Advertisement

Indigenous Peoples Experience among new offerings as Fort Edmonton Park reopens after $165M renovation

Click to play video: 'Indigenous Peoples Experience at the heart of Fort Edmonton Park reopening'
Indigenous Peoples Experience at the heart of Fort Edmonton Park reopening
You're about to get to know the real Fort Edmonton. After being closed for three years for upgrades, the park is reopening this week with its true roots taking centre stage. Lisa MacGregor reports. – Jun 28, 2021

Fort Edmonton Park will celebrate its grand reopening this week, after a nearly three-year closure.

New features following the $165-million upgrade project include an expanded 1920s-style midway, a new front entry plaza and a 30,000 square-foot exhibit that offers a look into First Nations and Métis cultures and history in the Edmonton area.

The new signature exhibit is called the Indigenous Peoples Experience. MOU Partners, the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations were involved in the creation of the exhibit.

Read more: Fort Edmonton Foundation launches ‘Light the Midway’ campaign for 1920s midway renovation

Read next: Rent control: What tenants should know as rental prices surge across Canada  

The exhibit is the first of its kind in Canada, according to officials with Fort Edmonton. Visitors will find themselves immersed in culture through interactive and hands-on exhibits, audio-visual components, as well as music, artwork and texts from local Indigenous contributors.

Story continues below advertisement

“The Indigenous Peoples Experience is truly an extraordinary facility, it symbolically captures the vibrant history and culture of our Treaty First Nations,” Treaty Six Grand Chief Vernon Watchmaker said in a news release Monday morning.

Click to play video: 'Indigenous Peoples Experience tells First Nations, Metis stories at Fort Edmonton Park'
Indigenous Peoples Experience tells First Nations, Metis stories at Fort Edmonton Park

“We honour and appreciate the guidance of the Elders Advisory Council, some of whom are no longer with us. This is a true legacy project that was the first of its kind as everything began with ceremony. We are proud to have been a part of the creation of this facility, it is a wonderful model of what can be accomplished when we all work together. I can’t wait for the public to see it. They will certainly be amazed.”

Fort Edmonton Park will reopen July 1, 2021, after a nearly three-year closure for renovations. One of the new features is the Indigenous Peoples Experience. Courtesy, Fort Edmonton Park

“It is a great vessel, from which the stories will be told, the story of the Métis and the story of the First Nations people, who lived and worked in this area and helped create what Fort Edmonton Park is today,” added Métis Nation of Alberta president Audrey Poitras.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Fort Edmonton Park 1967 centennial time capsule opened: ‘It’s a connection to our past’

Read next: Pope clarifies comments on homosexuality, says sexual act ‘outside of marriage’ is a sin

Other work done at the central Edmonton tourist attraction includes a new front entry plaza, which offers a cafe, gift shop, gender-neutral washrooms, as well as a wide-open ticketing and guest services area.

The new 1920s-midway includes a larger Ferris wheel, outdoor maze, the Cabinet of the Curios exhibit — a custom sideshow — and an expanded game selection.

Fort Edmonton Park will reopen July 1, 2021, after a nearly three-year closure for renovations. Courtesy, Fort Edmonton Park

A new structure to house and provide maintenance services on the 102-year-old Baldwin steam train was also built. Upgrades were also done to the power, gas, water and sewer systems.

“We are thrilled to be reopening Fort Edmonton Park and for Edmontonians to see what we’ve been working on over the past three years,” said Darren Dalgleish, president and CEO of Fort Edmonton Management Company.

Story continues below advertisement

“We are grateful to the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, the Métis Nation of Alberta, Elders, artisans and community members who helped us achieve this one-of-a-kind experience for visitors across the world.”

Click to play video: 'Fort Edmonton Park ready to reopen with new Indigenous Peoples Experience'
Fort Edmonton Park ready to reopen with new Indigenous Peoples Experience

Funding for the project was contributed by the Government of Canada, Province of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and the Fort Edmonton Foundation.

“Eyes are going to pop, and jaws will drop,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

“Fort Edmonton Park has always brought Edmonton history to life through stories past and present but the new Indigenous Peoples Experience completes that job with conveying the rich history and legacy of this land’s original Indigenous peoples. Visitors will leave moved and inspired by their experiences at Fort Edmonton Park — and we can’t wait to welcome them.”

Read more: Fort Edmonton Park pushes grand reopening due to COVID-19

Read next: Taliban double down on barring women from taking university entry exams

Story continues below advertisement

The park closed for renovations in 2019. The park had originally planned to open over the May long weekend, but the opening was pushed back due to the COVID-19 situation in the city.

The park will officially open to the public on July 1.

110
The Indigenous Peoples Experience is among the new exhibits at Fort Edmonton Park. Global News
210
The Indigenous Peoples Experience is among the new exhibits at Fort Edmonton Park. Global News
310
The Indigenous Peoples Experience is among the new exhibits at Fort Edmonton Park. Global News
410
The Indigenous Peoples Experience is among the new exhibits at Fort Edmonton Park. Global News
510
Officials marked the reopening of Fort Edmonton Park Monday, June 28, 2021 after nearly three years of construction. The park officially opens to the public July 1, 2021. Global News
610
Officials marked the reopening of Fort Edmonton Park Monday, June 28, 2021 after nearly three years of construction. The park officially opens to the public July 1, 2021. Global News
Story continues below advertisement
710
Officials marked the reopening of Fort Edmonton Park Monday, June 28, 2021 after nearly three years of construction. The park officially opens to the public July 1, 2021. Global News
810
Officials marked the reopening of Fort Edmonton Park Monday, June 28, 2021 after nearly three years of construction. The park officially opens to the public July 1, 2021. Global News
910
Officials marked the reopening of Fort Edmonton Park Monday, June 28, 2021 after nearly three years of construction. The park officially opens to the public July 1, 2021. Global News
1010
The steam train at Fort Edmonton Park . Global News

Sponsored content