A sci-fi haven for Trekkies in the middle of the broad, flat Canadian prairies may seem highly illogical, but here it is. Located 128 km (approximately 1.5 hours) southeast of Calgary, Vulcan is about halfway between Calgary and Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, North America, on Planet Earth. The Town of Vulcan is home to about 1,917 people, and warmly embraces its out-of-this-world identity.
In fact, Vulcan sprang up in 1910, when the Canadian Pacific Railway came to the area. It was originally named for the Roman god of fire by the surveyor who first visited the area. The association with Star Trek came when the show first aired in the 1960s, and the home planet of one of the show’s characters shared a name with the little town. Vulcan’s town council saw the opportunity to expand into a tourism destination in Alberta, and made it so.
Today, visitors can pose for pictures in front of a replica Starship FX6-1995-A, otherwise known as Starship Enterprise. All are welcomed, with the accompanying plaque including greetings written in English, Vulcan, and Klingon. Annual events, such as Spock Days and the Vul-Con Star Trek convention pay homage to the show, although the local Trek Centre and Enterprise replica are accessible year-round.
Aside from tourism, Vulcan was the first community in Canada to welcome a solar park, which generates about 23.5 kilowatt hours of renewable energy for the community. Fascinating! You can see it along one of the town’s walking and bike trails.
Vulcan has all the essential amenities and maintains a strong agricultural base. With shops, services, and restaurants, the town also has several social and cultural clubs, as well as recreational facilities for a variety of sports and activities from golf and soccer, to horseback riding. Residents also enjoy four parks, two ball diamonds, and three sports fields. There is a local elementary school and junior/senior high school, with adult education options and some courses available through Lethbridge College.
Alberta Health Services operates the Vulcan Community Health Centre. It has eight acute care beds, 15 long term care beds, a 24/7 emergency department, and laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, and rehabilitation services. A skilled and varied team of health care professionals, supports and other occupations ensure smooth delivery of care. The community takes great pride in their hospital and has successfully raised over $2.5 million dollars towards expanding and upgrading the facility.
With this range of services, staff, patients, and clients at the Community Health Centre can experience the benefits of a friendly, interdisciplinary team. Staff, including doctors, call each other by their first names. In addition, healthcare professionals have the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice, caring for patients of all ages, with a range of needs, from cardiac patients to trauma and post-operative recovery. For people who enjoy day-to-day variety and would prefer to do a little bit of everything within their role, small communities like this can be an excellent place to build a career.
You can practically beam in to work with the short commute, which is under 10 minutes for many locals.
While rural, Vulcan is close enough to Calgary to incorporate some specialized training from the urban centre, including STARS simulations, rural education for pediatric care, and more. There are regular in-service days where staff can learn about specific topics, equipment, or best practices that are most relevant to them.
If living and working in a friendly, welcoming, and cheerfully quirky community appeals to you, you may find you’ll live long and prosper in Vulcan. To learn more about this community, you can visit the community’s website, or search for career opportunities using our online job board.