Kalyna Country

Kalyna Country

The Kalyna Country ecomuseum is a heritage and eco-tourism district in East Central Alberta, Canada, named after the highbush cranberry plant, pronounced (Ka-liin-na) in the Ukrainian language.

Kalyna Country bills itself as the "World's Largest Ecomuseum" at 20,000 square kilometers, or more than three times the size of Prince Edward Island. Its boundaries stretch across a broad area of Alberta east and north of Edmonton, including nearly all the areas traditionally considered part of Canada's first Ukrainian Block Settlement, the Edna-Star colony. The area has been described as being to Ukrainian Canadians what Cajun Country is to that culture. At its peak, the area was the largest settlement of Ukrainians in the world outside of Eastern Europe.

Officially, Kalyna Country comprises Sturgeon, Thorhild, St. Paul, Vermillion River, Two Hills, Minburn, Beaver, Lamont, and Strathcona counties, and many of the neighbouring cities and Native Reserves and Metis Settlements.

Kalyna berries were a popular source of food amongst the early pioneers, fur traders and natives. Kalyna Country is a year round playground with culture as diverse as the landscape that offers it. Here the Aspen Parkland and the Boreal Forest converge, split by the scenic North Saskatchewan River Valley, all amidst thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land.

Throughout the region you will see natural rolling hills, abundant livestock and wildlife, beautiful crops and farmland, parks and wilderness areas, unique roadside attractions, scenic hilltop views, pioneer homesteads and picturesque valleys.

The main attractions include:
* Elk Island National Park famous for its work with Bison conservation.
* North America's Church Capital - Lamont County claims this title, with nearly 40 churches declared historic sites, despite the small and thinly spread population. Tours are available.
* Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village - a living history open-air museum showcasing East-Central Alberta's unique culture from 1892 - 1930.
* Vegreville Ukrainian Pysanka Festival - a huge Ukrainian cultural festival held every year in Vegreville, Alberta and named after that town's giant model of a Ukrainian easter egg or pysanka.
* Fort Victoria - a former fur-trading post, and missionary centre, home to the oldes building in Alberta.

The area is also famous for the "Giants of the Prairies", a series of roadside attractions (usually Ukrainian-themed).

* World's Largest Mushrooms, Vilna, Alberta
* World's Largest Perogy (Ukrainian dumpling), Glendon, Alberta
* World's Largest Kubasa (Ukrainian garlic sausage), Mundare, Alberta
* World's Largest Pysanka (Ukrainian easter egg), Vegreville, Alberta
* World's Largest UFO Landing Pad, St. Paul, Alberta
* World's Largest Duck, Andrew, Alberta

External links

* [http://www.kalynacountry.com/ Official website]

Kalyna country also includes Smoky Lake County (wwww.smokylakecounty.ab.ca). For those interested in visiting Vilna site, you may do so at www.historicvilna.com. For country life at best, go to www.waskatenau.ca

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