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.

Announcements for September

Wednesday, August 29th 2012

David More: The Garden Within
Closing Wed, Sept 5th. Only a few days remaining to see this wonderful art show by Benalto
artist, David More. Free admission this weekend.

100 Years of Struggle; 100 Years of Solidarity
In the Discovery Studio until October 21st
The Alberta Federation of Labour was created in 1912 by workers and farmers who saw the need
for an organization that would protect their common interests and make their communities
stronger. This 4-panel display features stories and photos on a variety of themes of the AFL
movement over the past 100 years.

Big Changes Happening at the MAG
Preliminary construction begins on the permanent history exhibition. Galleries will be closed
from September 6th to 28th. Programs in the Discovery Room are not affected. The only and final
exhibition of 2012 will open September 29th. Visit the website for more information.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Come join us for some studio fun. Expressive, inclusive visual art program for everyone
Open Studio from September 10 to November 30.
New prices are in effect. Memberships available to persons with disabilities - $50 per year, $5.00
per month, or $3,00 for a drop in session. For information contact Janet Cole at 403-309-8405 or

MAGnificent Saturdays – 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Drop-in art making for the entire family. We supply the artist, the inspiration, and the materials
you supply your imagination. Activities included with admission.
Sept 1 – Monochromatic Murals with artist Carlene La Rue
Sept 8 – Where’d the Art Go? with artist Erin Boake
Sept 15 – Peculiar Portraits with artist Carlene La Rue
Sept 22 – Wannabe Watercolours with artist Erin Polzer
Sept 29 – Art from the Attic with artist Erin Polzer

For more information on these and future events, please contact Karin Richardson-MacKenzie,
Development & Marketing at 403-309-8446. Visits our website -

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Look what you can make with Twigs!

Thursday, June 14th 2012

Artist Erin Boake had a wonderful Saturday making fantastic sculptures out of twigs and lots of other colourful materials. Visitors created magic wands, wreaths, fishing poles and so many other great creations!

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MAGnificent Saturdays Continue through the Summer!

Tuesday, May 29th 2012

Beat the summer heat and stay cool while making works of art in our studio!

Did you know that MAGnificent Saturdays run all year round?

It's true! Any Saturday from 1-4pm you will find families creating artworks guided by an artist AND all the materials you will need are supplied! All this included with the price of addmission!

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The Other Side of Gold Mountain exhibit Opens

Friday, May 4th 2012

On May 1st over 80 guests attended The Other Side of Gold Mountain exhibit opening.

Dr. Brian Evans, Curator and Author of the catalogue, Linda Quirk from the Bruce Peel Special Collections Lirbary, Councillor Frank Wong, Lawrence Lee, President of the Red Deer & District Chinese Community Society and Lorna Johnson, E.D. of the MAG all gave opening remarks and thanks. We would like to thank the Club Cafe for providing appetizers for the event which featured traditional homestyle foods.

This exhibition is on loan from the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta. The materials on which this exhibition is anchored are from the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection at the Peel Library in Edmonton and selected photographs from the Chung Collection, the Rare Books and Special Collections Library at the University of British Columbia.
The exhibition was a labour of love for all involved, but especially for Dr. Brian L. Evans, curator and author of the catalogue.

The Immigration story of Frank Wong's family, which spans over a century, complements this exhibit with personal family photos and belongings, to tell one of many Chinese immigration stories to the local area.

Check out some video clips of the opening remarks here


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We're a Voting Place

Friday, April 20th 2012

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery will be a Voting Place in the 2012 Alberta Provincial Election. Voting will take place in the Stewart Discovery Studio from 9am to 8pm on Monday April 23rd. Main entrance is on the West side of the building. We are located between the Golden Circle and the Recreation Centre.

While you are here, we encourage you to check out Food For Health and The Other Side Of Gold Mountain exhibitions. For more information on these exhibits, click on the What's On section of the MAG website. Admission for April 23rd is FREE to everyone, so stop in!

Don't know your Voting Poll? Want more information? Check your Voting Card, or visit for more information.

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MAG hosts Inuit Artist in Residence, Tim Pitsiulak

Monday, February 27th 2012

The MAG is currently showing Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking, organized by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with Dorset Fine Arts, and the only venue in Alberta to host this significant exhibition.

Uuturautiit (oo-to-raw-tee) features 80 of the most recent and innovative works with the complete inaugural 1959 collection. Extremely rare, the latter has been re-assembled for the first time in five decades.

Tim Pitsiulak, whose work is featured in the exhibition, will be spending two weeks as artist-in-residence at the MAG. Pitsiulak will be set up in the Discovery Studio, demonstrating his techniques, and speaking with visitors between February 20 and March 4. A portion of his time will be spent visiting Red Deer College and other local schools, taking time to speak with students in various visual art programs.

The land and landscape is predominant in Pitsiulak’s early works, and represent life in his community and Canada’s North. In recent years his large, pencil crayon and ink drawings and colourful lithographs chronicle modern realities in Cape Dorset.

Lorna Johnson, Executive Director at the MAG states, “We are so fortunate to have an artist of Tim’s calibre come to Red Deer. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the art form and meet one of the up-and-coming artists from the Cape Dorset community.”

For additional information, please contact Rod Trentham, Education and Programs Coordinator. Phone 403-309-8445, or email at


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Family Day @ the MAG

Monday, February 20th 2012

Today more than 500 visitors passed through our doors to take in activities, games, Inuit throat singing and storytelling, live fiddlers and they helped us to eat over 1000 pieces of freshly made Bannock.

We had a lot of fun and look forward to sharing family day with everyone in 2013!

Check out the photos and videos at the below links.


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Concept Design for Permanent History Exhibition to be Presented

Monday, February 20th 2012

The 2013 Permanent History Exhibition project is on schedule.

The firm of Reich & Petch, the awarding-winning design firm from Toronto contracted to create the exhibition, will present the concept design at an Open House at the Museum on Wednesday, February 29th, starting at 7:00pm.

“We are very enthusiastic to share this phase of the project with our members and stakeholders,” states Jean Graham, President of the Museum Society. “We are extending an invitation to the general community to come out to see first hand what our excitement is all about.”

The footprint planned for the permanent history exhibition is 4200 square feet, approximately one-half of the existing gallery space. The remaining 3300 square feet of gallery space will support the changing exhibit program.

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery and the Red Deer & District Archives have extensive collections that will be the core anchor the exhibition. Themes in the exhibition will highlight the stories of leadership, ingenuity and community spirit, and tell stories of the lives of ordinary people, stories of success and sacrifice over 100 years.

Lorna Johnson, Executive Director and Project Manager, admits, “Our community has asked for a permanent display of Red Deer's history. The designer has worked closely with the team to create an experience that establishes this sense of place; one that "connects the dots" and identifies where we came from and how we got to this point in time.”

Doors will open at 6:30 pm on February 29th. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Lorna Johnson, 403-309-8439, or Karin Richardson-MacKenzie, 403-309-8446.

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Making History Fundraising Campaign launched!

Wednesday, February 1st 2012

Exciting details for new permanent museum exhibit announced

Red Deer… Red Deer’s Museum and Art Gallery announced details about the new permanent history exhibit which is being created to open in time for the City’s Centennial celebrations in 2013.

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.

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, Executive Director Lorna Johnson, says, “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.”

The exhibit called The Place Between: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland will utilize more than 40 per cent 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.

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. 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.

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.

For additional information, please contact Lorna Johnson. Phone: (403)309-8439.


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Warm Reception for Uuturautiit

Wednesday, January 18th 2012

Uuturautiit Opening Reception

Last night visitors braved the cold to attend to provide a warm welcome at the Opening Reception for Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking. We would like to thank Mayor Flewwelling and Mr. Earl Dreeshan, MP, for remarks and everyone who attended.

Catering was provided by Boulevard Restaurant located in the Holiday Inn & Suites on Gasoline Alley, and featured a fantastic assortment of Arctic Char, Bison Wellingtons and more.

We would like to share a comment with you from Teresa Nueman, Community and Program Facilitator, Performing Arts, City of Red Deer who attended the event.

Uuturautiit Exhibition at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery

Before I do much of anything else this morning, I want to share with you all my excitement over the Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking Exhibition that has just opened at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery and runs until April 1. I was fortunate to attend the opening reception last evening and the exhibition is absolutely beautiful. This is a very important exhibition, organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with Dorset Fine Arts. It features the complete 1959 inaugural collection from this famous northern printmaking collective, re-assembled for the first time in five decades. Also featured are contemporary works from the still vibrant Cape Dorset printmaking group, some of who are original members, and many of who are second or third generation family members.

Red Deer is the only Alberta stop for this travelling exhibition. This was made possible by the recent renovations to the Museum and Art Gallery which brought our museum up to the standards necessary to host such an important show. It is an absolute must see. Making this time at the Museum even more exciting will be the addition of Cape Dorset prints from the MAG’s own collection, which will run January 28 to March 4. They have a wonderful line up of speakers, films and activities over the next two months to truly bring the experience of this wonderful Inuit art to life for our community. Visit for more information.

I strongly urge you to put a visit to MAG on your calendar and take all your friends!

Teresa Neuman


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