Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, situated in the north central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farm land on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta (after Calgary) and is the hub of the country's sixth largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with a metro population of 1,001,500 (2005 est.)[1]. It also serves as the northern anchor of the "Calgary-Edmonton Corridor" (one of four such regions that, in total, comprise 50% of the Canadian population) and is a staging point for large-scale oilsands projects occurring in the north of the province as well as large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.

Edmonton is Canada's second most populous provincial capital (after Toronto) and is known as a well-rounded cultural, government, and educational centre. It plays host to a year round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of Festival City[2]. Among these is included The Fringe, North America's first and largest fringe event, Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Cariwest, and many more. It has also hosted many international events, including the 2001 IAAF Track and Field Games, The West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix, and the 2005 World Masters Games. It is home to North America's largest mall, West Edmonton Mall and Canada's largest historical park, Fort Edmonton Park. In 2004, Edmonton celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a city (1904).

While traditionally focused on the oil industry, earning the name "Oil Capital of Canada" in the 1940s, Edmonton's economy has worked towards becoming the second most diverse in Canada[3]and now boasts a strong technology sector with major employers such as Telus, Dell, Intuit, Matrikon, BioWare, and General Electric all contributing to a 6.2% GDP growth, the largest in Canada.[4] Edmonton is home of Canadian Western Bank, the only charted bank HQ west of Toronto.

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