Prairie Studios

In the Canadian Badlands, culture flourishes amidst rugged terrain.  Enjoy a variety of artistic styles at Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre.  Chat with artists and inspect beautiful landscape paintings and hand crafted furniture of gnarled local woods in the Village of Empress, home to a growing group of artisans.

Be sure to look up driving times before you depart. A full list of visitor centers as well as contact information for attractions on this tour can be found by downloading the tour document.

The Canadian Badlands Touring Routes aim to follow good secondary highways and occasionally, offer gravel-road alternatives. Please drive carefully and respect private property. Every effort has been made to ensure accurate information at the time of publication. You are advised to conduct further research in advance. We are unable to accept responsibility for any inconvenience, loss or injury sustained as a result of anyone relying upon this information.

Tour Route

1. Part One highlights - Medicine Hat

The Canadian Badlands offers a fresh experience, bringing together the land’s ever-changing colours, textures, and activities. Many residents use art to explore their relationship with this strong land and demonstrate their views of the Canadian Badlands. Dance to first-class music at Medicine Hat's annual Jazzfest, shop for special gifts at boutiques featuring pottery and stained glass, and search for a bargain in shops along North Railway Street.

2. Part Two highlights - Empress and Oyen

To broaden your experience of southeast Alberta, take a day trip to Empress, a charming rural village surrounded by big scenery and filled with interesting art. The 135- km drive north from Medicine Hat to Empress is a lovely tour through rolling fields of grain and wide-open native grasslands, harbouring a colourful variety of grasses, wildflowers, birds and deer.

Once in Empress, chat with artists as you enjoy their creations, reflecting the prairie landscape, feel the satin finish of hand-made wood furniture and maybe even find the inspiration to create your own masterpieces

In Oyen, witness an innovative approach to displaying art at the Oyen Art Walk and time your trip accordingly to take in the famous Oyen Bull-a-Rama.

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