With a population numbering more than 18,000 as of the 2014 census, Camrose has continued to steadily grow over the last century, and today serves as an important hub for a ring of smaller communities in central Alberta no less than it did during the Great War, with an estimated “shopping population” of approximately 150,000.1 Though farming and manufacturing remain significant to the city’s economy, an increasingly important source of revenue is hospitality and tourism, with perhaps the largest draw being the Big Valley Jamboree country music festival, held annually at the Camrose Regional Exhibition grounds. The 1910-vintage “Old Main” of Camrose Lutheran College still stands (albeit in the process of undergoing renovation to bring the interior up to 21st-century living standards), and remains the central feature of the campus. Now known as Augustana, it has been a satellite institution of the University of Alberta since 2004, but in keeping with the tumultuous era of its founding, it is still a “dry” campus.
- “Statistics & Facts,” Camrose, AB Official Website. http://www.camrose.com/184/Statistics-Facts