The newly installed Learning Lounge of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller has officially opened to the public.
After hearing consistent comments from visitors about having a space for a break part way through the museum, Museum Director Andrew Neuman and board of directors set out to create the perfect space.
The space comes with interactive displays and hands-on activities all about Canada’s first known carnivorous dinosaur: Albertosaurus.
Visitors are encouraged to discover how this large theropod lived and breathed, ate, moved, and more.
“It’s great to finally get a chance to see the whole space in its final form,” began Andrew Neuman, executive director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
“It’s really exciting that this day has finally come. We’ve been anticipating it for quite some time and it’s here and I think everything has gone well.
“The exhibit looks great and people seem to be quite excited about it and I’m very excited about it.”
The expansion is not only a benefit to the museum but also to the residents in and around the valley.
“I think really what this is doing is improving the visitor experience for the people coming to the museum so I imagine there will be more people coming at least initially so anytime there are more people coming here it has a positive influence on the whole community,” continued Neuman.
“It’s really about giving the visitors that are coming now an improved experience because we were discovering that our visitors were getting very fatigued as they were getting halfway through the exhibit so this is a good chance to have a bit of a break, get some refreshment, do some interacting with our interactive stuff because we lost our interactive experiences at the beginning of the museum and now we have reintroduced that here.”
Ten years later, their idea for a lounge and accompanying multi-purpose room on the lower level will give tourists and staff alike spaces for taking in social settings.
This 1,300 square metre expansion allows the Museum to better accommodate over 430,000 annual visitors with enhanced gallery and educational spaces and services.
The $9.3 million expansion was co-funded by the Government of Alberta who contributed $5.7 million and the Government of Canada with $3.595 million from the Department of Canadian Heritage.