Edmonton is rich with history and cultural diversity. There are many places in Edmonton you can visit to learn more about what makes Edmonton and its people so amazing!
Edmonton Heritage Festival
The Servus Heritage Festival is the place to be during the August long-weekend. Nestled in Edmonton’s scenic river valley, bordered by lush ravines and the North Saskatchewan River, the Festival draws visitors from around the Edmonton capital region and across the continent to spend some time sampling the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of a diverse array of cultures.
They feature pavilions representing over eighty-five cultures from all over the world. Sample culinary delicacies, see creative performances, shop for crafts, artwork, and clothing, or chat with people eager to tell you a little about their cultural roots and their present-day communities in Canada.
They are proud to present a celebration of Canada’s renowned multicultural spirit in an atmosphere of tolerance. In spite of events that may be taking place on the international stage, local cultural associations have the foresight to look beyond sometimes centuries-old disagreements, co-exist peacefully for three days in the idyllic setting of Edmonton’s River Valley, and share with visitors, and with each other, those traditions that make their people unique.
German Canadian Cultural Association
In 1983 the German Canadian Cultural Association was founded by three well known German clubs, the Edelweiss Club, the Phoenix Club and the Friends of Berlin Club.These clubs felt the need to unite and to give the German-Canadian population a bigger and better facility. There was also a great need to accommodate the many smaller groups and give them a place to meet. These smaller groups became subgroups of the main organization and the cooperation between these German groups has been tremendous and is going strong.
The Muttart Conservatory is Edmonton's premier horticultural attraction, featuring four beautiful glass pyramids filled with rare and wonderful plants from all over the world.
With workshops and events for people of all ages, there is something for everyone! You can also plan your wedding or other events in this incredible venue. The conservatory was recently given a new look in 2009.
Royal Alberta Museum
Located in Edmonton, the Royal Alberta Museum is one of Canada's most popular museums. Set in a park just west of downtown, the Museum offers a full range of exhibitions and activities for every age level and interest. Feature exhibitions at the Museum are changing all the time. Behind the scenes, 13 curatorial programs are responsible for building and making accessible some of the finest cultural and natural history collections in the country.
John Walter Museum
John Walter was one of Edmonton's foremost entrepreneurs and played a unique role in the development of our city. He established a ferry service, two lumber mills, a coal mine operation, a general store, a carriage service and numerous wood-related industries.
The John Walter Museum displays the three original homes of John Walter. Here you will learn not only about John Walter, but also about the growth of the river valley and its communities.
Fort Edmonton Park
North America’s largest interactive historic park, Fort Edmonton Park is a place where time has stopped and is waiting for you to experience life as it was through four historical periods. Go back in time more than 150 years and walk through the days of the fur trade, and the pioneer years of 1885, 1905 and 1920 – costumed interpreters bring the past to life, answer your questions and invite you to experience the best of the period. Take a ride on a steam train, play pioneer games, bake bread the old-fashioned way, shop ‘til you drop, or hit the midway for rides games and more fun – it’s all right here waiting for you.
Providing the best in living history, Fort Edmonton Park is situated on 64 hectares (158 acres) of parkland in Edmonton’s river valley. What began as a Canada Centennial project in 1967 to reconstruct the old Fort Edmonton, quickly grew to encompass much more. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Fort Edmonton Foundation, the Park now includes the 1846 Fort and the Streets of 1885, 1905 and 1920, depicting the evolution of Edmonton’s early history. Fort Edmonton Park is owned and operated by the City of Edmonton.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is an open air museum that presents early history of east central Alberta through the eyes of its predominantly Ukrainian population.
While the development of east central Alberta was typical of most Western Canada during the early 20th century, the culture it produced was unique. The majority of settlers in east central Alberta at the turn of the century came from present-day Western Ukraine. Soon after their arrival, many aspects of their Ukrainian culture were visible in the physical landscape of east central Alberta, as well as in the general lifestyle of the region. By 1930, while their culture was no longer wholly Ukrainian, it was still distinctive. As the province grew, the Ukrainian immigrants in east central Alberta and their descendants prospered, and achieved a level of success in their new land that seemed unattainable only forty years before. The Ukrainian settlers’ experiences are interpreted in the four zones which make up the site:
• Rural Community
• Town Site
The immigration of Ukrainians to Canada began with the arrival of Iwan Pylypow and Wasyl Eleniak in 1891. They had come to investigate the Canadian government’s offer of homesteads in Western Canada and report back to their fellow villagers. Within five years their first settlement of Ukrainians in Canada was flourishing at Edna, in east central Alberta, and this encouraged others to take their chances and emigrate there as well. Relatives and friends tended to settle together, creating a broad corridor of Ukrainian settlement from Manitoba through Saskatchewan and into Alberta as far as Edmonton. Some of the oldest Ukrainian communities in North America are found in east central Alberta, directly east of Edmonton.
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, as a whole, never existed in history. The buildings, furnishings, and the inhabitants of the village have been taken from real life in east central Alberta. They have been brought together here to tell a significant story that might otherwise have been lost, using a “living history” approach based on careful research. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village’s “living history” or “first person” approach to interpretation lets you experience history in a very direct and personal way. Because the costumed staff at the site are “living in the past” in authentically recreated environments, they will speak to you from their perspective of the year 1930 or earlier. Their conversations and activities are based on detailed research and oral history interviews with people who actually live in the area.
Open May long weekend to Labour Day 10am-6pm, daily
Labour Day to Thanksgiving Day 10am-4pm, weekends only
Admission is charged
Visit the Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village Website
*Information from "Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village", Alberta Community Development