Moving to Alberta
My husband Pete and I moved to St. Albert in Alberta, Canada in July of this year, just half a year after I graduated from graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Pete's work brought us here, and when we were considering the move, I literally had to look up Alberta to see where it was on a map. I definitely read Edmonton's Wikipedia page. (Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta, right next to St. Albert). I'm a sucker for trivia and geography. I had no concept of where Alberta was in relation to me, in Wisconsin, or in Canada as a whole. For the first few months of living here, I was convinced that we were only above the Dakotas. But no, we're really far west- like 'above western Montana' west.
I've understood this to be true of many Americans- we just don't have as good of a concept of Canadian geography as we should. A lot of Americans we talked to would laughingly joke about us learning French (which isn't the case, that's eastern Canada), or remind us to bring along our snow pants (no, duh, but it was good advice- it snows here a lot).
I've never lived this far west in my life, in fact, western North America has been pretty unexplored territory for me. I've traveled a lot, overseas, within the Midwest and eastern United States. But until I married Pete, I hadn't been out west much. He was raised in Billings, Montana, so this culture, the trucks, the people here in Alberta are familiar to him.
While a difficult decision, this move made a lot of sense for our family, Pete's work and the timing couldn't have been better. We've been eager to live in a different country as a couple, the work here appealed to Pete, and I'm willing to travel.
But what does it mean for an classical musician to connect with a new musical community? How can one create meaningful connections and job opportunities when you're the new person in town? I'll be sharing what I've done and exploring that topic in posts to come.
In the meantime, here's a picture of the beautiful Canadian Rockies we've already been enjoying in Alberta- there's truly nothing like them!