Two municipal politicians from the Peace Country are showcasing various spots across the province in an online video project called The MuniciPals. The pals that make up The MuniciPals include Town of Wembley Councillor Anna Underwood and Town of Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter.
Potter says the idea for the passion project was sparked at a convention in Toronto over the summer after giving another conference attendee a compliment on her bag and learning she purchased it from a shop in Lacombe. She says she and Underwood then started to think about bout places in the province they had and hadn’t been, which then turned into thoughts about vacationing. The Sexsmith mayor says while she usually thinks about warmer spots with sand for vacations, especially during the winter, this thought exercise also showed how many hidden gems there were in Alberta.
“This was a good challenge to say, you know what, we have so much here. Can we help other people see that, too?”
“We just got excited to see and to experience so much of what Alberta has to offer, so often you don’t recognize what is in your own hometown or in your home area. So this was a great way we felt to highlight everyone’s home area.”
With the support of Alberta Municipalities and the Municipality Climate Change Action Centre, Potter and Underwood chose five municipalities in central Alberta to travel to and explore, including Lacombe, Edson and Barrehead.
“There are so many places that we would love to explore; when we were trying to choose five, it was really difficult,” Potter says. “One of the things we were very intentional about was picking out smaller communities as well, and we would love to venture into the rural a little bit. What we discovered when we were researching is there are so many communities where the cool things to see don’t stop at the municipal boundary, and as a municipal leader, that was one thing that was a real eye-opener for us.”
During the project, Potters says something interesting they learned is per capita, Alberta has the largest number of the world’s largest things. She adds that if the pair could continue the passion project in the future, she would like to travel further south.
Potter and Underwood have released the first of five videos from their passion project, showcasing what they found in Lacombe.