Stephansson House in Spruce View is one of 14 Alberta museums and heritage sites that will experience reduced hours. File photo contributed by Stephansson House

Two central Alberta locations among museums and heritage sites to see reduced hours

The hours of operation at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin and Stephansson House in Spruce View will be affected by the recent provincial budget.

Fourteen museums and heritage sites will experience operating hour changes in order to cut costs.

“Slightly reducing operating hours during underused times is a strategic move to maintain the fiscal health of our province’s museums,” the government said in a statement Wednesday.

“No full time government of Alberta staff positions have been reduced at these facilities, however, 17 contract temporary part-time positions will not be renewed.”

The ministry’s operating expense for 2020-21 is $185 million, which is down from $218 million in 2019-20.

Stephansson House will now be closed Monday and Tuesday, and open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday during open season, which is May 15 to Labour Day.

The site was previously open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week between Victoria Day weekend and Labour Day.

The Reynolds-Alberta Museum will now be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week through its high season, which runs from the last Saturday in June to Labour Day.

It will be closed Mondays (except holidays) during the low season.

Before the change, the museum was open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Monday. Previously, it had been closed on Mondays through the low season.

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery will experience no impact as a result of the hour changes, said executive director Lorna Johnson.

The sites affected are “all provincially run museums, and the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery is an independent organization. We don’t have an affiliation with the province,” Johnson said Wednesday.

“We receive our largest operating grant from the City of Red Deer and our funding has not been affected for the 2020 year. So far, so good.

“There may be some impact on grant funding for some of the grants we’ve applied for that are provincial, but we haven’t heard about that yet.”

Other sites impacted include Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum, Drumheller’s Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.

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