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Grande Prairie is the main city in the northwestern part of the province of Alberta in Western Canada. It is located on the southern edge of the Peace River Country (part of the Peace Region or simply “The Peace”, as is often locally known, which encompasses much of northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia). The city is surrounded by Grande Prairie County. The city of Grande Prairie is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities and as of its 2007 civic census, its population was 50,227, up 6.9% from the Canada 2006 Census figure of 47,076. As of 2006, the population of the Grande Prairie Census Agglomeration was at 71,868 (The census agglomeration has now been expanded to cover the entire County of Grande Prairie). It is currently Alberta’s 7th largest incorporated city by population. Grande Prairie is the largest city between Edmonton and Fairbanks, Alaska along the Highway 43, Alaska and a portion of the Richardson Highway (Alaska) routes. It lies about 460 km (286 mi) and 2,480 km (1,541 mi) from each city respectively.
The city has adopted the endangered Trumpeter swan as an official symbol because it is near the migration route and summer nesting grounds of this large and graceful swan. For that reason, Grande Prairie is sometimes nicknamed the “Swan City”.