08/16/2013 09:07 EDT | Updated 08/16/2013 10:49 EDT

The Huffington Post Alberta's First Anniversary


Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new - Sammy Hagar.

Astonishing minds, from Plato to Churchill and Confucius to Charles Dickens, have pondered the significance of a year.

But we decided to chime in our first anniversary with the immortal words of hard rock icon Sammy Hagar. And why? Why not?

For those of you who have visited our page and have watched us grow over the last 12 months , who have shared your tweets and joined in the conversation, you already know we do things a little differently.

Yes, it is our anniversary. It was on this day one year ago that we quietly and with little fanfare - choosing instead to let our style and sense of community do the harping - that we sat down to work covering this prosperous and often misunderstood province.

We knew when we launched that the perception of Alberta outside our provincial borders - and sometimes within them - is not fully reflective of the reality. From day one, our aim was to explore that reality in a cheeky, energetic and relevant manner.

And the 12 months that followed could not have lent themselves better to the exploration of the collective psyche that drives this young and ambitious province. There were head-scratching moments, moments of awe, heart-wrenching moments, and the kind of moments that simply melt your heart.

As a province, we said good-bye to two very different but equally iconic former Alberta premiers. We pondered the future of one of the province's founding industries amidst the biggest beef recall in Canadian history. We giggled and cheered as provincial officials fought an only slightly metaphorical war on rats, as the critters attempted to establish a beachhead in proudly rat-free Alberta. We stood divided as the province's unshakable oil and gas industry shook under doubts that massive pipeline projects, such as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway, started to fall out of favour. We said goodbye to Iginla and remembered parting ways with Gretzky, while we watched with bated breath to see if taxpayers would fund the Edmonton Oilers' new downtown arena.

And then, there was a flood -- the devastating, costliest, most destructive flood in Alberta history.

Through it all, our small but mighty team was made that much bigger, because of your ongoing conversation with us via your tweets, your Facebook posts, your comments, your photos and your blogs.

The Huffington Post does not work without engaged, informed, passionate readers and the Alberta page of the Huffington Post Canada works because we have those in spades.

And just as an example of the impact our community has had over the last 12 months, our most viral story to date is not a story at all but a blog by Calgarian Leanne Shirtliffe praising Mayor Naheed Nenshi's handling of the Calgary flood. It was also a blogger that really turned up the heat on the CNRL bitumen leak at CFB Cold Lake and it is your continuing interaction that lend even our most pedestrian pieces a sense of community.

And now, as our friend Sammy says, we get to do it over again.

So, to our team of journalists, to our bloggers, to our readers and to everyone else who makes up our community, happy anniversary Alberta HuffFolks.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery HuffPost Alberta Turns 1 See Gallery