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Red Deer museum is celebrating 50 years with special exhibits, activities, offers

Free one-year-memberships are available
Staff at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, including (from left) Karli Kendall, Kim Verrier, and Melanie Berndt, are planning 50th anniversary exhibits and special events for this fall and in 2023. (Advocate file photo).

A half century of telling Red Deer’s stories is being celebrated this month and into 2023 at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

Nov. 15 marked 50 years since the Red Deer and District Museum Society was officially formed in 1972.

The MAG has since grown into a community hub by showcasing the rich and vibrant history of Red Deer and Central Alberta through ongoing exhibits and activities, said Shelley Odishaw, the museum board’s president.

For years the museum has been showing artifacts and telling tales about our history and growth, generating discussions around how the region has adapted and changing, and at times, humorously sharing insights about the city’s past, added Odishaw.

The goal, going forward, is to keep expanding on the vision of making the MAG “the gathering place for their community,” she added, by continuing to provide people with compelling reasons to get together.

To celebrate the MAG’s half-century milestone, the museum has a year of special events planned:

- The At First Glance Exhibition of seldom-seen artifacts from the museum’s vaults will continue to mid-December, when second part of the show, Upon Further Reflection will open on Dec. 17 to expose further treasures and stories from Red Deer’s past.

- Favourite Magnificent Saturdays and miniMAG art activities will be brought out of the vault. This includes throwing a giant 1970s-theme birthday party for Family Day 2023, as well other activities throughout 2023.

- Red Deerians are also invited to check out Oral History interviews with former museum directors Morris Flewwelling and Lorna Johnson on the MAG’s 50th Anniversary webpage and YouTube page.

- Online sales of “World’s Most Boring Postcard” will be brought back, including reproductions on sweatshirts and t-shirts. (Some 30 years ago, the MAG “won” this infamous international award for putting a bland image of its formerly boxy exterior on a postcard.)

- 50th anniversary T-shirts will also be sold, with proceeds supporting MAG’s programs, exhibits and collections.

-As a gift to the community, free one-year memberships will be given out for the next year as a way of getting as many people as possible through the MAG’s doors. The public can sign up at the front desk or online. Perks include discounts on art workshops, Reel Movie Mondays, special guest talks, child and family programs (MAGnificent Saturdays, miniMAG, Day and Summer Camps) and he gift shop. Membership can be claimed up until Nov. 15, 2023.

Keep an eye on the MAG’s 50th anniversary webpage and social media for other deals and special events.