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.

The pursuit of Alberta adventures

Frozen waterfall

Do you crave crisp, clean air and scenic beauty? David Thompson Country in central Alberta is great place for hiking, snowshoeing and sightseeing, and small groups can experience this stunning landscape thanks to the small business of Pursuit Adventures.

It’s Small Business Week and we are recognizing the many entrepreneurs who help make the tourism industry in Alberta strong and vibrant, like JP Fortin, owner and CEO of Pursuit Adventures. This is the second article of three that features exemplary tourism operators who are vital to the visitor experience in Alberta.

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Ending poverty – a global effort that begins at home

FM IDW 3

Marked annually for the past 25 years, October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, a global Call to Action to citizens of the world to come together – governments, organizations and individuals – and undertake concrete activities to bring about the end of poverty and destitution.

Across Alberta, organizations and individuals have taken up that challenge. From volunteering at local food banks and homeless shelters, to raising funds for the building of schools and medical centres in the developing world, Albertans are making a difference and helping to end the crippling legacy of poverty.

You can join the battle by getting involved – sharing your passion and compassion – in support of local agencies on the front lines of the war on poverty. Here are just a few to consider and to inspire. There are so many more that are looking for someone just like you.

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Exploring at the heart of tourism

Haskin Canoe Tour Métis Crossing

Haskin Canoe Tour; photos courtesy of Amy Dillon and Anthie Michailides, Métis Nation of Alberta

Imagine, life as a fur trader more than 150 years ago, living off the land and paddling your birch bark canoe in the great outdoors. Thanks to the industrious operators of Métis Crossing, Leon Boychuck-Hunter and Phoebe Surana’Mehit, you don’t have to imagine it, you can experience it! About an hour and a half northeast of Edmonton, near Smoky Lake, you will find this one-of-a-kind historical adventure.

Leon and Phoebe are examples of the many entrepreneurs that are the backbone to tourism in Alberta. In celebration of Small Business Week in Canada, we’re taking a look at a few tourism operators whose entrepreneurial spirit is shaping visitor experiences in Alberta.

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Tune in to the Women Warriors Podcast, Season 2

Last year, we told you about Shelley Wiart and her Women Warriors program, created to “help women and children live healthy, active lifestyles.” Since that last post, Women Warriors has seen some terrific growth, and has helped hundreds of women and girls bring physical activity into their lives. Part of that growth has been the launch of a podcast, hosted by Shelley herself, where she sits down with some amazing Indigenous women to talk about a number of subjects impacting women and girls today. Guests have included Devon Fiddler from SheNative Goods Inc, actress and singer Stephanie Harp, and NWT MLA Caroline Cochrane. Continue reading

Come See the Sites (and Museums) during Alberta Culture Days!

Alberta Culture Days returns at the end of the month, and for lovers of Alberta’s history and heritage that means free admissions for the weekend!

From September 29 – October 1, all provincial historic sites and museums that are open for the weekend are offering free admission and special programs to Albertans.* From art displays to crafts to new exhibits, Alberta Culture Days provide an excellent opportunity for Albertans to explore and discover a diverse range of activities and treasures throughout the province.
*some activities may have additional fees; check each site for details

Here’s what’s going on at Alberta’s provincial facilities at the end of September. Continue reading