The beloved Reynolds-Alberta Museum welcomed more than 300 visitors through its doors on September 30 to celebrate the facility’s 25th anniversary.
It was a day filled with looking towards the future while also reminiscing on the countless memories created over the past two-and-a-half decades.
About the museum
Located in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum preserves and protects Alberta’s transportation, aviation and agriculture history.
Founded on the donations of Albertan collector Stan Reynolds, the museum opened in 1992. Today, more than 1.5 million people have visited the facility that holds more than 6,400 artifacts in its collection including everything from vintage automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles to aircraft, tractors, and industrial equipment.
Reflecting on 25 years: visitors record their memories
Many of the visitors were former staff members and volunteers. The very first visitor into the museum was a long-time volunteer and former staff member, Judy Dancey, who was greeted with a special anniversary coffee mug, pin and a copy of the museum’s Spirit of the Machine book.
As a way to help honour and celebrate the big anniversary, a special wall was created for visitors to post their memories of the museum. Judy was the first visitor to leave a memory on the wall that read:
“I volunteered at the museum and also worked here for 8 years and I think I enjoyed every minute. I love this museum and all the people.”
Leigh Kvill (pictured left) has a long history with the museum. She was happy to leave her mark on the memory wall: “Coming here opening day 1992! So busy! Great day. Had our daughter, new born, in a stroller. She became a volunteer as a child all the way to adulthood. She even worked here. This museum is part of our DNA.”
Other memories shared include:
- Carla Schulte: “1992 was a memorable year. After several years of preparation, the beautiful museum was finally unveiled! My husband has worked here since the beginning (in the restoration shop) and I have a few hours on the volunteer board — pitching bundles as I recall. Now our daughter is following in her dad’s footsteps volunteering in various capacities from baking to tractor driving. Great memories!”
- Aja Cooper: “My first trip to the Reynolds with my family. I went for a flight in the Waco open cockpit biplane. My brother went on to be a pilot for Air Canada and I eventually ended up at CAHF! (Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame).”
By the end of the day, the wall was scattered with memories including a post from a first-time visitor “I have made a great memory today! Coming with family to celebrate 25th anniversary of the Reynolds Museum.”
Of all the activities taking place to celebrate the anniversary, the button station was probably the most popular with visitors proudly sporting their “Volunteer Hall of Fame” or “White Glove Hero” buttons. The “grease monkey” and “I came to see the Arrow but all I got was this button” were also seen plenty of times around the museum that afternoon.
Wetaskiwin MLA Bruce Hinkley joined the festivities and brought greetings from Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda.
Visitors were also treated with a delicious piece of cake from a very large anniversary cake.
Thank you to all visitors who joined the Reynolds-Alberta Museum to look back on the past 25 years. Albertans, and all visitors, continue making new memories at the museum by visiting upcoming special events including a spooky Halloween haunting on October 28 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
You can also stay in touch with the museum online through Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: YouTube.