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the area. In this case, the Frank Slide disaster serves as a metaphor for other disasters, becoming a site for tourists and residents to experience and imagine local history through a dramatic lens. Staging one disaster site has amplified the impact of smaller stories, reinforcing the regional image of a tough, rugged past. In this case, the intention does not seem to be not policy change to improve mining safety (which has already happened), but rather to attract tourists through spectacle. The dark side of history is a spectacle, drawing viewers like an action movie. However, one has to tread carefully when highlighting and staging disaster and grimness, as the aim is not to scare people away. • There is something else to consider here: just as communities plan and envision futures in the present, remembering takes place in the present as well. It takes place within current governance institutions and structures of remembering, knowledge, storytelling, and action. All this affects what and how things are remembered. The fears, hopes, and desires that a community is experiencing right now will influence what is remembered and how plans are made. Governance configurations such as actors, institutions, power, and knowledge all shape what is remembered of the community history and how these old “facts” are linked to decisions about the future. For example, a history of Western Canada written by English-speaking Canadians from the prairies will be very different from a version written by French-speaking Canadians. Old French-speaking communities in the English perspective may be treated as anomalies, while in the French version they will be early settlers whose voices should be heard. • In Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, two large cities strongly tied to resource booms and busts, the vision of the future and the past constructed in boom years is very different from memories made and plans devised during a bust. In the bust period, the boom tends to be glorified, and the reasons for the bust forgotten. In the boom period, the previous bust tends to be forgotten, and the future looks like a long boom period. The urban landscape mostly reflects the past of the booms, and the busts are harder to remember because they are absences, gaps in development. •

Part I: Basic notions for community analysis

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Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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