Within northwest Alberta, Grande Prairie is the biggest city in the area. The city was named after the prairie, which was first occupied by the Beaver First Nation bands. This band first started their trade with the North West Company at Dunvegan in the early 1800's. The Grand Prairie Townsite was sub-divided in the year 1910 and by the year 1912, the town had a hotel, a post office, a bank and a land office. In 1911, the Edson Trail from Edson to Grande Prairie was opened to help settlers reach Grande Prairie. This move led to the development of large scale settlements in the area, moving it further compared to other major farming regions in southern Canada. During the year 1914, Grande Prairie was incorporated as a village by the Province of Alberta. The construction of Highway 43 during 1956 significantly cut down traveling time, which further enhanced Grand Prairie's economy and accessibility. It was incorporated as a City in the year 1958 with an estimated population of 7,600 during that time.
There are some locations within the city for music lovers to enjoy, including downtown bars, such as the GPRC's Howler's Lounge. There are several festivals which happen within the city including summer-long festivals, which are funded and organized by private individuals and charitable foundations. The genre of its music scene has been dominated by metal, punk, and emo bands. Among the more famous ones include the Emerson Drive, The Goodbye Generation, Damn Plastards, Reject, Calculating Collapse, and This Conviction. The Grand Prairie Live Theatre and the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre are great entertainment venues to see a reenactment of life's greatest stories.
The city has various outdoor recreational areas to take pleasure in, comprising many golf courses and parks. One such park, Muskoseepi Park comprises a cafeteria, an outdoor swimming pool, a pavilion, and an outdoor parks that converts into a skating rink during the winter. Another notable park, Crystal Lake, has a preserved wetland utilized for walking bike paths and birdwatching. The southern part of Grand Prairie also has foothills, and the Grande Cache is a well-known venue for hikers and snowmobilers all over. Kakwa Widland Park is on the Alberta-British Columbia Border, and it is a mountainous and magnificent area called Kakwa Falls, which is considered to be among the most beautiful falls.
The city's economy is focused around forestry, agriculture, food services, gas and oil. In today's local Grande Prairie economy still relies heavily upon agriculture, with crops of oats, canola, barley and wheat being produced in the Peace region. Buffalo, livestock and cattle are likewise a staple, and the mild weather of the region more than enables the farming culture to prosper always. Oil and gas drilling is also an ongoing project at South Peace, and it did not start to happen on a large scale until the late 1970's. The exploitation and discovery of the Elmworth gas field led the city to grow fast until the last oil boom ended during the year 1981. Forestry is likewise a major part of Grand Prairie's financial system, with large tracts of forest in the Canadian Rockies and the south part of the foothills. Amongst its biggest employers is the Weyerhaeuser Canada kraft pulp mill. Other major players include Canfor, and the Ainsworth OSB.