Find what you need at the Provincial Archives

Photo for PAA outreach blog

What do Juno-nominated musicians, comic book collectors, interior decorators and personal organizers have in common? They’ve all, at one point or another, accessed collections and services at the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA).

Located in Edmonton, PAA is the repository for records and resources considered to be of historical and cultural significance to the people of Alberta. Whether for photos, videos, films, maps or text, folks visiting the Archives can access literally millions of different records.

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Battle of Passchendaele Day

Battle of Passchendaele. November, 1917 Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada

On November 10, 1917, exactly one hundred years ago today, the Canadian Corps captured the eastern edge of Passchendaele Ridge, bringing an end to a horrific, muddy battle for the Allied forces. To commemorate this achievement, the Government of Alberta has declared November 10, 2017 as Battle of Passchendaele Day in Alberta. Continue reading

From carpentry to tourism: entrepreneur builds a dream



Nestled in a coniferous forest, along the banks of the Bow River in the traditional lands of the Blackfoot, rests Tipi accommodations and the River Ranche Lodge. It’s where Dion Red Gun and his wife Cherylene Bullbear created the business of their dreams, River Ranche Tourism.

Here in the peaceful and serene territory, visitors can learn about the outdoors and the Blackfoot culture. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the fly fishing, kayaking, birding and cross country skiing excursions. Those seeking cultural experiences will learn from Siksika Elders who share their knowledge of healing and wellness. Through the Majorville Medicine Wheel Journey through Siksika lands, Elders and members share the interpretation of the stones, dances, stories of the dancing regalia, and significant sites important to the Siksika. Sweat lodge experiences are also available upon request.

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Laying trench mats at Passchendaele

Canadian Pioneers laying trench mats over mud. Battle of Passchendaele. Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives of Canada

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, an armistice ended the hostilities of the First World War. Today we know it as Remembrance Day, when communities across Canada honour our fallen and the sacrifices our soldiers have made for our country.

This month is also the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, where from October 26 to November 10, 1917 close to 16,000 Canadians killed, wounded or missing. With more than a half a million casualties for the Allied forces to move the frontline a mere eight kilometres, Passchendaele became a symbol of the horror and futility of war. Despite the hardships, the Canadian Corps not only won a key victory, it helped the country gain international recognition as an independent nation.

Here are some of the ways you can learn more about our military heroes of Passchendaele and the Great War, as well as all those who have served our country throughout during Veterans’ Week.

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Rutherford House invites you to honour Remembrance Day

Are you looking for a way to commemorate Remembrance Day? Join Rutherford House this weekend for the annual Rutherford House Remembers event.

Interpreters on the stairs

Tucked inside the University of Alberta campus is the home of Alberta’s first premier, Alexander Cameron Rutherford. This post-Edwardian style building and the beautiful surrounding gardens have been restored to their former glory for you to enjoy.

On Nov. 5 from noon to 4 p.m., the beautiful Rutherford House welcomes you to remember and honour the courageous Canadian men, women, and animals of the Great War, both at home and at the Front.

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Watch your old home movies at the Provincial Archives!

Do you have home movies tucked away that you’ve been dying to watch? If so, you’re in luck!

From a 16mm film of grandpa lounging in his easy chair, to Super 8 clips of mom and dad in front of their new suburban house, home movies document family life and link generations together. Whether it’s a wedding, birthday celebration, holiday gathering, or just a relaxing summer afternoon with friends and relatives, these celluloid records are irreplaceable.  But when was the last time that you dusted off those old reels? Do you have the right equipment to view them? Continue reading

Come out and play!

Tired of the concrete urban jungle, or the often hectic demands of life day to day? Fortunately for Albertans, the province’s two largest cities have beautiful river valleys to explore. Chris Szydlowski understood the value of that idea and started a tourism business to help urban dwellers come out and play.

In our final post celebrating Small Business Week and the many tourism businesses who are shaping tourism in Alberta, we Segway into a look at River Valley Adventure Co. 

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Are you Afraid of the Dark? Find out at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum!

Are you Afraid of the Dark 1

Have you ever wanted to explore the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in the dark with the creepy-crawly feeling of Halloween in the air? If so, then you’re in luck.

On October 28, take part in the museum’s adult-only, second annual Halloween event, Are You Afraid of the Dark, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Crazed Doll Maker is on the prowl, so beware and take care. When the lights go out, the dolls will rise…to greet you.

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Reynolds-Alberta Museum Celebrates 25 Years!

25 anniversary pin

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.”

Memory Wall

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).”

Memory Wall_full_long

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.”

Buttons_Reynolds25thOf 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 FacebookTwitter: Instagram: YouTube.