Travel Alberta

Chart David Thompson’s Jasper

Explore the stuff of grand legends, authentic Canadiana and a 200-year-old love story

Jasper, AB, January 14, 2011 ~ Jasper celebrates the remarkable life of legendary explorer David Thompson during the David Thompson Bicentennial, 1811-2011 with a year of events and activities geared to bring his stories and adventures out of the history books and into present day. Visitors can trace the historical steps of the famous cartographer, surveyor, writer, fur trader, naturalist and explorer through high adventure, interactive educational experiences and historical entertainment in Jasper.

“From his exploration and mapping to his strong relationships with the French, English and Aboriginal peoples, David Thompson’s impact on Jasper and the surrounding area is nothing short of extraordinary, ” says Maggie Davison, CEO of Tourism Jasper. “Visitors will have a chance to participate in and learn about his voyageur experiences from 200 years ago and see how he has influenced our lives today.”

Jasper’s David Thompson Bicentennial events commemorate the 200th anniversary of Thompson’s 1811 discovery of the Athabasca Pass. Together with his guide, Thomas the Iroquois, and his men, Thompson led a victorious exploration through foul weather and rough conditions safely through the Athabasca Pass. The gateway into Jasper’s mountainous region and onwards to the Pacific Ocean initiated a steady stream of travellers from both sides of our vast country that continues today.

Today, Jasper hosts nearly two million visitors annually and functions as a northern Trans Canadian route to the Pacific via road and rail. During the commemorative year celebrating Thompson’s many achievements visitors will discover the art of navigation by stars and how the beaver was the currency of the fur trade, not coin. They’ll “meet” the woman behind the man, and chat with modern voyageurs who spend more time on the water than on land.

The David Thompson Bicentennial kicks off this January. Click here to view / download the list of planned activities.
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