoot and the Cree in which a retreating Cree "Medicine Man" lost his headdress in the South Saskatchewan River.

A number of factors have always made Medicine Hat a natural gathering place. Prior to the arrival of Europeans the Blackfoot, Cree and Assiniboinenations used the area for hundreds of years. The gently sloping valley with its converging water ways and hardy native cottonwood trees attracted both man and the migratory bison herds which passed through the area.

 

 

 

Founding

 

 

In 1883, when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) reached Medicine Hat and crossed the river a town site was established using the name from the Indian legends. As the west developed, Medicine Hat became instrumental with the development of the first hospital past Winnipeg in 1889 and as a CPR divisional point. It was incorporated as a town on October 31, 1898, and as a city on May 9, 1906. Medicine Hat is halfway between Winnipeg and Vancouver.

 

 

 

Progress and growth

 

 

 

Rich in natural resources including natural gas, coal, clay, and farmland, the town was known in the early days as "the Pittsburgh of the West". A number of large industries located here, under the inducement of cheap and plentiful energy resources. Coal mines, brick works, pottery and glass bottle manufacturing plants, flour mills, etc. became established. The agricultural potential of the surrounding area, both in crop and livestock, also made the town a viable service centre with a well established transportation route. An economic boom was experienced between 1909–1914 bringing the population to over 10,000. Little growth occurred between the World Wars, although the population swelled in the mid-1940s due to the town hosting one of the largest Second World War P.O.W. camps in Canada. It was not until the 1950s that the town again experienced significant commercial development. Today, Medicine Hat prides itself as one of the most economical places to live in Canada, with its unique city-owned gas utility and power generation plant being predominant factors. Major industries have included chemical plants, a Goodyear tire and rubber plant, greenhouses, numerous oil and gas related companies, a foundry, I-XL Industries (a brickworks dating from the 1880s), to name a few.


 


 

Attractions

 

 

 

 

Giant Teepee installation, 1991

 

 

 

The Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District is a living, working museum that offers a unique and extensive experience through collections, exhibits, interpretation, guided tours and educational and artistic programming. The Medalta Potteries and Hycroft China Factory Complexes are the focal points in this 150-acre (0.6 km2) region. This nationally recognized industrial historic district is a cultural initiative of the Friends of Medalta Society with Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Private support. Restoration, preservation and cultural development of the Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District for the purpose of education and public enjoyment is ongoing.

Just south of the Trans-Canada Highway and overlooking the Blackfoot buffalo jump is the world's tallest teepee, the "Saamis Teepee". Designed for the 1988 Winter Olympicsin Calgary as a symbol of Canada's Aboriginal heritage, it was moved to Medicine Hat in 1991. It stands over 20 stories high and was designed to withstand extreme temperatures and winds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). During a January 2007 windstorm, a portion of the teepee was damaged. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that extensive weathering was partially to blame. After repairs were complete, the Saamis Teepee now stands approximately 15 feet (4.6 m) shorter.

The Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre is the largest indoor multi-purpose facility in the city. The building is 90,000 sq ft (8,000 m2) and is sited on 57 acres (230,000 m2) in the north end of the city. The facility includes an Olympic-sized ice rink, 50m pool, waterslide, diving platforms, kiddies pool, wave pool and cafe. In the area surrounding the Leisure Centre facility there are several other sporting venues including; 4 ball diamonds, lighted football field, 3 soccer pitches and one of the largest BMX racing facilities in Southern Alberta.

Located in downtown Medicine Hat, The Esplanade is a large multi purpose cultural centre. The facility features a 700+ seat performing arts theatre, art gallery, museum, archives, gift shop, and cafe. The Esplanade officially opened in October 2005.

The Medicine Hat Drag Racing Association is located just off the Trans Canada Highway on Boundary Road or the spectators entrance on Box Springs Road. This is Alberta's only sanctioned NHRA track and is a 1/4 mile in length. The facility proudly supports affordable family entertainment and encourages people to race the strip, not the street. The seasons typically run from May till September hosting a variety of events from jet and alcohol cars, bracket racing and the NHRA National open which attracts approx. 300+ cars from all over North America.

Medicine Hat Public Library is located across the street from The Esplanade. It has over 10,000 annual members and is the resource library for the Shortgrass Library System of Southern Alberta.


 

 

Parks

 

 

 

View of the pond at Echodale Regional Park

 

 

 

There are over 100 kilometres (62 mi) of walking trails in the city. All of the major parks are linked by the extensive trail system.

 

 

 

 

Education

 

 

Medicine Hat School District No. 76 has been serving the needs of public school students since it came into existence in 1886. The District has five trustees and comprises three secondary schools, Alexandra Middle School (formerly Alexandra Junior High School), Crescent Heights High School and Medicine Hat High School, 12 elementary (K–6) schools, a special needs school for the severely disabled, as well as an Alternative School program which incorporates a joint partnership with the YMCA Teen Moms' Program, YMCA Stay-in-School Program, a program with the former Palliser Health Region for secondary students and a program supported by Alberta Children Services for students with behavioural needs. French immersion programming is provided as an option.

The Medicine Hat Catholic/Separate School District provides educational programming for students from kindergartenthrough Grade 12. French immersion programming is provided as an option in select District schools. It operates one high school, Monsignor McCoy, and nine other schools.

Medicine Hat also has a Francophone school, École Les Cyprès, and a public/charter school, the Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence (CAPE).

The Medicine Hat College is located in south Medicine Hat. The first students were accepted to the college in 1965. Now with over 2,500 students and three campuses, the college has grown into an integral part of the community. The Medicine Hat College Rattlers athletic program include basketball, volleyball, golf, soccer and futsol.


 

 

 

 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Hat


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