40th anniversary for Royal Alberta
Marc Bence/for metro edmonton
Since the Royal Alberta Museum was built in 1967, its number of artifacts has grown to mammoth proportions, say officials who helped celebrate the attraction’s 40th anniversary yesterday.
A collection of 42,000 artifacts when the building opened its doors has now ballooned to over 11 million.
"It’s all about the research and the collections here that really tell the story — we’ve always maintained that," said Dr. W. Bruce McGillivray, director for the Royal Alberta Museum.
"Other museums that are faced with cost pressures cut that kid of research out of their mandate … We have more people studying this province than ever before."
A good chunk of the museum’s massive collection comes from more than 33,000 known archeological sites across the province, said McGillivray, adding the province has earmarked over $170 million to help expand the museum or to find a larger location.
"When we look at the impact this museum has in the city and in the province, this is truly a world-renowned museum," said Alberta Tourism Minister Hector Goudreau.
"We want to make sure that it stays that way and we want to make sure that it grows as fast as we grow as a province."
The museum has played host 150 exhibitions that have looked into the diverse aspects of science, culture and human and natural history.
Staff at the museum will celebrate the 40th anniversary by offering a two-day open house beginning Friday.