Your Museum: The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

Museum Entry

Sharing a passion of history and art

Here at the MAG, we are passionate about art and history. We are committed to creating memorable experiences for our visitors in order to help them understand the people, history and culture of Central Alberta. We want to engage families in learning together about our community – and the rest of the world. Our aim is to reflect the beauty, the complexity and the rich diversity of Red Deer and the surrounding area.

We have a rich and varied collection, supported by fascinating research. We now have the opportunity to tell the stories of the artifacts in the collection in creative ways that will involve visitors of all ages in a journey of discovery. From time to time, we will bring exhibitions from other museums to Red Deer in order to share our delight and curiosity about the art, culture and history of the rest of the world.

I would like to invite you to visit your museum and tell us what you think. What stories do you think we should tell? What kind of artifacts would you most like to see? What kinds of activities would be fun for the entire family? What things would generate conversations between the generations? What ideas could we present that will change the way we live in our community?

Lorna Johnson, BFA, M.Ed.
Executive Director

Museum History

The Red Deer & District Museum began in 1973, marking the City of Red Deer’s 60th anniversary. The Museum expanded into its present quarters in 1978, and transferred ownership of the building to the City of Red Deer. In 1983, an addition provided the Atrium, Stewart Room, two galleries, a second reserve storage room and enlargement of the Archives. Subsequently, in 1993 – 1994, an additional storage area was constructed for the ever-expanding museum and archives collections.

The Museum collection consists of more than 90,000 objects, and includes one of the finest collections of clothing and textiles in Western Canada as well as an extensive collection of First Nations and Inuit art. The Library houses reference and artifact books, catalogues, and other print material.

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery is a permanent institution in the service of Society and of its development which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment. The Museum presents an on-going series of temporary exhibitions and interpretive programs in the fine and decorative arts, sciences, and humanities.

Governance

• The MAG is governed by the Board of Directors of the Red Deer & District Museum Society.
• There may be up to 12 volunteer Board members.
• The Board has adopted a Policy Governance model, and as such, the Board leads the organization by developing the over-arching goals for the organization and setting organizational policies for accountability.

Collections

• The Red Deer & District Museum Society owns over 90,000 artefacts representing donations by over 3,000 individuals from Red Deer and the surrounding area
• Our largest collection is clothing and textiles – over 15,000 items
• We have significant collections of military history, decorative arts, the history of commerce and agriculture in Red Deer, visual arts created by artists from Central Alberta, and contemporary First Nations art by artists from across Canada.
• The Board is working with the staff to develop parameters for the collection and a long- range collecting strategy.
• The collection is classified into the following categories:

o Paleontology and Paleo-botany
o Archaeology of Central Alberta
o Agricultural History of Central Alberta
o Urban History of Red Deer
o Social History  (includes Clothing & Textiles) of Central Alberta
o Decorative Arts and Material Culture
o First Nations History of Central Alberta
o Military History of Central Alberta
o First Nations Art
o Art of Central Alberta

Grateful for our supporters