Hours and dates of operation 2016
The Bar U Ranch has an earlier opening day and changed hours of operation for the 2016 season. We open for the season on Monday, May 16 and will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until September 30.
Parks Canada announces names for new Percheron horses at the Bar U Ranch
New Bar U Ranch Percherons, Poca and Terra © Parks Canada
Following a public contest that attracted national media attention and over a thousand entries, Parks Canada is proud to announce the names of the newest additions of Percheron horsepower at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site are "Poca" and "Terra".
Acquired from a local breeder, the five and eight-year-old black male purebred Percherons demonstrate the historic importance of these gentle giants to the ranch. The horses, a French breed of draft horse, will shuttle guests by wagon into the historic centre of the Bar U Ranch when it swings its doors open for the 2016 visitor season on May 16.
Suggested by Jim Barbaro, a 71-year-old retired Calgary firefighter who lives in Sundre, Alberta, the names mark the pioneering contributions of George Pocaterra, an Italian immigrant who fell in love with the foothills and mountains of southern Alberta. Barbaro will receive a Parks Canada Family Discovery Pass, providing two years of unlimited opportunities to enjoy national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites across Canada.
Born in an Alpine valley not far from Venice, Italy, George Pocaterra arrived in Canada in 1903 with $3.75 in his pocket. He worked as a ranch hand, trapper, hunter, explorer, coal prospector and operatic stage manager. Pocaterra married Calgary opera singer, Norma Piper. In 1905, he established the Buffalo Head Ranch in the Highwood Valley north of the Bar U Ranch, which became one of the first 'dude' ranches in Canada. Through his friendship with the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, Pocaterra became one of the first Europeans to extensively explore the Kananaskis area. Several features in the region are named after him including Pocaterra Creek, Pocaterra Ridge, and Mount Pocaterra. George Pocaterra died in Calgary in 1972 at the age of 89.
Be part of Canada’s lasting ranching legacy
Help Parks Canada name our new Percheron draft horses © Parks Canada
Parks Canada has acquired a new pair of Percheron draft horses at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. Before the horses begin to welcome visitors, we need to name them.
Animals this magnificent deserve equally impressive names. Parks Canada invites the public to submit name suggestions for Bar U’s newest gentle giants.
Anyone can enter, and the person who submits the best-suited names will receive a Parks Canada Family Discovery Pass, good for an entire year of entry to 27 participating national parks and 77 national historic sites across the country. Submissions will be accepted until Monday, February 29, 2016.
Send your suggestion by:
Here are some tips to help you decide on the names. Both horses are male. Short and simple names make it easier to relay driving instructions. Historic or western-inspired names help tell the story and tradition of ranching.
The Bar U Ranch is the only Parks Canada-administered national historic site commemorating the important role that ranching played in developing Canada and the continuing role it plays as a symbol of our country.
Street View for Google Maps
One of Google's Street View operators © Parks Canada
The unique panoramic lens of Google Street View was at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site as part of a two-year collaboration between Parks Canada and Google to document many of Canada's iconic national heritage places.
Explore Canada's natural and historic treasures with Street View for Google Maps