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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Living Long and Prospering on the Prairies: Vulcan in the Pioneer Era


Tour Self-guided History & heritage
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This activity runs the duration of Culture Days.


Vulcan, AB



Offered in English.


When a CPR surveyor chose the name Vulcan for a little village on the prairies, he could not have known the legacy that would come a century later. While the town is named for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, today the word 'Vulcan' is mostly associated with the home planet of Spock, from Star Trek. The legacy and history of the town of Vulcan is related neither to ancient Roman mythology nor to the far reaches of space. Its true history is a beautiful woven tapestry of culture, story, land, and people.

Prior to being known as Vulcan, this place was home to Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Stoney Nakoda, and Tsuut'ina First Nations (among others). For millennia, the land you now stand on, stretching as far as you can see, was traditional territory for ceremony, bison-hunting, travelling, story-telling, trading, celebrating, and teaching. Remembering what was once in this place is an important exercise in respecting the land and space that we occupy in the world.

We are on Treaty 7 territory, a shared place that we've only called home for a short time in the historical record.

Close your eyes and imagine the quiet of the prairies. Hear the grass rustle. Feel the ground rumble as bison run in the distance. Breathe in the smell of the dust and grass. Remember what once was as we move through time on this tour.

This tour takes a short walk around downtown Vulcan, exploring places that were key to our town's history. We'll learn about the coming of the railway, the importance of agriculture to Vulcan, and the town's contributions to war efforts during the Second World War. We'll also learn about some buildings that are long gone and witness the dramatic changes that have shaped Vulcan.



On This Spot

The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them.

At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about local history and how it ties into the broader human experience.

Based in Vancouver, On This Spot is working with heritage, tourism, and business organizations across Canada to expand the app's coverage.