For 48 years, the Royal Alberta Museum has called the scenic Edmonton Glenora neighbourhood “home.” This fall, staff begin the work of winding down the iconic galleries for a final season of operations in this location.
But don’t worry, there’s still a lot to see at the museum before it’s packed up and moved away to its new location in downtown Edmonton.
Beginning Sept. 8, the museum will be open to the public three days per week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the full closure of all galleries, which takes place on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. The theatre will continue normal operations indefinitely.
What can you see at museum until December 2015?
First, are you following the RAM on social media? That is where the museum is posting lists of activities that you can participate in over the next three months. Follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.
If you ask for a recommendation, however, we have a couple of ideas. Check out the beloved Mexican red-kneed tarantula. You’ve seen her in the movies and you’ve seen her in museum ads, but we bet you didn’t know that the female species can live to be 50-years-old! You definitely need to catch a last look at her before she embarks on a journey to the new building.
How about gems and minerals? Did you know that the RAM has the largest collection in Western Canada? It does. And you should pop in to take a peek before these priceless gems are packed.
Transitioning to the new museum
Even before boxes are packed and treasures are transported, museum staff have many things to do in preparation for this mammoth move.
How? Well, every single piece in the museum’s collection — roughly 2.2 million objects — must be cataloged and assessed for special moving requirements/care. For example, some objects need to be repaired or cleaned before they are packed away.
Once objects are cataloged and assessed, many will be placed in boxes made specifically for them and labelled with descriptions and special instructions. Once secured in packing materials, these boxes are placed in even bigger boxes for additional safety during the physical move.
To be frank, it’s a big job…a really big job that requires special attention to details and the utmost care.
The new museum
Construction of the new building is underway and anticipated to be completed in 2016. Following the construction phase, the task of creating over 82,000 ft2 of galleries, moving and installing thousands of objects, outfitting a café, gift shop, theatre, offices and more will get underway.
Operated by Alberta Culture and Tourism, the Glenora site of the Royal Alberta Museum is located at 12845 -102 Avenue, Edmonton. Be sure to plan a visit before the galleries close on Dec. 6. We hope to see you in the current building one last time before its treasures are packed away for a new adventure. Though nearby road construction makes getting to the museum a little more challenging these days, you won’t be disappointed. See you soon!