OPEN SPACE- Lorna Johnson

The MAG announces centennial project

A new permanent exhibit at Red Deer’s Museum + Art Gallery will open in time for the City’s centennial celebrations in 2013.

Officials with the MAG announced details about the history exhibit at a press conference last week. The $1.5 million project is already in the early design stages by internationally renowned design firm, Reich + Petch of Toronto which has engaged the services of local interpretive planner, Anna Robertson. The public will be invited to see preliminary sketches in late February.

“This exhibit will entice all ages, mixing items from the collection of the Red Deer Museum and the Red Deer and District Archives with high tech interactive centres and multi‐media that make our City’s history come alive with characters, stories and artifacts from our past,” said Lorna Johnson, executive director of the MAG. “We are very excited.”

The exhibit called The Place Between: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland will utilize more than 40% of the facility space. Ten themed components will bring Red Deer’s history to life, showcasing the diverse heritage of Alberta’s third largest city.

“We will look at the land and the landscape, community-based entertainment and culture, looking at growth, how the land was sold and settled – those are some of the themes,” said Johnson. “We are really planning it to be a showpiece and a centre point.”

The exhibit will open March 2013 to coincide with the City of Red Deer’s centennial and is expected to become a centerpiece for Red Deer, attracting visitors from all over the province and beyond, said Johnson. It also provides a starting point for discovering Red Deer and a way of building a sense of community by sharing the City’s historic roots.

The public will get a look at the conceptual design of the exhibit on Feb. 29th.

The City of Red Deer has contributed $1 million to the project, but more money is still needed.

A fundraising campaign, entitled ‘Making History’ is being launched to invite members of the business community, individuals and groups to participate in making this exhibit come alive. A goal of $500,000 has been set for the campaign.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com