Quality of Life

 Education

 

Primary and Secondary Education

Three school divisions are responsible for delivering primary and secondary education in the GROWTH Alberta area.

Information on particular schools in the region can be accessed on the Web sites of Pembina Hills Regional Division No. 7, Evergreen Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 2, and Northern Gateway .

Students in the GROWTH Alberta region have access to a number of exceptional programs, including world class band programs at both Barrhead Composite High School and St Mary School (Westlock). In April, 2009 the Barrhead Composite High School (BCHS) band won the Most Outstanding Band Award at the Heritage Festival in Seattle, WA. Beating out 31 other school bands from across the United States, the award comes with an invitation for the band to compete at the Festival of Gold to be held at New York City’s Carnegie Hall sometime in April 2010.

As well, the Alberta Distance Learning Centre, which provides education to over 20,000 students province wide, has its head office in the Town of Barrhead.

Post Secondary Education

Northern Lakes College offers on-site, distance and blended educational opportunities at campuses in both Swan Hills and Barrhead.

The Pembina Educational Consortium facilitates programs and services provided by colleges and universities to adults who live in regions not directly served by a single institution. The Pembina Educational Consortium has partnered with Athabasca University, Grant MacEwan University, NorQuest College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), and Red Deer College to deliver programs and services, and offers on-site programs in both Westlock and Whitecourt.

General Interest Courses are available at Barrhead's satellite campuses of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Grant MacEwan University.

With the close proximity to the City of Edmonton, students from the GROWTH Alberta region also attend the University of Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Concordia University College of Alberta, and Grant MacEwan University, to name only a few of the institutions that help make Alberta home to one of the best educated populations in Canada.

Community Adult Learning Councils

The GROWTH Alberta region is also well served by several Community Adult Learning Councils which address the part-time, non-credit learning needs of adults within specified geographic boundaries.

Barrhead
Serving the County of Barrhead, including the communities of Barrhead, Neerlandia, Manola, Dunstable and Meadowview, as well as the Hamlet of Fort Assiniboine.

Barrhead & District Adult Learning and Literacy
5310 - 49 Street
Barrhead, AB  T7N 1P3
T: (780) 674-7535
F: (780) 674-7671

Westlock
Westlock & District Adult Learning Centre Society is a registered non-profit Society that has Charity status. The Society identifies supports, promotes and facilitates adult life-long learning opportunities in the Westlock District.
Together we are working to support affordable local life-long learning opportunities. The Society runs approximately 120 programs a year to 1200 learners. 

Westlock & District Adult Learning Centre
#2 - 10007- 100 Avenue
Westlock, AB T7P 2H5
T: (780) 349-5253
F: (780) 349-3111

Whitecourt/Lac St. Anne
Serving the communities of Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe, Sangudo, Onoway, and Alberta Beach, along with some other portions of Lac Ste. Anne County and Woodlands County.

Whitecourt/Lac Ste. Anne Support for Adult Learning
Box 219
Sangudo, AB  T0E 2A0
T: (780) 785-3411
F: (780) 785-2359
Toll Free: 1-866-880-5722

 


 

 Health Care

 

As of April 1, 2009, Alberta’s 11 provincial health authorities have joined together to form Alberta Health Services (AHS).  Within the GROWTH Alberta region, AHS provides rural primary healthcare services for the many stages of life in a variety of settings.

Prior to 2009, health services in the GROWTH Alberta region were provided by the Aspen Regional Health Authority. For many years, the region has been known for its extremely high standard of patient care, as evidenced by the following measures from the 2002-2005 Aspen Regional Health Authority Business Plan.

In a survey conducted by Alberta Health and Wellness, 73 percent of people rated the ease of access to services as 'easy' or 'very easy' in the Aspen Regional Health area compared to 65.5% province-wide.

In the same survey, 92.5 percent rated the quality of service as 'excellent' or 'good', as compared with 86 percent province-wide.

Alberta Health Services continues to uphold this standard, and currently operates the following facilities within the GROWTH Alberta region:

Emergency Care Centres

Emergency Care Centres are open 24 hours a day for short-term services required by patients for such things as an acute, chronic, or initial disease process requiring treatment. Whitecourt, Swan Hills, Barrhead, and Westlock all have centres for emergency treatment.

Healthcare Centres

Healthcare Centres are large facilities that accommodate a variety of patient services, including specialized services such as paediatrics, mental health and palliative care. Whitecourt, Barrhead and Westlock host the three full service Healthcare Centres serving the GROWTH Alberta region. Swan Hills also has a smaller capacity Healthcare Centre.

Facility-Based Care

Alberta Health Services offers a wide range of services in long-term care centres for individuals who are no longer able to manage in a home setting. The Town of Barrhead and theTown of Mayerthorpe each have one facility, and the Town of Westlock has two.

Health Services Offices

Health Services Offices provide population and educational health services for the community by delivering programs to prevent and protect citizens from disease. These offices are located in Whitecourt (in Woodlands County), Swan Hills, Barrhead, Westlock and Mayerthorpe.

Specialized Services

Citizens in the GROWTH Alberta region also have access to a number of specialized healthcare services usually reserved for larger centres, such as cataract surgery at the Westlock Healthcare Centre, and a Stage 2 Chemotherapy Cancer Clinic located at the Barrhead Healthcare Facility. Additional specialized services available at the Whitecourt Healthcare Centre (serving patients in Woodlands County and the western portion of the GROWTH Alberta region) include hemodialysis (part of the Northern Alberta Renal Program), and specialized eating disorder services.

Persons with immediate health concerns are encouraged to contact HEALTHLink Alberta, a 24 hours a day, seven days a week telephone health advice and health information service staffed by registered nurses that anyone in Alberta can access. Toll-free: 1-866-408-5465

Links

 


 

Community Services

The following municipal Web sites offer extensive listings of community services and key contacts throughout the GROWTH Alberta region.

 


 

Libraries

Swan Hills Public Library
Swan Hills Public Library is located in the municipal building alongside the Town office, offers for loan a wide variety of books, audio and video tapes and books. Contact Nancy Keough, T: (780) 333-4505, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • Hours of Operation: Monday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm; Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm; Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm; Friday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm & Saturday 11:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Blue Ridge Public Library
The Blue Ridge Public Library is located in the Briar Patch Building at 24A 3rd St. 15 years since the Community Library opened their doors to the public in Blue Ridge. Much has changed, yet much remains the same –we are still 'Celebrating Life and Learning' , still reading books and using computers for fact and fiction- but oh, how those books and computers are different today. T: (780) 648-7323, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday 12:00pm-8:00pm; Wednesday 10:00am-6:00pm; Friday 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • *Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm
                 *The library is closed on Saturdays from mid-May through to Thanksgiving weekend.


Fort Assiniboine Public Library
The Fort Assiniboine Public Library is located in the Fort Assiniboine School at 35 State Ave.  The Fort Assiniboine Public Library is a school-housed public library. The present day library was constructed in 1988. Prior to this new construction, the library was the size of a regular classroom and public patrons had to walk through the school to get to it.  This new library was designed with a separate public entrance and large windows which creates a nice bright area for visitors/staff to relax or work. T: (780) 584-2227, F: Fax: (780) 674-8575.

  • Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30am-4:00pm & Tuesday 8:30am-4:00pm and 7-9pm; Saturday & Sunday's Closed
    • The Library is closed daily from 12:30-1pm for lunch. The Library is also CLOSED for ALL Statutory Holidays*. Christmas and Easter breaks will be posted on this website, on our monthly calendar, in our monthly newsletter in "The Express" and on our library doors well in advance of closing.

 

Whitecourt & District Public Library
The Whitecourt & District Public Library is located at 5201 - 49 St. in Whitecourt. *Closed on statutory holidays. T: (780) 778-2900

  • Hours of Operation: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00am-8:00pm; Friday & Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday Closed


Barrhead Public Library
The Barrhead Public Library serves both the Town and County of Barrhead, as well as the Barrhead School, and is unique in that it has always operated as a combined school and public facility. It is located at 5103 -53 Ave, in front of the Barrhead Elementary School. T: (780) 674-8519.

  • Hours of Operation:
    • Summer Hours - Effective May 1st: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10:00-5:30pm; Thursday 10:00-8:00pm; Saturday 12:00-4:00pm; Sunday Closed 
      • Please note that during inclement winter weather conditions, the Library may close at 5:30 for the well-being of patrons and staff. If you are unsure if we will be open, please phone before leaving home 780-674-8519.

Neerlandia Community Library
The Barrhead area is also home to the Neerlandia Community Library (housed in the Neerlandia School).

  • Regular Hours of Operation:
    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00AM-4:30PM; Wednesday 9:00AM-4:30PM & 7:00-9:00 PM
  • JULY-AUGUST LIBRARY HOURS
    • Open July 4, 11, 18, 25 & August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 - 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Westlock Municipal Library
The Westlock Municipal Library is housed in the Heritage Building located at 10007-100 Avenue, across from Saint Mary’s Catholic Church and diagonally across from Westlock Sobey’s. The library also operates two satellite programs: the Fawcett Public Library and the Jarvie Public Library. T: (780) 349-3060.

  • Westlock Hours of Operation: 
    • Summer Hours - Effective June 1st: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9:30am-6:00pm; Wednesday 9:30am-8:00pm; Saturday 11:00am-3:00pm
    • Winter Hours - Effective September 1st: Monday, Tuesday, Friday 9:30am-6:00pm; Wednesday, Thursday 9:30am-8:00pm; Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Fawcett Hours of Operation:
    • Wednesday's 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
    • Summer Hours - July 1st - August 29th: Wednesdays 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Jarvie Hours of Operation:
    • Tuesdays 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
    • Summer Hours - July 1st to August 20th: Tuesdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.


Mayerthorpe Public Library
The Mayerthorpe Public Library is located at 4911-52 St. in Mayerthorpe. Contact the Library at Phone: (780) 786-2404 for more information.

  • Hours of Operation: Monday 10:00am - 5:00pm; Tuesday 2:00pm - 7:00pm; Wednesday 10:00am - 7:00pm; Thursday 2:00pm - 5:00pm; Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm

 


 

Galleries and Museums

 

Fort Assiniboine Friendship Museum

The Museum is open from Victoria Day Weekend in May to Labor Day Weekend in September, from 12pm - 5pm daily. Admission: Free, with donations gratefully accepted. T: (780) 584-3737.

To commemorate early history during the Hudson Bay Era between 1823 and 1877, the exterior of the museum was designed to reflect the fur trading times. Exhibits include farm equipment, pioneer furniture and tools, history of the settlement, wildlife, and RCMP, and artifacts that were part of the original fort.

FortMuralThe mural mounted on the outside of the Fort Assiniboine Museum was painted by Dorothy Kruse. The painting depicts Gold Rush seekers crossing the Athabasca River about the year 1898 on their way to the Yukon. The Gold Rush seekers camped at Klondike City (about 16 km north of Fort Assiniboine) for the winter of 1898-99.

 

Barrhead Centennial Museum

The Barrhead Centennial Museum and Visitor Information Center features the early history of the settlement. Exhibits include farm equipment, pioneer furniture and tools. A very interesting map shows the meandering of the Klondike Trail through the County of Barrhead during the Gold Rush years. Located in Barrhead on the east side of Grizzly Trail (Highway 33), just south of city limits.
Open Victoria Day Weekend in May to Labor Day Weekend in September. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10am - 4 pm, Sunday 1pm - 5pm. Admission: Free, donations gratefully accepted. T: (780) 674-5203.

Westlock Pioneer Museum

The Westlock Pioneer Museum is located in the town of Westlock, just off of Highway 18. This museum celebrates the spirit of the brave pioneers who built this town out of the grass and dust of the Alberta prairie. 10216-100 Street
Open from the May Long Weekend through the September Long Weekend. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. T: (780) 349-4849.

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Canadian Tractor Museum

The Canadian Tractor Museum is a 20,000 square foot facility on the west side of Westlock that houses a collection of more than two hundred fully-restored antique tractors.

The yard outside the Canadian Tractor Museum is home to a working weather vane that features a 1942 Model D Case Tractor atop a 50-foot pole. It was completed in 2006.

Open daily, 10am-5pm from May 16th to September 7th. Open Friday & Saturday only, September 12th to September 27th. Tours available all year. Admission: Adults - $6.00, Children (6-12) - $3.00, Under 6 – Free. T: (780) 349-3353.

Westlock Art Gallery

The Westlock Art Gallery has been opened by the Westlock Art Club to the public every Friday from 12pm - 4pm in the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre, 9603-100 Street Westlock.

George Pegg Garden
The George Pegg Garden was the province's first declared historic resource and is a protected site. It is managed by the George Pegg Botanic Garden Society and hosts a variety of events for the public in the spring, summer and fall. Address: 56015 Range Road 43, Glenevis. Directions: From Edmonton, travel west on Highway 16. Exit north onto Highway 43. Turn north at the Glenevis junction and follow signage 2.5 km. Phone: 780-203-0331 (April-September) Alternate: 1-866-880-5722 (Lac Ste. Anne County Office).

Lac Ste. Anne Historical Pioneer Museum

Lac Ste. Anne Historical Society Pioneer Museum open July and August. Arrangements can be made for tours and special visits. Call (780) 785-2816.

Fallen Four Memorial Park   

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Since the unveiling of the statues in July 2008, the Fallen Four Memorial Park has played host to thousands of visitor from across Canada, the United States and the world. People come to pay their respects to the Fallen Four, many remember and pay tribute to other peace officers who have died in the line of duty. They leave flowers, notes and messages of praise and appreciation in front of the statues and obelisk. It is truly symbolic of how Canadians feel about their RCMP, and municipal Police servicemen.

The Fallen Four Memorial Park statues and grounds are open to the public 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. If your group would like to tour the Visitor Center & Park please contact us, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling 780-786-4990.

 

Rochfort Bridge Trestle

Follow highway 43 North from Sangudo on your way to Mayerthorpe to experience the Rochfort Bridge Trestle. Take time to stop at the look-out on Range Road 80 to view and photograph the trestle at its best.

Did you know? The trestle was framed by square timbers and used 222,635 footboard measure of timber, 11,395 lbs (5179 kg) of iron spikes and 4279 linear feet (approx 1400 meters) of log piling. The original cost: $10,969.00 (in 1914).

Centre of Alberta

Center of Alberta: Journey To The Centre Of Alberta. Come visit the geographical center of Alberta! With a small hike off the highway, you can see this attraction and take a few photos of the family at the real center of the province.

 


 

Tourist Information Centres

 

Whitecourt's Visitor Information Booth is operated out of the Forest Interpretive Centre located at 3002 33rd Street. Our helpful staff can provide you with local and regional travel information, as well as maps of the area, snowmobile and walking trail systems. Alberta Tourism Guides, including the Alberta Accommodation and Campground Guides, are also available. For telephone inquiries, call 1-800-313-7383 or 780-778-3433.

The Fort Assiniboine Tourist Information Centre is located in the Fort Assiniboine Friendship Museum on the south side of Main Street. T: (780) 584-3737.

The Barrhead Tourist Information Centre is located in the Barrhead Centennial Museum on Grizzly Trail (Highway 33), on the east side of the street just a short distance inside the city limits. T: (780) 674-5203.

The Swan Hills Tourist Information Booth is located on the west side of the highway as you enter Swan Hills on Grizzly Trail Highway 33.

SwanHillsVICThe small rustic cabin that serves as the tourist information booth in Swan Hills has a history. In the late 1960's, the three Corrections Officers assigned to work the Judy Creek Young Offenders Camp were dissatisfied with the travel trailer that served as their accommodation. These three officers - Tom Brown, Lloyd Goodwin and Harold Riggs - decided to design and build a log cabin. Work on the cabin began in May of 1970 and was finished in October of 1970.

The Westlock Tourist Information Centre is attached to the Westlock Pioneer Museum at the intersection of Highway 18 and 102 Avenue. T: (780) 349-4849.

The Sangudo Visitor Information Centre Outhouse is located off Highway 43, the Alaska Highway.  They are open from May 23rd to September 15 from 9 to 4.

WILD Alberta Tourism

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Upcoming Events

  • WILD Alberta Committee Meeting
    November 05, 2014 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
    Meeting in the County of Barrhead Chambers
  • GROWTH Alberta Board Meeting
    November 19, 2014 (10:30 am - 11:30 am)
    Regular board meeting of the Grizzly Regional Economic Development Society. Meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to attend one in your area. Host member for the November meeting is the Westlock County. Lunch is provided.  Please contact...
  • WILD Alberta Committee Meeting
    December 03, 2014 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
    Meeting in the County of Barrhead Chambers