“It’s such a strong, family-oriented community,” says Rosemary Mayor Yoko Fujimoto, describing the village of nearly 400 people. Almost one-third of the population today is made up of young people, but there is a strong history of European, American, and Japanese settlers. Fujimoto’s parents, for example, opened a general store in Rosemary 63 years ago, and it is still in operation today.
Pride also rests in the school, which houses K-12 classes as a result of major renovations. Ball diamonds, tennis courts, track, and a play structure accessible to those of all abilities complete the school grounds. The village also boasts a centennial park with beach volleyball court, recreation centre with ice rink, and a new fire hall.
Where the grain elevator and railway line used to sit, new homes are being built. Newcomers to the safe and active community find in-town amenities such as the post office, bakery, furniture store, churches, and an Alberta Treasury Branch. Part of the new vision for Rosemary includes a focus on economic development and tourism.
“The future of Rosemary depends on encouraging locally-supported commercial growth,” adds Fujimoto. The local economy depends on agriculture and the oil patch, but many people, including another 400 in the surrounding area, are involved in other business and social services. For those seeking the rural lifestyle but employed elsewhere, Rosemary is a short drive from Brooks, and within two hours of Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Calgary.
The crowning achievement of Rosemary’s appeal to families is its spectacular Canada Day festivities. From a parade to snowmobile races, there is something for everyone. Paintball, a mud bog, and live musical entertainment are highlights. For children, there is face-painting, clown acts, and bike races. Cap the day with a variety of food vendors, and don’t miss the evening’s fireworks, which many claim are the best in the county…at least!
Rosemary Community Profile
by Heidi Vincent Dyck