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Record-setting 1st year at new downtown Edmonton home for Royal Alberta Museum

Oct. 7, 2018: The Royal Alberta Museum has been open since Wednesday and thousands of people are passing through its doors. By Monday night, museum officials expect roughly 40,000 visitors will check out the city's latest cultural attraction. Julia Wong explains.

The first year at its new downtown Edmonton location was a record-setting one for the Royal Alberta Museum.

Oct. 3, 2019 marked one year since the museum opened its doors at its new home. Since then, officials say more than 400,000 people have visited.

To compare, in the 48 years the museum was at its previous Glenora location, the annual average was 287,500 visits.

“One year ago, Albertans welcomed us back with open arms,” the museum’s executive director Chris Robinson said. “We couldn’t wait to open our doors again and share this space with our community.

“The response has exceeded our every expectation.

“And we aren’t standing still – we are continuing to learn about our visitors’ wants and needs, and adapting to provide the best experience possible.”

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The sensory room is located in the human history wing of the Royal Alberta Museum.
The sensory room is located in the human history wing of the Royal Alberta Museum. Julia Wong/Global News

The RAM offered Sensory Sundays, before the museum opens to the public, for those with sensory sensitivities. There are adjusted gallery settings including softer light and reduced noise and a calm Sensory Room offered as a place to recharge or reflect. The Sensory Room is in the pilot program phase until Oct. 27.

During Alberta Culture Days, a three-day celebration at the end of September, admission to the museum (and other Alberta heritage sites) was free.

A crowd enters the Royal Alberta Museum on opening day, in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
A crowd enters the Royal Alberta Museum on opening day, in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

“The new Royal Alberta Museum was years in the making,” Alberta Minister of Culture, Leela Sharon Aheer, said. “Thanks to everyone who has made its first year such a success.”

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Sensory room pilot at Royal Alberta Museum
Sensory room pilot at Royal Alberta Museum