Situated on either side of the Rockies, B.C. and Alberta have decidedly distinctive personalities. The current disagreement between the province’s premiers on how best to approach the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal is just one example of the differences.

The Canucks versus the Flames. Hippies versus cowboys. Fringe versus the Fringe Fest. Gregor versus Naheed.

So we figured why not map out a friendly showdown, compiled by our teams in both provinces. We present B.C. vs. Alberta: Who’s Better?

Feel free to jump into the sparring in the comments below.

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  • Best ski hill

    <a href="http://www.skilouise.com/" target="_hplink">Lake Louise</a>’s vast terrain and <a href="http://www.skibanff.com/" target="_hplink">Sunshine</a>’s all-natural snow make appealing ski destinations in Alberta. But they’re really incomparable to B.C.’s <a href="http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/" target="_hplink">Whistler</a>, <a href="http://www.skifernie.com/" target="_hplink">Fernie</a> and <a href="http://www.kickinghorseresort.com/" target="_hplink">Kicking Horse</a> resorts. Plus every heli-ski operator is in B.C. <em>Winner: B.C.</em>

  • Best bands

    Quick, let’s play word association. B.C band = <a href="http://www.thenewpornographers.com/history.html" target="_hplink">The New Pornographers</a>. Alberta band = <a href="http://www.nickelback.com/" target="_hplink">Nickelback</a>. <em>Winner: B.C.</em>

  • Best wildlife

    B.C. has the ethereal <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/30/spirit-bear-clover-rare-white-kermode-kamloops_n_2044629.html">spirit bear</a>. Alberta has very cool big horn sheep -- but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/17/hundreds-norway-rats-alberta_n_1796829.html">it also has rats</a> now. <em>Winner: B.C. </em>

  • Best mascots

    This is a tough one. The <a href="http://canucks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40089" target="_hplink">Vancouver Canucks have Fin</a>, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miga,_Quatchi,_Sumi_and_Mukmuk" target="_hplink">Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk</a> (pictured with Prince Charles and Camilla) greeted visitors at the 2010 Olympics. However, Alberta is home to a strangely alliterative group of mascots: <a href="http://promotion.calgarystampede.com/mascot.html" target="_hplink">Harry the Horse</a> (Calgary Stampede), <a href="http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40649" target="_hplink">Harvey the Hound</a> (Calgary Flames), and <a href="http://www.canadiandesignresource.ca/officialgallery/symbols/1988-olympic-mascots-hidy-howdy/" target="_hplink">Hidy and Howdy</a> (1988 Olympics). <em>Winner: B.C.</em>

  • Best festivals

    B.C. is home to countless quality festivals like the <a href="http://sasquatchfestival.com/" target="_hplink">Sasquatch Music Festival</a>, and the <a href="http://www.childrensfestival.ca/" target="_hplink">Vancouver International Children’s Festival</a> (pictured). But Alberta’s world-known <a href="http://www.calgarystampede.com/" target="_hplink">Calgary Stampede</a> and Edmonton’s <a href="http://fringetheatreadventures.ca/festival.php" target="_hplink">International Fringe Festival</a> are show stoppers, bringing entire cities to a halt. <em>Winner: Alberta</em>

  • Best stereotypes

    Hippies vs. cowboys. Stoners vs. rednecks. No one embraces stereotypes like Alberta in its <a href="http://www.calgarystampede.com/" target="_hplink">Calgary Stampede</a> and rampant display of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Bull-Balls-Truck-Nuts/dp/B00124VON0" target="_hplink">truck nuts</a>. <em>Winner: Alberta</em>

  • Best beer

    “<a href="http://gib.ca/beer/lions-winter-ale/" target="_hplink">GRANVILLE ISLAND WINTER ALE</a>!!,” yells B.C.’s associate editor. She’s very adamant about this choice. However, the <a href="http://www.wildrosebrewery.com/beer/wraspberry.html" target="_hplink">WRaspberry Ale</a> made by Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery and <a href="http://www.alleykatbeer.com/amber_brown_ale.htm" target="_hplink">Alley Kat Amber</a> made in Edmonton are pretty darn tasty. We’ll give this one to the province that counts <a href="http://www.bcbeer.ca/brewery.aspx" target="_hplink">dozens of craft breweries</a> in the vibrant industry. <em>Winner: B.C. </em>

  • Best drivers

    Alberta drivers don’t know how to merge properly and courteously. B.C. has ... Richmond, land of terrible parkers and oblivious lane changers. <em>Winner: Tie</em>

  • Best retail shopping

    B.C. is home to the only Canadian location of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/18/vancouver-topshop_n_1979974.html" target="_hplink">Top Shop</a> as well as quaint independent store strolls. Alberta has some BIG draws including the <a href="http://www.wem.ca/" target="_hplink">West Edmonton Mall</a> and the dizzying outdoors retailer <a href="http://www.basspro.com/" target="_hplink">Bass Pro Shops</a> (pictured) outside of Calgary. There’s no PST in Alberta. <em>Winner: Alberta</em>

  • Best weather

    This most contentious category actually had one editor exclaiming: "Anyone else want to fight me on this? I DARE YOU." B.C. gets plenty of precipitation while Alberta <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2005/08/24/weather_winners_2005_08_24.html" target="_hplink">takes the title for sunniest province</a>, not to mention the warm Chinook winds in the winter. Sure, you don't have to shovel rain in B.C., but Albertans don't have to carry an umbrella everywhere they go. <em>Winner: Alberta</em>


Best ski hills
Lake Louise’s vast terrain and Sunshine’s all-natural snow make appealing ski destinations in Alberta. But they’re really incomparable to B.C.’s Whistler, Fernie and Kicking Horse resorts. Plus every heli-ski operator is in B.C.
Winner: B.C.

Best bands
Quick, let’s play word association. B.C band = The New Pornographers. Alberta band = Nickelback.
Winner: B.C.

Best wildlife
B.C. has the ethereal spirit bear. Alberta has very cool big horn sheep -- but it also has rats now.
Winner: B.C.

Best mascots
This is a tough one. The Vancouver Canucks have Fin, and Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk greeted visitors at the 2010 Olympics. However, Alberta is home to a strangely alliterative group of mascots: Harry the Horse (Calgary Stampede), Harvey the Hound (Calgary Flames), and Hidy and Howdy (1988 Olympics).
Winner: B.C.

Best festivals
B.C. is home to countless quality festivals like the Sasquatch Music Festival, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, and the Vancouver Pride Parade. But the province may be victim of having too many specialized events.

Alberta’s world-known Calgary Stampede and Edmonton’s International Fringe Festival are show stoppers, bringing entire cities to a halt.
Winner: Alberta

Best stereotypes
Hippies vs. cowboys. Stoners vs. rednecks. No one embraces stereotypes like Alberta in its Calgary Stampede and rampant display of truck nuts.
Winner: Alberta

Best beer
GRANVILLE ISLAND WINTER ALE!!,” yells B.C.’s assistant news editor. She’s very adamant about this choice. However, the WRaspberry Ale made by Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery and Alley Kat Amber made in Edmonton are pretty darn tasty. We’ll give this one to the province that counts dozens of craft breweries in the vibrant industry.
Winner: B.C.

Best drivers
Alberta drivers don’t know how to merge properly and courteously. B.C. has ... Richmond, land of terrible parkers and oblivious lane changers.
Winner: Tie

Best retail shopping
B.C. is home to the only Canadian location of Top Shop as well as quaint independent store strolls like Gastown and Main Street in Vancouver. Alberta has some BIG draws including the West Edmonton Mall and the dizzying gigantic outdoors retailer Bass Pro Shops outside of Calgary. But there’s no PST in Alberta.
Winner: Alberta

Best weather
This most contentious category actually had one editor exclaiming: "Anyone else want to fight me on this? I DARE YOU." B.C. gets plenty of precipitation while Alberta takes the title for sunniest province, not to mention the warm Chinook winds in the winter. Sure, you don't have to shovel rain in B.C., but Albertans don't have to carry an umbrella everywhere they go.
Winner: Alberta

Quick Poll

Which province reigns supreme?

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