The land was flat, semi-arid, and empty. Nothing would grow here, declared the British Palliser Expedition’s report, and for a long time, nothing did, until someone else looked at the wide-open spaces under blue skies and saw opportunity.
The land was advertised as the “Last Best West,” and homesteaders steadily began to arrive, accelerating with the addition of the railway line through Bishopburg. Andrew Oyen, a Norwegian homesteader, walked the 930 km from Spokane, Washington to what would become Oyen, Alberta.
Modern residents of Oyen enjoy small-town living with all the essential amenities. Schools, parks, playgrounds, churches, community leagues, and recreation facilities all contribute to a relaxed family-friendly environment. There are a variety of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy, including hockey, softball, tennis, boxing, swimming, dance, and golf courses. The community’s strong farming and ranching roots mean an active agricultural society and 4-H club, with the annual rodeo and Bull-a-Rama as annual highlights. Other annual events include the summer Show & Shine Antique Car Show, Annual Sports Day, and Farmers’ Markets.
Home to approximately 1,070 residents, Oyen is located in southeastern Alberta, 297 km from Calgary, and 40 km from the Saskatchewan border. The main industries include farming, ranching, oil and gas, along with a growing tourism sector. There’s a range of shops and restaurants to choose from, with the largest single employer in town being Alberta Health Services’ two facilities, the Big Country Hospital and Oyen Community Health Services.
The hospital provides 24-hour emergency, acute and sub-acute care, as well as continuing care, labour and delivery and maternity, diagnostic imaging, x-ray, and lab services, as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and therapeutic recreation. Residents visit Oyen Community Health Services for more routine and preventative care, addiction or mental health counseling, physical and occupational therapy, home care, or to access specific programs.
AHS employees at each of these facilities enjoy a strong sense of community. AHS’s commitment to work-life balance means that employees will receive competitive wages and benefits to ensure you and your family’s wellbeing. Reach your highest potential through ongoing professional development, including internal courses and seminars, remaining up-to-date with current best-practices and to further develop your skills.