New Westminster (Russian: Нью-Вестминстер, Nyu-Vestminster) is the second largest city of Alaska and the largest city of the governorate of Columbia. Because of its location at the mouth of the Fraser River, the settlements in the area became a base for the British during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in the late 1850s. Following the Columbia Purchase, the city's central location in Russian America helped place it as a railway hub by the 1890s.
The city would become a gateway for prospectors traveling north during the gold rushes of the 1890s and early 1900s. The city became a major hub for the short-lived Commonwealth of Columbia, and quickly regained its place as a keystone city upon the reunification of Alaska. Since reunification, New Westminster began to develop into a center of Alaskan technology, leading to a population boom and eventually outnumbering Baranovsk in population by the 1970s. In 2010, New Westminster hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics (becoming the second time Alaska has hosted the games).
New Westminster is characterized as a historically British city and was named in honor of the City of Westminster in England. Due to the city's cultural blending of English and Russian, the city has been nicknamed the "New Orleans of Alaska."