February 16, 2015

Royal Alberta Museum

I'm a sucker for Edmonton tourist spots. I frequently go to Fort Edmonton, Valley Zoo, Space & Science center and other tourist spots throughout the year. So it was about time I visited the Royal Alberta Museum, which was for the first time in over 10 years. I'm sure every local can tell you about the current museum is closing and moving into a brand new building. Which is exciting. The current location is far too small, and the exhibits in it are pretty outdated. So as the history buff I am, I'm sure you can figure out how excited I'm am for the new building. Currently there are three permanent exhibits within the museum. There is the Wild Alberta gallery, the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture and the Natural History gallery. As well as a featured exhibit, Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
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It's about here that my camera decided it didn't want to work anymore. Every picture from here on came out blurry and over-exposed. It kinda of makes me think something paranormal didn't want us taking pictures anymore. So I don't have any pictures of most of the Natural History Gallery, or the Gallery of Aboriginal Culture. I did "force" Braydon to get close to the Black Widow cage, and the other creepy crawlies in the Bug Room. And he complained the entire time (he hates spiders). But he did enjoy the geology exhibit because what boy doesn't love rocks?
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The Gallery of Aboriginal Culture is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. Visitors take a journey spanning over 11,000 years with over 3,000 artifacts from North American Aboriginals. Starting at the ice age, it explores aboriginal settlements, livelihood, and culture.

Braydon felt this gallery was overall pleasing and displayed well, but it seemed to have spots of missing information. Which is better than my own thoughts of "white man ruined everything". Going through this part of the museum I couldn't help but feel angry. Especially at the end of the exhibit which focused on the suppression of the culture by Canadian government. Something that is still happening to this day. This particular gallery is in desperate need of updating. It ends in 1980, which I assume was when the exhibit was installed. As the only newer display, is a small case which looks as if it was added as an after thought.

I am sad that I didn't get as many pictures as I thought I would. But I am glad, I did get to experience going into the current museum one last time. Because it was so quiet it was great to get a chance play around with the interactive displays, and read every single plaque. The only part of the museum that changed was the bugs in the Bug room. I swear there was dung beetles last time I visited but this time there wasn't a single one. But given that it's been over ten years, they probably died.

If you want to catch the museum at it's current location you have until September 2015 to do so. I found contradicting information for when the new location will be opening. It could be opening as early as 2016, or as late as 2018.
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