Consummate collectors, dedicated decorators, and hunters of history have numerous options in central Alberta when embarking on a day of antiques shopping.
Visitors can attend farm, household or estate auctions, run by a number of local auction houses. Farm sales especially, can be a lot of fun; mingling with the locals, enjoying the countryside, eating homemade pie, excavating pioneer keepsakes or acquiring a unique piece of Alberta history.
Another source for quality collectibles are antique shows held at various times of the year in centres like Red Deer, Lacombe, Innisfail or Olds. Organized and produced by local promoters, who are often dealers themselves, these shows offer buyers access to many dealers under one roof. Price comparing, bargain hunting, learning about and handling diverse collectibles, and an almost festival atmosphere, make shows a great place to have fun and to shop.
The Red Deer area is known for the number and variety of antique shops to be visited and enjoyed here. All are unique in their focus: shabby chic or high end, tough or trendy, rustic or glamourous, country or uptown style. The towns of Red Deer, Innisfail, and Lacombe all boast antique malls, housing numerous vendors on one site. As well, some B&B’s, teashops, bird conservation sites, or cheese production facilities give special- interest antiques pride-of-place in their gift and retail shops. Discover vintage in many unusual places in Alberta.
Decorating-wise, “Early Oilfield” may not have acquired stature as a trend yet – but gas station relics, like oilcans and automotive advertising signs, have lots of appeal for car buffs or show ‘n’ shiners. The appeal of early farm and ranch artifacts, NWMP bits and spurs, Aboriginal art or rodeo memorabilia is also undeniable. English china, Celtic jewellery, Scottish tartans, Scandinavian studio glass, Oriental carving or Canadian vintage textiles can also be discovered in urban antique shops or at easily-found rural destinations. These are owned and operated by knowledgeable and interesting entrepreneurs. Tap them for advice, information, history, and great items to add to your personal decorating or collecting “areas of passion”. Antiques rock, collecting is fun, and central Alberta is the source for great old items to give your space a new look.