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News Release | Unearthing Alberta's Irish Legends: Discover the Trailblazers Who Shaped Our Province

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Unearthing Alberta's Irish Legends: Discover the Trailblazers Who Shaped Our Province!

CALGARY, Alberta July 10, 2023 – The Ireland-Alberta Trade Association (IATA) is unveiling its “Unearthing Alberta's Irish Legends: Discover the Trailblazers Who Shaped Our Province!” project, a series of historical blogs over the coming months that share how the Irish helped develop key aspects of Alberta and Canada’s business and cultural landscape.

The blog series was developed to share inspiring Irish contributions made to economic growth in the history of Alberta, and will be published every 2 weeks starting July 10th on the IATA website (, as well as its LinkedIn and Twitter pages. It will feature (10) stories of the incredible contributions of Irish business leaders and pioneers in agriculture, energy, tourism, journalism, politics and more.

“IATA wants to show Albertans that the Irish diaspora has had a profound impact on Alberta’s business history”, said IATA President Laureen Regan. “It has been inspiring to research and produce these stories with contributions from Michele Holmgren of Mount Royal University. Alberta and Ireland have so much in common when it comes to business culture, including an entrepreneurial spirit and making advances in energy, agriculture and technology. We hope that Albertans and Irish alike will enjoy learning more about the people who shaped our province’s thriving business history.”

The first blog to be published will tell the story of Patrick Burns, notably one of the “Big Four” founders of the Calgary Stampede. Mr. Burns was born in Ontario to Irish immigrants and went on to have a successful business career, also serving as a Canadian Senator and supporting several philanthropic causes over the course of his life.

Holmgren and Regan explained the importance of telling these stories. “It is inspiring to share these stories because we can still trace the impacts of these leaders to what we experience today. Whether it is building downtown Calgary, preserving Provincial and National Parks, or founding the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, we owe it to these historic figures to keep their stories alive.”

IATA encourages all Albertans to visit their website to learn more about the blog series and engage with additional content featuring current Ireland-Alberta business success stories.

The Ireland-Alberta Trade Association was founded in (2010) to connect and provide services and connections in support of bi-lateral trade between Ireland and Alberta. We highlight sectorial expertise and strengths between Alberta and Ireland and drive connections to build a vibrant economic corridor between our two regions.

Media Contact(s)

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