Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum reopens with new exhibits

The Royal Alberta Museum in downtown Edmonton. August 16, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

As many Albertans re-emerge after weeks or months of at least partial hibernation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so too is the Royal Alberta Museum in downtown Edmonton as it reopened Wednesday.

“We’re so happy to welcome you all back to RAM!” the museum tweeted.

“Thank you for supporting local tourism, and continuing to look out for each other.”

READ MORE: Royal Alberta Museum to document COVID-19 pandemic with masks, hand sanitizer and more 

The museum was closed for the past six months because of the pandemic.

“We’ve been collecting, we’ve been doing field work, we’ve been developing new exhibits,” Alwynne Beaudoin, the RAM’s acting executive director, told Global News on Wednesday.

The reopening also saw two of those new exhibits be launched within the museum’s walls: “Abandoned Alberta” and “Quilt of Belonging.”

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The RAM says “Abandoned Alberta” is the first public display of photos from a book of the same name by Edmonton photographer Joe Chowaniec. The book uses photographs of often overlooked scenes in Alberta that are aimed at provoking thought about how people in the province once lived.

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“‘Abandoned Alberta’ began as a hobby for Edmonton photographer Joe Chowaniec, but after creating a Facebook page to share his images, he developed a fanbase of more than 30,000 social media followers, with a book deal coming soon after,” the museum says on its website.

Chowaniec told Global News that when he photographs an abandoned place or thing like a grain elevator, a home, a school or a vehicle, “it’s documenting history to me.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about “Abandoned Alberta.”

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“Quilt of Belonging” is a touring exhibition that the museum says aims to celebrate the diversity of Canada. The textile art project has 263 blocks that the RAM says portray “the rich cultural legacies of all Indigenous peoples in Canada and every world nation.”

“It’s bringing people together and showing that although we’re all different, we’re all one,” Beaudoin said.

The RAM says entry to see “Quilt of Belonging” is included in general admission but advance tickets are required to view the exhibit.

COVID-19 measures still in effect at RAM

As visitors are being welcomed back into the building, capacity is limited in the museum lobby, galleries and shop. The RAM says visitors also need to pre-book a timed-entry ticket online before showing up.

While the museum is open, the children’s gallery and museum café are still closed and masks remain mandatory.

“All high-touch gallery elements are covered or removed,” the museum tweeted.

“Practice physical distancing throughout your visit, and explore the galleries by following the marked one-way route.”

Click to play video: 'Pools, museum and other activities for families in Edmonton are reopening'
Pools, museum and other activities for families in Edmonton are reopening

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