Alberta is Open for Business!

The Grande Alberta Economic Region (GAER) - partnership of 12 municipalities that work collectively on opportunities that bolster our region's economy and strengthen our communities in Alberta.


Northern Alberta is a place with broad boundaries, no limits, and vibrant communities. Our vision is as broad as our geography. From small business to major industries including forestry, oil & gas and agriculture, we are working together to adapt and prosper in the current economy. GAER is a place where nature is abundant, choices are plentiful, business is evolving and life is good.

Highlights of our Region

The Grande Alberta Economic Region straddles west central Alberta… bracketed between one of Canada’s most dynamic metropolitan markets – Edmonton – on its eastern edge and one of Canada’s most beautiful national parks – Jasper – on the west. From Fox Creek and Grande Cache in the north to Drayton Valley in the south, GAER is about open spaces and limitless possibilities.

Broad boundaries with no limits

Our communities combine to offer a unique blend of qualities, a rare recipe for success you just can’t find anywhere else!

Rugged industrious people

A small population spread across a large area, they are hardy and hardworking, youthful and energetic.
Our people are younger than the average Albertan or Canadian; 53 per cent of the regional population is between 20 and 54, 85 per cent is 54 or younger.
Alberta is consistently is among the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. GAER people are employable and prosperous. In 2001, the region had a 6.4 per cent unemployment rate, lower than the Canadian rate of 7.2 per cent. A higher percentage of GAER families break the $60,000 annual income plateau than those in Edmonton and Red Deer.

Outdoor recreational experiences

Four seasons worth of outdoor experiences abound in a scenic smorgasbord featuring everything from the majestic Rocky Mountains to boreal forests and aspen parkland.

Jasper National Park is GAER’s biggest, but far from only, draw for recreation enthusiasts. It welcomes close to two
million visitors a year, the majority of whom travel through the region by automobile from Alberta’s urban Edmonton-Calgary axis.

Popular regional activities

  • Big game trophy hunting (with guide services)
  • Sport fishing (with guide services)
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Alpine skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • White water rafting, canoeing and kayaking
  • Boating
  • Trail riding and guided pack tripping (horses)
  • Mountain biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Rock and ice climbing
  • Spelunking (in world famous Cadomin Cave)

    Major recreational facilities

  • Jasper National Park
  • William Switzer Provincial Park
  • Willmore Wilderness Park
  • Marmot Basin Alpine Ski Area
  • Golden Triangle Snowmobile Trail System
  • Columbia Icefields Interpretive Centre
  • First class nordic ski trail systems
  • Numerous local golf courses and the internationally known Jasper Park Lodge Course

    GAER Major Surface Transportation Routes

    The region features approximately 1500 kilometres of modern, wide-shouldered highways (with close to 350 km of twinned, divided blacktop) and one of the Canada’s major railways.

    Its east-west lifeline is the Yellowhead highway, one of Western Canada’s two main cross-country arteries featuring almost 300 km of twinned expressway.

    It also claims a key portion of Highway 43, the high speed northern section of Alberta’s North/South Trade Corridor and a major truck route linking to American and Mexican markets.

    The famed Canadian National Railway line provides a "freight pipeline" between GAER and CN’s flourishing West Coast terminal at Prince Rupert – gateway to the burgeoning Asia-Pacific market.

    And the region features the Grande Alberta Trail, a scenic loop comprised of Highways 43, 16 (Yellowhead) and 40, that encircles most of the region and takes travelers through beautifully diverse landscapes and breathtaking vistas.