Officials with the historic site of Fort Normandeau, where Red Deer’s initial settlers first built upon, unveiled their newly renovated interpretive centre this past week.
The story of the site’s historic past known as the ‘Red Deer Crossing’ is displayed through a variety of interactive and dramatic programs, exhibits and artifacts.
The interpretive centre gives a detailed account of how Fort Normandeau and Red Deer were settled, the First Nations peoples they encountered and the reasons for the location of the settlements.
Complete with a 10-minute audio-visual program in their custom built theatre, attendees of the new interpretive centre can expect to learn about the history surrounding Red Deer and the area that once was Fort Normandeau and the Red Deer Crossing.
During the unveiling of the renovations, Mayor Tara Veer officially proclaimed the centre open for visitors and stated she hopes it will encourage Red Deerians to explore their rich heritage and history.
“As a proud born and raised Red Deerian, today is especially meaningful for me,” she said. “Red Deer has continuously progressed thanks to the hard work of our ancestors who continuously persevered and faced many adversities to give us the life we all enjoy now.”
Veer explained the plans for the centre’s revitalization were part of the City’s centennial plans in 2013 when it was proposed that the interpretive centre receive a face-lift.
“With funding from the City and granting from our federal government through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Designation and the addition of private donations, we are now able to celebrate this revitalized interpretive centre which truly commemorates our history,” said Veer.
“It is a true representation of what has transpired in our community over the last 100 plus years.”
Throughout the summer, history is brought to life with authentic entertaining and informative live programs, which when combined with the new interpretive centre is sure to provide a fun and informative visit for the thousands of school children and families who visit the centre every year.
Every June, Fort Normandeau hosts a weekend of historical fun including 1885 era military skirmishes, traditional First Nations ceremonies and a variety of displays, crafts and games.