Crowsnest Pass, Alberta

Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
Municipality of
Crowsnest Pass
—  Specialized Municipality  —

Municipality ofCrowsnest Pass is located in Alberta
Municipality of
Crowsnest Pass
Location of Crowsnest Past in Alberta
Coordinates: 49°37′59″N 114°4′34″W / 49.63306°N 114.07611°W / 49.63306; -114.07611Coordinates: 49°37′59″N 114°4′34″W / 49.63306°N 114.07611°W / 49.63306; -114.07611
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Southern Alberta
Census division 15
Incorporated [1]
 - Town  January 1, 1979
 - Specialized municipality January 16, 2008
 - Mayor Bruce Vernon Decoux
 - Governing body Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council
 - MP Ted Menzies
 - MLA Evan Berger
 - Total 373.07 km2 (144 sq mi)
Elevation 1,310 m (4,298 ft)
Population (2006)[3]
 - Total 5,749
 - Density 15.4/km2 (39.9/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
Postal code span T0K 0E0
Area code(s) +1-403
Website Municipality of Crowsnest Pass

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is a specialized municipality located in the Crowsnest Pass of the Rocky Mountains in southwest Alberta, Canada. The municipality formed as a result of the amalgamation of five municipalities – the Village of Bellevue, the Town of Blairmore, Town of Coleman, the Village of Frank and Improvement District No. 5 (which included the Hamlet of Hillcrest) – on January 1, 1979. Today, Blairmore and Coleman remain the two largest communities while Frank is the smallest. Crowsnest, Passburg and Sentinel (Sentry) are other former communities (abandoned, or much reduced) within the municipality's boundaries.



The municipality owes its existence to coal mining, the area's primary industry since the first mine opened in 1900. Its ethnic and cultural diversity comes from the many European and other immigrants attracted to the area by the mines. Through the years coal mining suffered from fluctuating coal prices, bitter strikes, and underground accidents, and all the mines on the Alberta side closed throughout the 20th century as cheaper, safer open-pit mines opened on the British Columbia side of the pass. There is an operating coal mine just across the B.C. border in Sparwood which continues to provide significant employment for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.

Crowsnest Pass is known for tragedy. In 1903 the tip of Turtle Mountain broke loose and decimated part of the Village of Frank (the Frank Slide). In 1914, the Hillcrest mine disaster occurred in the Hillcrest Mine, killing 189 men. Serious spring floods occurred in 1923 and 1942. Periodic forest fires have swept the valley, including one in the summer of 2003 that threatened the entire municipality.

The area was a centre for "rum-running" during the prohibition of 1916 - 1923, when liquor was illegally brought across the provincial border from British Columbia. This legacy is celebrated each July during Rum-Runner Days, which includes a parade, many civic and sporting events, and a fireworks display called Thunder In the Valley that attracts tens of thousands of visitors from nearby communities.

Today, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has much to offer visitors. In addition to its spectacular natural setting, the municipality is rich in human history, and tourism promises to become a significant industry.

Points of interest

Within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass one can find the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, an interpretive display at Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site, underground tours of the Bellevue Mine Provincial Historic Site, and the Crowsnest Museum in downtown Coleman where pamphlets for self-guided historical driving tours of the municipality are also available. The area offers hiking and fishing in the summer, and in winter snowmobiling, a downhill ski hill, and a groomed cross-country ski area, and is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) from major ski hills at both Fernie Alpine Resort and Castle Mountain Resort.


In 2006, Crowsnest Pass had a population of 5,749 living in 3,004 dwellings, an 8.2% decrease from 2001. The municipality has a land area of 373.07 km2 (144.04 sq mi) and a population density of 15.4 /km2 (40 /sq mi).[3]

In 2001, the population of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass was 6,262.[4]


See also


External links

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