Exploring History & Culture in Central Alberta

Red Deer History and Culture

Red Deer’s a city that wears its history proudly. Heritage is a running theme that weighs heavily over the city’s arts and culture – that is, the past, present, future and how they all collide in local culture. Today you can see that in the explosion of culture in the city – here’s a list of examples you can find in Red Deer that engage with that in their own ways.

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

Celebrating culture through a local lens, the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, locally known as the MAG, is a testament to community focus. The MAG’s permanent exhibition, “Remarkable Red Deer: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland” showcases a diverse mix of multimedia installations celebrating the history of the region and its people. Emphasizing the many firsts developed or started in Red Deer, “Remarkable” is a massive undertaking that is sure to impress visitors of all ages and it’s not the only part of the MAG. They also have a program of rotating exhibits throughout the year, so there’s always something new to discover.

Scandinavian Trail

A blast to the past, the Scandinavian Trail is a living museum off the beaten trail. You could stop by and visit poet Stephan G. Stephansson’s historic home or take a trip over to the Danish Canadian Museum, where they play host to acres of gardens, a cabin, an authentic Viking ship and thousands of artifacts. The Dickson Store Museum is a time capsule of what it was like to shop in the 1930s, complete with cheese odour and era-appropriate ice cream.

Red Deer Arts Council

The Red Deer Arts Council serves a vital part of the city’s art community, both providing life and support to its artists and artisans and arts organizations. Whether it includes staging exhibits at the Kiwanis Gallery, funding scholarships to local high school or college students or an emerging artist award or providing advocacy, the Arts Council has proven itself dedicated to promoting the performing, literary and visual arts in Red Deer.

Markerville

Found alongside the Scandinavian Trail, historic Markerville ranks high as an Albertan cultural landmark. It boasts highlights such as the Markerville Community Campground, the Boy Scout Museum, the Berry & Vegetable U-pick and several tour sites such as the Markerville Creamery Museum, the Lutheran Church, and the Fensala Hall – the longest operating hall in the province.

Norwegian Laft Hus Museum & Society

The Norwegian Laft Hus is a museum but it’s also a look into an alternate timeline. Built for what would have been an international village, the Laft Hus Museum now stands as a cute little log house in the heart of Red Deer, an institution dedicated to the preservation and study of Norwegian-Canadian culture and life.

Craft classes are frequently offered throughout the year if ever you need to fine tune your skills in crafts like rosemaling painting, wood-carving or hardanger embroidery. A Butikk is featured if you’re hankering for awesome culturally-related goods such as Norwegian baking supplies and Viking-related t-shirts.

Featured image of Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery‘s “Remarkable Red Deer: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland”