FRIDAY FEATURE: Geek Guide To…Alberta, Canada

Playing-dress-up-at-the-Trek-Station-smallIn the first of a new series, we give you the lowdown on the geekiest places to visit when you are out and about all over this great planet of ours.  This feature focuses on Alberta, Canada after I headed there to visit the town of Vulcan.  After spending a week in the province though, it was clear that Vulcan wasn’t the only place to put Alberta on the geek map.

National Music Centre, Calgary

This may not immediately spring to mind as being particularly geeky but stick with me here… It holds a collection of instruments from throughout the ages and public tours are available with very knowledgeable tour guides.  Geeky highlights start with a fully working organ which was used to create the in-theatre music during the black and white film era (which was rescued from some guys basement!).  Then you can have a go on a Theremin and try to recreate the iconic Star Trek theme tune.  Near the end of the tour is the exact synthesizer that the music for Close Encounters was created on.

elton johns piano

Source – National Music Centre – Elton Johns piano



Beakerhead is a series of events that merges arts, creativity and engineering.  The people behind it are trying to encourage the innovators of tomorrow by making science interesting and engaging.  They hold various events throughout the year which culminates in an explosion of arts and science in Calgary.  Recent events have included appearances from modern day folk hero and astronaut Chris Hadfield and fantastic stage shows which have wowed audiences with fantastical displays from the world of science.


Photo source – Beakerhead


Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

If fantasy is more your bag, you should definitely check out Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary.  If you, like me, imagine that your daily walk to Sainsburys for your lunch would feel much more epic with a Direwolf by your side, then this is the closest you will ever get. The Sanctuary looks like a normal house from the front but behind is a large enclosure where the 6 rescued wolfdogs can roam in safety.  Your visit will allow you to go into the enclosure and meet the wolfdogs.  No barriers, no fences.  It’s absolutely fantastic and you get to learn more about these misunderstood and timid creatures. A totally unique experience!

Wolfdog Sanctuary 2

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.  Every country has it’s stand out convention.  If live in Canada and want to meet your sci-fi heroes or maybe stock up on your merch, then this is the THE ONE.  A few years back it had a full Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion which was reported on worldwide.  And because of it’s popularity it has spawned a sister convention in Edmonton.  It regularly has 60,000 attendees making it one of the largest in North America.

The town of Drumheller

You should definitely visit the town of Drumheller.  Set in the midst of the Badlands, this town is dinosaur crazy!  With so many dino fossils being found in the surrounding area, it certainly lives up to its name of ‘Dinosaur Capital of Canada’.  Walk around every street corner and there is a dino statue or model  But best of all, in the centre of the town is an 80ft T-Rex.  It’s the largest in the world.  Think Jurassic Park!  You can even climb up the stairs inside it and look out through it’s mouth.  What an amazing photo opportunity!

80ft dino in Drumheller

The Royal Tyrrell Museum

If dinosaurs are your thing, then you should definitely stay in Drumheller and  check out the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  One of the foremost paleontology research centres in the world, the museum itself is a fantastic place to spend the day.  You travel through the various eras in time until you come to the finale – The Hall of Dinosaurs.  A great way to find out more about the world millions of years ago (before wi-fi, can you imagine?)


Outside the Royal Tyrrell Museum


Movie Locations

Explore some movie locations. Alberta is famous for being the backdrop to many a Hollywood blockbuster.  Sections of X-Men 2 were filmed here, as well as large portions of Brokeback Mountain.  Inception had some snippets filmed here and the town of Smallville in the original Superman movies was based here.  The amount of movie locations is staggering!!

And even a UFO landing spot!

St Paul UFO landing hotspot.  This is the worlds first offical UFO landing pad – seriously!   You can even phone to report any UFO sightings on 1-888-SEE-UFOS.  We never made it to visit but it’s definitely on the list if we head back!

You can find out more about all these places by clicking on the links or heading over to Travel Alberta. 

We will be looking at geeky hotspots all over the UK and the rest of the planet soon.  If you have any suggestions on where we should cover, just let us know!

GS Reporter: LJ

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