5 Museums to Visit on International Museum Day
Check out these Calgary museums you probably haven’t visited before.
A German Enigma machine at the Naval Museum of Alberta.
May 18 is International Museum Day, a time when we’re meant to reflect on the importance of museums in society. While a trip to the Glenbow or Heritage Park is certainly a good idea, why not visit a few Calgary institutions that you may not have seen before?
Housed in a former Second World War British Commonwealth Air Training Plan hangar since its inception in 1985, the Aero Space Museum maintains a record of Canadian aviation through educational programs and its collection of dozens of aircraft, including warplanes, gliders, jets and helicopters, some dating from as far back as 1916. The collection also includes a full-sized replica of a 1907 AEA Silver Dart, the first aircraft to take flight in Canada.
4629 McCall Way N.E., 403-250-3752, asmac.ab.ca
Immerse yourself in the world of sport through the 12 galleries featured at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Numerous sporting artifacts, like Jacques Plante’s hockey mask and the shoe Terry Fox dipped in the Atlantic, share space with interactive 3D exhibits that allow you to practice your goaltending and catching skills or shadowbox with world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
169 Canada Olympic Rd. S.W., 403-776-1040, sportshall.ca
Located on the lower level of the Chinese Cultural Centre, the Chinese Artifacts Museum opened during Calgary’s centennial celebration in 1994 and features exhibits on the history of Chinese immigrants in Canada and the development of Calgary’s Chinatown. It also has a number of interesting pieces on display, including life-sized terra cotta soldiers and a model of the world’s first earthquake detector, built in 132 A.D.
197 1 St. S.W., 403-262-5071, culturalcentre.ca
Since 1981, the Grain Academy has educated urbanites about the history of agriculture and grain in our province. Tucked away in the BMO Centre on the Stampede Grounds, this museum has hundreds of artifacts spread across 10 hands-on exhibits where you can thresh and grind your own wheat and play with a working model railroad while learning about an important part of Calgary’s history.
BMO Centre, Stampede Park, 403-263-4594, grainacademymuseum.com
Did you know that Alberta, one of only two landlocked provinces in Canada, has the country’s largest naval museum? The Naval Museum of Alberta, one of eight galleries within The Military Museums, has a number of pieces on display, including a comprehensive collection of major ship weapons, a Banshee naval jet fighter and an authentic German Enigma machine used for scrambling and decoding messages during the Second World War.
4520 Crowchild Tr. S.W., themilitarymuseums.ca/gallery-navy