C.N. Frey lived much of his later life in British Columbia as a landscape gardener and proprietor of the C.N. Frey Scenic Company, but his interest in painting can be traced back to his youth in Ontario. Moving to Calgary in 1908, he advertised his services as a "General Illustrator and Topographical Real Estate Artist". That might explain the merging of landscape painting and map-making in this picture, with its labels and compass directions, which was painted after his move to Calgary.
The Barr Colony grew out of the Reverend I.M. Barr's recruitment of British colonists, who settled a town on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border that is still known as Lloydminster after the colonists' chaplain, George Exton Lloyd.
In 1920, Mr. Frey moved to British Columbia, a move that coincided with his growing interest in what he called "cosmic science", which changed the character of his later works.