Exploring 4 Great Alberta Museums
Next time you find yourself in the Canadian province of Alberta and are seeking a taste of culture, be sure to check out one of the many world-class museums dotted across the area. Whether you’re into art, science, history, or want to experience the story of Alberta itself, here are four great examples of museums where you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Art: The Art Gallery of Alberta
Established in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta in the city of Edmonton is one of the province’s top art museums. Over the years it has grown its collection to feature thousands of pieces of art including paintings, photographs, and sculptures from both contemporary and historic eras.
While featuring works from all across the world, the museum also takes special care to showcase great Canadian works as well. Visitors to the art gallery are free to roam the exhibits, but if you’re looking to join in on insightful conversations you can also attend lectures and speaking events that feature artists, curators, and passionate individuals from the art world.
Above photo credit: Sheila Scarborough
Industry & Economy: Oil Sands Discovery Centre
The Athabasca oil sands in northeastern Alberta have quickly become a major driver behind the province’s booming economy. While marred by controversy and compelling arguments from both sides, there’s no question that the oil sands are a core part modern Alberta and the country as a whole.
The city of Fort McMurray is home to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, a one-of-a-kind museum that showcases this core industry. Opened in 1985, the museum was built with the goal of educating and raising public awareness about the oil sands. It features exhibits, demonstrations, & films featuring everything from gigantic mining equipment to the environmental impact of the industry.
History: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology
Once, dinosaurs ruled the land that is now Alberta. The Midwestern Canadian plains were the perfect place for these creatures to thrive, and remnants of their presence are still being uncovered to this day. In fact, you’ll find a more than 2500km stretch of land in the province known as Alberta’s “Fossil Trail” where paleontological sites are dotted all across the map.
The highlights of Alberta’s prehistoric past can be found in the city of Drumheller, which is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Get up close and personal with full sized skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and the T-rex’s menacing Alberta cousin, the Albertosaurus. On top of the dinosaur exhibits you’ll also be treated to a hands-on look at the study of paleontology, and learn exactly how fossils are discovered, preserved, & displayed.
Photo credit: Carmel O’Sullivan
Science & Technology: Telus World of Science – Edmonton
If you’re looking to better understand how the world works and explore some of humanity’s greatest technological achievements, then a trip to a great science museum is an absolute must.
In Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton, you’ll find the province’s premier science and technology museum, the Telus World of Science. Not only will you experience world-class exhibits for all ages on the environment, human body, robotics, and astronomy, but the museum is also home to an IMAX theatre for documentary film buffs, and a seven-telescope observatory for avid stargazers. As a bonus, you can even rent the building for extra special birthday parties and once-in-a-lifetime sleepovers!