Alberta is distinctive both for its awe-inspiring natural wonders and its fascinating history, and from the earliest footprints of human settlement to today's dynamic society, Alberta has captivated countless generations who have visited or settled in this remarkable province. To celebrate Alberta's centennial in 2005, this two-volume edition features thirty eminent historians contributing articles spanning an incredible 12,000 years of history encompassing the archaeological foundations, the natural resources, and the social and political development of the province. From the primordial to the present, Alberta Formed - Alberta Transformed is an inspiring record of the people, places, and events that have defined our province and made Alberta one of the most vibrant areas of the country-and the world. This project is made possible through grants from the Alberta Historic Resources Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.
"Alberta Formed Alberta Transformed takes readers on a journey from the earliest traces of human activity at the tail end of the Ice Age through modern booms, busts and political rivalries. Authors were each given a specific year to discuss and the task of arguing why they were watershed periods in our province's history.... So chapters range from a volcanic eruption that covered parts of north-central Alberta with ash more than 7,000 years ago, to 1980's volcanic showdown between Pierre Trudeau and Peter Lougheed over oil revenue. Stops on the journey include chapters on Alberta's early aboriginal experiences (1004), small-pox epidemics (1781), fur-trade rivalries (1806) and the rise of the Social Credit party (1935) among other jumping off points for discussion." Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, May 11, 2007
".[A] must have for every person who is interested in the 13 000 year history of the province. Students, educators, libraries, newcomers and Canadians in general will be pleased to discover that the final product delves deep into the past to bring Canadians a truly remarkable resource. Alberta Formed-Alberta Transformed is a nonfiction title, filled with many good stories and lots of excitement, and provides an excellent and accurate insight into what really happened over the last 13 millennia. This is the book that Albertans have been waiting for, one that is accurate, up to date and inclusive of the important role Aboriginal peoples have played in the development of the nation and the province." John Copley, Alberta Native News, July, 2006.
This year, the award goes to a book that reveals a skilled mind making difficult design choices to organize many levels of complex information. With the tasteful presentation of colour, understated typography, and archival images on beautiful paper, the designer's invisible hand marries a strong visual impact with a practical, readable and timeless design.
"[Alberta] has this fine and carefully edited, two volume collection of historical essays that reflects the diversity of both Alberta's history and its historians. This weighty and impressive collection, its thirty essays totaling almost eight hundred pages, takes an unusual approach for a centennial history. There is no attempt to force the multi-authored effort into a single conceptual or narrative frame..As with Volume I, the second set of contributions are uniformly strong in their capacity to entertain and enlighten. Each of the authors moves beyond the specific topic of their chapter to incorporate issues of ethnicity, rural development, and social change. Moreover, the chapters consistently marry analysis and narrative, resulting in a series of insightful and engaging commentaries on turning points in Alberta's history..There is excellent representation from the strong regionalists who gave focus to western Canadian history in the 1970s, but considerable space is also given to younger scholars, who are taking the provincial historiography in new directions. Alberta Formed-Alberta Transformed is also a handsome and well-illustrated book, clearly designed to reach audiences beyond academia. This collection deserves a wide readership." Ken Coates, University of Waterloo, Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 1, Winter 2007
"[Alberta Formed-Alberta Transformed is] the long awaited history of the province in honour of its centennial. It's worth the wait. The work, which carries readers from 13 000 years ago to modern Alberta, is handsomely designed, cleverly illustrated and accessibly written by some of the leading Western Canadian historians. Even at a relatively pricey $100, Alberta Formed, Alberta Transformed is an investment with a payoff on every page..The 32 writers took a different approach to history as well. Rather than a strict chronology, they were each asked to focus on a specific year and use it as a point of reference for their reflections on what it meant-and means- to be an Albertan." Marc Horton, The Edmonton Journal. May 21, 2006.
"After the fireworks, the Alberta provincial centennial has yielded a more lasting legacy in the form of an elegant two-volume overview of human habitation in the area now known as Alberta..Trying to avoid 'the typical popular, celebratory or comprehensive history usually written to mark events such as centennials,' the editors chose to produce 'a thought-provoking portrait of Alberta,' consisting of a series of thematic essays which hinge on a crucial watershed date in our history..What emerges is 'intended more as a broad conversation about history than as a lecture.' This goal has largely been realized in this splendid set of historical accounts." Ken Tingley, the Edmonton Journal, May 28, 2006.
"Written by a team of 30 historians, the two-volume edition traces the archeological evolution of the province. You'll meet the major movers and shakers who helped build the province and become a walking, talking Alberta know-it-all." Candace Korchinsky, Edmonton Life, July 2006.
"Alberta Formed-Alberta Transformed is an enormous project, a project that reflects Alberta's great history." Paula E. Kirman, Prairie Books NOW, fall/winter, 2005.