Dawson Creek, BC, incorporated as a city in 1958, population 11 583 (2011c), 10 994 (2006c). The City of Dawson Creek is located near the British Columbia-Alberta border, about 406 km northeast of Prince George and 589 km northwest of Edmonton.
Named after George Mercer George Mercer Dawson, an eminent Canadian geologist who was in the area in 1879, Dawson Creek was for many years a quiet village serving the surrounding agricultural area. The Northern Alberta Railway (NAR) built its terminus east of Dawson Creek in 1931. In 1942 it burst into life as thousands of American soldiers and construction workers began building the Alaska Highway. During the 1950s and 1960s, Dawson Creek emerged as an important oil and natural gas supply centre. The construction of the British Columbia Railway, the massive Peace River hydroelectric project and, in the early 1980s, the development of Northeast Coal near Tumbler Ridge produced continual growth.
Dawson Creek is the regional centre for northeastern British Columbia. The region's economy is based on agriculture (including grain shipment), forestry and oil and natural gas exploration and development. Dawson Creek's "Mile 0" on the Alaska Highway has made tourism important as all traffic along the highway must pass through the city. The area also boasts excellent hunting and fishing. Northern Alberta Railway Park comprises the Station Museum in a restored railway station and the Dawson Creek Art Gallery in a renovated grain elevator. Other attractions include the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, Gardens North and numerous recreational facilities. Northern Lights College has a campus here.