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Royal Alberta Museum reaches major construction milestone

The new Royal Alberta Museum is one step closer to opening, as the governments of Canada and Alberta mark construction completion of the landmark facility.

Royal Alberta Museum

Work on the new museum in downtown Edmonton began in 2013 and employed several thousand construction workers. The cost of the new museum, which includes construction of the facility as well as gallery and exhibit development, is $375.5 million. The province is providing $253 million and the Government of Canada is providing $122.5 million.

“Cultural institutions like the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton play a key role in developing dynamic communities that celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage and creativity. Museums bring people together, sparking curiosity, encouraging tourism, and connecting community members. The Government of Canada recognizes that strategic investments in public infrastructure - including funding for cultural projects like this one - will build the Canada of the 21st century and promote economic development that will help the middle class grow and prosper.”

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Royal Alberta Museum will be a landmark attraction in our downtown arts district. People will travel from near and far to learn about Alberta’s heritage and the stories of this great province – its land, its animals and its people. Infrastructure projects like this one are key to ensuring that Edmonton will remain among the best places in the world to live, work, and raise a family.”

Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre

“As I present this new facility to my Culture and Tourism colleague, Minister Miranda, I am pleased to note that our project team has done this province proud. They have designed and built a modern museum that reflects Alberta’s diverse landscape, pays homage to our past and will serve to entertain and educate Albertans well into the future. Our government will continue to invest in important infrastructure that creates jobs and benefits Albertans.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure

Construction of the new museum combined tried-and-true materials with state-of-the-art technology and elements of history.

  • Natural materials were chosen for strength, beauty and durability. Limestone covers the museum’s exterior walls and is used in the interior public spaces along with granite flooring.
  • Advanced controls allow for varying settings throughout the facility, ensuring that environmental needs specific to each exhibit are met. 
  • Mosaic panels by artist Ernestine Tahedl that were reclaimed from the Canada Post office formerly on site are featured along the museum’s pedestrian boulevard on 103A Avenue.

The new Royal Alberta Museum will embody the story of Alberta, preserving experiences of its people and places and inspiring Albertans and visitors to explore and understand the world around them. It will be one of the province’s greatest cultural attractions and the largest museum in Western Canada, as well as an integral part of Edmonton’s Arts District.

While primary building construction is complete, work will continue inside. Then the mammoth move into the facility will begin. The museum is expected to open in late 2017.

“Today marks a major milestone in the museum’s journey and I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. This outstanding facility will help bring to life the stories of our province and serve as a destination for all Albertans and visitors. It will capture and engage a variety of audiences in a way we have never seen before. Now comes the time for museum staff to begin the huge task of moving millions of objects into the facility. I cannot wait to celebrate the opening of the new Royal Alberta Museum in late 2017 and look forward to the beginning of a new chapter in our provincial history.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Tourism and Culture

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