(Edmonton) – Doors will open to the new Royal Alberta Museum (RAM), the largest museum in Western Canada, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, with six free days of entry.
After years of hard work and anticipation, museum staff are completing the final touches before welcoming Albertans and visitors from around the world into the new building in the heart of downtown Edmonton, at 9810 103a Avenue.
To celebrate the grand opening and to welcome Albertans back to their provincial museum, admission is free throughout the long weekend, from Oct. 3 to Oct. 8.
“The new Royal Alberta Museum is an architectural showpiece where Albertans will see their history, their province and themselves reflected inside the walls of this building,” stated Ricardo Miranda, Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism. “Visitors will experience transformative moments that have shaped our province – connecting our past to our present. Building a museum is a mammoth task and we look forward to welcoming Albertans back to their provincial museum to show what we have accomplished in bringing this world-class museum to life.”
With the official opening on Oct. 3, the RAM will take its place as the largest museum in Western Canada, spanning almost 40,000 square metres (419,000 square feet), including more than 7,600 square metres (82,000 square feet) of exhibition space – twice as much as the former Glenora location. The new space allows RAM to provide visitors with new objects and stories to explore, in addition to old favourites that everyone knows and loves.
“Cultural institutions like the Royal Alberta Museum play a key role in developing dynamic communities and preserving Canada’s rich heritage,” noted Minister of Natural Resouces Amarjeet Sohi, on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Government of Canada is proud to have supported this stunning new landmark, which will boost the local economy, attract tourists from around the world and celebrate western Canadian history for generations to come.”
Museum staff have spent the past five years hard at work curating and creating exhibits that take visitors on a journey that invites curiosity, encourages inclusivity, fosters wonder and tells the remarkable stories of Alberta.
More than 5,300 objects will be on display in the new museum that features:
- Expansive Human History and Natural History Halls chronicling the history of Alberta’s people, animals and landscapes.
- An interactive Children’s Gallery designed for hands-on learning through play.
- An expansive Bug Gallery with a visible hatchery.
- A free admission space dedicated to the Manitou Stone. More
“I’m so pleased to see this long-awaited addition to our downtown core,” remarked Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “It will enhance visitors’ historical and cultural experiences in our city and encourage more tourism which, in turn, benefits our local economy.”
A total of $375.5 million is invested in the new museum: $253 million from the Alberta government and $122.5 million from the federal government’s Building Canada Fund.
“The opening of this highly anticipated facility is great news for the City of Edmonton and the entire region,” said MP for Edmonton Centre Randy Boissonnault. “It will bring an exciting new hub of culture and learning to the downtown core and be a point of pride for Albertans for generations to come.”
Opening weekend details: Book your ticket
Visitors are invited to explore the galleries, free, during regular museum hours beginning at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 3 until 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8.
Visitors must book a timed ticket online for entry during the free six-day period. Tickets are available at royalalbertamuseum.ca.
Regular paid admission prices and hours begin Oct. 9, and will be posted on the museum website.
Opening weekend visiting hours:
- Wednesday, Oct. 3: noon to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 4: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Friday, Oct. 5 to Monday, Oct. 8: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to the incredible galleries, visitors can enjoy a variety of cultural music and dance performances over the six days. Share your excitement about the opening on social media using #newRAM.