Fairview RCMP Centennial Museum
There are over 300 museums in Alberta, a province in western Canada with a population of about four million people. Most of these museums are located in small towns and rural areas throughout the province, serving diverse communities by, among other things, preserving heritage, offering tourist information, and providing educational entertainment.
In 2014, a research team from the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta began visiting and analyzing as many of these museums as possible. Our continuing goal is to study the ways in which these important cultural centres sustain local identities while contributing to various economies and creating a sense of place. This website presents some of the resulting research to multiple audiences within and beyond Canada, including tourists as well as museum scholars, enthusiasts, and workers. Organized thematically, the site highlights some of the most innovative museums in Alberta, suggesting ways to learn from small town museums and value the distinctive regions of Alberta.
This website presents the first phase of our research project, ensuring that the data is accessible to the public. At time of this writing, we have visited 221 of the museums in Alberta, including large urban ones, striving for a broad overview. The map
attached to this website identifies 314 museums in Alberta, providing basic information about location and content. Misa Nikolic faced challenges when creating the database for this map, for many of the smaller museums lacked an online presence. He worked hard to create as complete a list as possible of the museums in Alberta, according to our working definition of what constitutes a museum. Please read his "Final Report"
for details about this initial phase of research. The map can be enlarged and scanned for information, allowing researchers, museum workers, students, tourists, and local residents alike to more easily discover the type and locations of the museums in specific regions of the province.