Permanent Collections & Library

Permanent Collections

The collections of the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery document the history and culture of Red Deer and Central Alberta. Our Collections represent a broad sample of materials directly related to the City of Red Deer, the surrounding districts and Central Alberta.

Collections include clothing and textiles, commercial and domestic material, archaeological and paleontological artefacts and agricultural machinery and equipment. The Museum also holds a collection of artwork from local, national and international artists.

Reference and Research Library

The MAG Reference and Research Library is a closed stacked library and is housed at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery. Holdings include Alberta and local history books, pamphlets, catalogues, periodicals, and sheet music.

Access to the catalogue is available online the Red Deer Public Library. In-person access to the MAG Reference and Research Library is by appointment only.

For information about the collection and the library, contact Melanie at 

What's Remarkable About Red Deer?

Here are posts of unique items from our collection. Click on each to read their stories.

New Newsletter Launched!

Monday, May 12th 2014

Our newest newsletter, MAGnet, is officially launched!

It's been a little while since we last circulated our "Exhibitor" newsletter. So it is time to check out our new look for MAG news! More than just a calendar of events, the MAGnet features "Ask a MAG Expert", "Collection Connections", "What do the koi Say?" and "#FamilyFriendly" sections just to name a few! Inside this issue learn from our own MAG Expert Melanie, Preparator "What is the best way to store my graduation dress?"


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Frogs‘n Snails‘n Puppy Dog Tails

Monday, March 31st 2014

Frogs‘n Snails‘n Puppy Dog Tails


On Saturday, March 29th ,2014, families got creative and made personal paper soft sculptures that represented what makes them special (ie. hobbies, personality etc.) based on a list they brainstormed. Participants stuffed their creations with their special list they created so that their projects were made up of the same things they were!


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Soap Carving Fun on Saturday

Tuesday, December 3rd 2013

On Saturday November 23rd families at MAGnificent Saturdays got creative turing bars of Ivory soap into Inuit inspired sculptures. Here are pictures of some of the results!





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MAGnificent Saturday Pictures

Tuesday, November 19th 2013

Here are picutures from "Red Deer from the Clouds." This amazing landscape was made with carboard, sticky foam and markers! 



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More Fantastic Photos from Past Saturdays

Tuesday, November 12th 2013

Here are some of the beautiful creations that have been made in the studio with our spectacular artist team!

These are from Pet Rocks Rock!


These are from Hickory Dickory Sock Puppets and Golden Oldies!


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Bring Your Own Pumkpin 2013!

Thursday, November 7th 2013

Families brought their own pumpkin to MAGnificent Saturdays!

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Preparation for Remarkable Red Deer

Monday, January 28th 2013

We are in the construction phase of Remarkable Red Deer: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland exhibition at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery.

Museum staff will be delving into a flurry of activity behind the scenes in preparation of installing artifacts and mounts in the exhibition, in order to meet the opening deadline of March 25, 2013. 

Thanks to an Operational Staffing Grant from the Alberta Museums Association awarded in 2012, the MAG’s Preparator, Melanie Berndt, had the opportunity to build her skills and learn from other professionals in her field, in order to prepare her for the work involved in the installation of Remarkable Red Deer.

Melanie’s role involves taking the exhibit designer’s vision and turning it into a reality in exhibit cases, mounts and mannequins while upholding the integrity and conservation of Collection artifacts. This requires a thorough understanding of artifact care and handling, but also creativity to make a design a reality for the viewer.


Here you can see Melanie prepping and padding a newly acquired mannequin for the exhibition. The purchase of mannequins was made possible by a successful Institutional Project grant application from the AMA in 2012.

The MAG gratefully acknowledges the AMA for its granting opportunities that allow for museums in Alberta to make various projects a reality so that our institutions may preserve the heritage of our communities, while promoting research and learning through the generations.

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Major Jason Snider to speak on Remembrance Day @ the MAG

Friday, November 9th 2012

On Remembrance Day, November 11th, 2012 at 2:00pm Major Jason R. Snider will speak here at the MAG about his time served in Afghanistan.

Major Snider joined the Army reserves as an Artillery Officer in January 1991.  He completed his initial phase training in CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick between 1991 and 1994.  He released from the forces to pursue his studies in 1995, rejoining a year later in 1997.  Since rejoining he has progressed through his training as a Artillery Officer, and was promoted to Captain in 2002, and Major in 2010.

Major Snider has primarily served with the 20th Field Regiment RCA, including being appointed as the Battery Commander for the 78th Field Battery RCA from 2005 to 2012.  In 2012 he was appointed as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Regiment.

Major Snider completed his Army Operations Course in July 2007, and then deployed to Afghanistan in February 2008 as a member of the Observer, Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT).  His tour in Afghanistan was primarily in FOB Wilson, in Zharey District, West of Kandahar City.  He returned to Canada in September of 2008.

Major Snider completed his education as a lawyer in 1999, and was called to the Bar in August 2000.  He has worked as a Crown Prosecutor since July 2002, and handles many of the serious and complex prosecutions within the Red Deer Judicial District.

We remember those that have fought for us, and those that have lost their lives.

This talk is Included with admission or MAG Membership.

All media inquires please direct to Rod Trentham, Education Programs, 403-309-8405

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Bodacious Beads!

Tuesday, November 6th 2012

Here are some amazing beads made this weekend at MAGnficent Saturday with artist Carlene LaRue. The little sculptural ones are made of fimo and the long skinny ones are made of paper. See you next week for Wreaths to Remember!


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Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society Assumes Title Ownership of Sunnybrook Farm Museum Property in Red Deer

Monday, November 5th 2012

Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society Assumes Title Ownership of Sunnybrook Farm Museum Property in Red Deer

Photo taken by Councillor Tara Veer, City of Red Deer

RED DEER, ALBERTA. Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery and the Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society announced today that they have transferred ownership of the Sunnybrook Farm Museum property at 4701 – 30 Street, Red Deer, from the Red Deer & District Museum Society to the Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society. The land was originally donated to the Red Deer & District Museum Society in 1988, and in 1996 the Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society was established to operate the museum. With Sunnybrook Farm Museum’s 25th Anniversary Celebration next year, the two societies agreed that the time was right to make the transfer.

“We are confident that the Friends of Sunnybrook Farm will continue to carry out Norman Bower’s dream of establishing an agricultural museum on the site of his original homestead,” says MAG President Torben Andersen, “and we believe that transferring ownership of the land to them will empower the Friends of Sunnybrook Farm to develop their plans for the future.”

“The MAG is delighted to welcome Sunnybrook Farm Museum as an autonomous sister museum that tells the story of Central Alberta’s agricultural roots” says MAG Executive Director Lorna Johnson, “We will continue to collaborate with them to invite Red Deer’s citizens to learn more about the history of our city.”

The Friends of Sunnybrook Farm Society President Jeremy Moore agrees. “With our ongoing long-term development plans for the Museum: including bringing water and sanitary services to the entire site, new exhibition buildings, and the ongoing upkeep of the original heritage buildings, it will be easier for us to realize these development plans if we own the property.”

“We are deeply thankful for the MAG board and staff for their facilitation of this land transfer. We take seriously the role of stewards of Norman Bower’s original gift to the community, and of the many artifacts that have been donated over the past 25 years by Red Deer and Central Alberta citizens,” says Sunnybrook Farm Museum Executive Director Ian Warwick.

The transfer of title took place effective November 1, 2012 for an agreed upon purchase price of $1.00. A small ceremony and presentation of a plaque recognizing Norman Bower’s original gift of land was made on Monday, November 5 at Sunnybrook Farm Museum. For more information, please contact: 

Media Contacts:
Lorna Johnson, Executive Director

Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery

(403) 309-8439 /

Ian Warwick, Executive Director

Sunnybrook Farm Museum

(403) 340-3511 /

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