Alberta's Provincial Historic Sites, Interpretive Centres and Museums
Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Reynolds-Alberta Museum - About the Museum

Starfighter jetDid you know the museum has ...

  • a one-of-a-kind 1929 Duesenberg Phaeton Royale Model J?
  • a Bucyrus Class-24 dragline, built in 1917 and is the world’s oldest dragline?
  • 1943 Douglas DC-3, the workhorse of the north

*Please note, not all artifacts in the museum's collection are on public display.

Did you also know that the museum has an internationally acclaimed restoration and conservation shop, an award-winning Resource Centre and is one of only three fly-in museums in Canada? The Reynolds-Alberta Museum has also been the recipient of four Premier’s Awards of Excellence for past exhibitions.

Our people

The museum is operated with a combination of government staff, Friends staff, contractors and volunteers. More than 140 volunteers help us by contributing more than 8,800 hours of their time each year. Find out how you can get involved.

Building front Our Physical Plant

Site: 223 acres located 2 kilometres west of Wetaskiwin, Alberta on Highway 13.

Main Building: 9,450 sq. m; wheelchair accessible and has seating located throughout the galleries. It houses the Entrance Hall, Exhibition Gallery, Restoration/Conservation Shop, Resource Centre, Gift Shop, Theatre, Board Room, Assembly Rooms, East Hall, Recognition Hall and administration offices.

Cruisers Café: Wholesome and delicious foods prepared by Chef Brendan Mitchell, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Grounds: Include beautifully landscaped lawns, picnic areas and agricultural fields.

Aviation Hangar Aviation Display Hangar: 1,830 sq. m; Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and a display of vintage aircraft interpret Canada's aviation history. The hangar is connected to the Wetaskiwin Alberta Airport (CEX3). Visitors arriving in private planes can taxi directly to the hangar.

Service Building: A six-bay garage for servicing the operating artifacts.

Collection Storage Facilities: 10,219 sq. m; currently houses more than 5000 artifacts in restored, conserved or last-used condition.

Tour Road: Visitors travel along this route while touring the site on the vintage vehicle ride program.

Test Track: An announcement tower and Power of Performance stage on the Test Track are used during outdoor concerts and special events.

Agricultural Fields: For the demonstration of operating agricultural artifacts in the fall.

Exhibit gallery Exhibits: More than 100 major artifacts are on display in the exhibition hall, and additional artifacts are in storage in the Collection Storage Facilities. Exhibits are arranged by theme and displayed in three conditions: restored, conserved and last-used.

The exhibition gallery takes the visitor around the perimeter of the exhibits along a "highway through time", beginning with a horse-drawn carriage from 1916. The centre of the gallery has artifacts and displays that showcase the agricultural theme through the four seasons of the year. The gallery is anchored by four stations: 1911 factory, 1920s grain elevator, 1930s service station, and 1950s drive-in.

The factory depicts the transition from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles during a time when buyers were faced with the dilemma of whether to buy electric, steam or gasoline powered vehicles.

The grain elevator is itself a giant machine. This 1920s replica enables visitors to gain a better understanding of the elevator's inner workings.

The service station offers a location for school programs, including "Funlights of Technology" where students pretend to be Service Station employees of the 1930s.

Drive-in theatreThe drive-in theatre provides visitors with a flashback to the 1950s. Period movies are shown among vintage automobiles throughout the day.

Museum Themes

Transportation
We collect, preserve, present and interpret machines from Alberta's transportation past from the 1890s to the present.

Our galleries tell the story of mechanization; cars and trucks replaced horse-drawn buggies and wagons and huge factories replaced the village blacksmith shop. See how the daily lives of Albertans were affected during this period of rapid change.

Aviation
The museum has 88 vintage aircraft, the second-largest vintage aircraft collection in Canada.

Twenty-six of these aircraft are currently on display in the museum's Aviation Display Hangar and on our grounds.

This display, along with artifacts and biographical panels of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, make this one of the most significant displays in North America.

Oil Pull TractorAgriculture
We collect, preserve, present and interpret machines from Alberta's agricultural from the 1890s to the present.

We farm 28 hectares using vintage seeders, balers, binders, threshers, plows, steam and gas tractors.

Industry
The museum has a growing industrial collection, including a 1917 Bucyrus Class 24 Dragline, an operational 1913 Leonard and Sons Steam Corliss Engine, and a 1928 Adams Motor Grader that you can climb into and try out!

Museum Store

Gifts for gearheads, presents for princesses and toys for tykes. The Museum Store is sure to have something for everyone in your family.

Drop by the Museum Store at the Museum and have a look. There's no admission charge for shopping this wonderful store. You'll find:

  • Books
  • Branded Products
  • Clothing
  • DVDs
  • Hats and Bags
  • Tin Signs
  • Toys
Pinterest For more museum store items, check out the
Reynolds-Alberta Museum Pinterest page

Resource Centre

Researchers and the curious can browse the stacks of Canada's largest publically held collection of service and operation manuals, illustrated parts books, sales catalogues and brochures, magazines and hundreds of reference files dating from the mid-1800s to today. The resource is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

Recycling

The museum has been recycling for many years, but keeps looking for ways to divert more of our waste from the landfill and into reuse and recycling. We are fortunate to have volunteers from Horizons Centre help us weekly with much of our recycling efforts. At the moment we recycle or reuse:

  • office paper, newspaper, cardboard
  • sheet metal and scrap iron, hard plastics, soft plastics
  • oil filters, used oil, waste paint solvents, engine coolant, anti-freeze
  • regular batteries, car batteries
  • printer cartridges, light bulbs, wood
  • electronics
  • tire

Dip Tank
The shop staff has been doing their clean-up and paint removal of parts and pieces in a green way for years. These restoration professionals have always used a citric parts dip tank, using a solution much like lemon juice and hot water. Just recently they scaled up with a new tank, with a “flame job” to show it’s hot!

Gift Shop Green Choices
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum Gift Shop is always on the lookout for green choices to sell. Purses made of recycled license plates, handbags made of recycled seatbelts and jewelry made of old beverage cans are just a few of the wonderful things we offer. Most plastic shopping bags have been replaced with re-usable ones.

Composting
We recently acquired tools to divert food waste from going out with the trash. In the purchase of a couple of compost buckets and one barrel composter, we plan to recycle our food scraps into great compost to feed our site trees and beds.

Bat Houses
Mosquitoes, they are always around and really annoying here around Wetaskiwin. Taking a cue from our sister site The Royal Tyrrell Museum, we have now installed two bat houses on the south end of our warehouse building. We expect that hordes of flying mosquito eaters will move in next spring and help to keep down the bugs in our water retention pond to the south of the complex in a natural and chemical free way. Each house can hold up to 600 bats and each bat can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes in an hour – not bad.

For info on the Greening Government Strategy, follow this link.