Advice about museums and similar

Feb 7th, 2008, 03:23 PM
  #1  
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Advice about museums and similar

Following advice from other members I’m reposting this question under a new heading.

My wife and I are planning a trip of several weeks self-drive Edmonton to Edmonton via Moose Jaw, Kootenay, Peace River at the extreme points.

Some background to our time in Saskatchewan is that my wife’s maternal grandfather was Russian who came to Canada in early C20th. He lived in Sutherland (Saskatoon) until enlisting in Canadian Expeditionary Force. After the war he had a homestead near Luseland. We want to discover what life was like for the early settlers in the area. Her father came to Canada with RAF in WW2 and was based at North Battleford.

We have a number of specific questions about some of the things we are thinking of seeing.


Intending to visit
Ukrainian cultural heritage village, Edmonton
Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton
Western Development Museum - North Battleford's Heritage Farm & Village WDM
Western Development Museum - 1910 Boomtown, Saskatoon
Western Development Museum - transport, Moose Jaw
15 Wing Military Aviation Centre, Moose Jaw

Are any of these not worthwhile? Are there any other places we really ought to visit? (Obviously this is not a complete list.)


Opinions on the following appreciated

Fort Battleford National Historic Site Intending to visit Fort Edmonton. How different is this? What will we see here which we won’t see at Fort Edmonton? Is it worth doing as well?

Biggar Homestead Museum (Roger Martins homestead museum) Any information about this one? What is there to see? Is it worth visiting?

Saskatoon Forest Park Not interested in zoo but in the history of the forestry settlement there. What is the self guided walk round old farm buildings like? How much is there to see? Is it worth visiting? How long will it take to do? Are there other places in the area we ought to consider visiting?

Ukrainian Museum of Canada Saskatoon Intending to go to Cultural Heritage Village at Edmonton- what extra would we gain from doing this one? Would it repay time invested?

Wanuskewin Heritage Park Any comments on this one - scenically as well as historically? Is it worth a visit, or are there more interesting things to do and see in the area?

Western Development Museum - transport and 15 Wing Military Aviation Centre, Moose Jaw How long do each of these take? Is it realistic to try and do both on same day?

Cypress Hills IP - Any difference between Saskatchewan or Alberta bits? Scenically, which gives best return for time spent? What is the best way of tackling this?1

Fort Steele Heritage Town Any comments on this? How good is it? How does it compare with Fort Edmonton and WDM North Battleford’s Heritage farm and village which we intend to visit? Is there anything extra we will see here, or is it more of the same?

Canadian Museum Rail Travel Cranbrook. What is this like? Is it worth trying to fit in a visit if time allows?

Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre, New Denver Any comments on this - ought we to consider it?

Revelstoke Dam - Revelstoke Railway Museum What are these like? Would they repay time spent?

Historic Dunvegan, Fairview What is there to see here? How long will it take? Have already visited Fort Edmonton and WDM North Battleford’s Heritage Farm and village. Is it worth doing this as well, or will we already have covered similar?

Any advice will be welcome.

Thanks.

Michael
wasleys is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:51 AM
  #2  
LJ
 
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Well, you're getting there, but you really need to re-post with your information needs IN THE TITLE...for example: Saskatchewan Historical Sites? or Edmonton Museum Reccomendations? I know this forum is not as busy as some others but its such a LARGE country you are inquiring about (as you know)and your questions are so very specific!
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Feb 8th, 2008, 11:26 AM
  #3  
ron
 
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The Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw is interesting, but it is small. You would really have to work at it to spend more than an hour. I don't know the museum at the air base, but you should have no trouble visiting both in a day, and probably doing one of the Moose Jaw Tunnel tours as well.

You don't think it is worthwhile driving 45 minutes east of Moose Jaw to visit the RCMP museum in Regina?
ron is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #4  
 
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The Ukranian village near Androssen is most interesting, at least it was to me and my wife.

We spent a delightful and interesting day there touring the exhibits,the building, tasting the food, and listening to music played by various groups.

The staff members in places like the jail, the hardware store, the grain elevator etc. are "in character" as if they were living in the 1930's.

They are dressed in clothing from that time period and their view of the world is limited to that part of Canada as it was 75 or so years ago.

I fully endorse the selection.

If you want a really fascinating place, take the drive to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

It is a World Heritage Site and fully first rate as a paleontology/geology museum.
bob_brown is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 12:39 PM
  #5  
wow
 
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Hi, wasleys: LJ is so right. If you are more specific in your title you will get a much better response to your question. Asking for "advice about museums" is too general. Many people will simply scroll past your post. The result is that you will only get people like me who are bored & curious on this dull, grey Canadian Friday afternoon. ( & I don't know anything about Western Canada so I can't even help you.)
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Feb 8th, 2008, 10:52 PM
  #6  
 
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Hi Michael,

I live in Edmonton, and I have been to a few of the sites you are interested in, and I hope that it will assist you with your vacation planning to the Prairies. Please keep in mind that my visits to Saskatoon were quite a while ago (around 12 years ago and 9 years ago).

Fort Edmonton – the most interesting things about Fort Edmonton are the Fort and the Cree Tipis IMO. In addition, there are three themed streets in different periods showcasing the different periods of development of the city. These streets resemble some historic small town streets. There are also farm buildings (like the round barn), historic homes and the Metis log cabin that will give you a sense of what the pioneer life is like.

Ukrainian cultural heritage village – this village is around 1 hour on highway from Edmonton, and it is another site well worth a visit in the Greater Edmonton area. The village is more “rural” than the streets of Fort Edmonton, and you can see barns, a sod house, Ukrainian churches, a grain elevator and a train station etc. These make the village quite different from Fort Edmonton. In addition, most of the interpreters will speak as though they were living in the past. Some even spoke with an accent to give an “immigrant” feel.

Western Development Museum in Saskatoon – I was there a long time ago, and this reminded me of the streets in Fort Edmonton plus there were quite a few farm machines. When I visited, this museum was indoors.

Ukrainian Museum in Saskatoon – When I visited, it was a small museum conveniently located in downtown Saskatoon. IMO, this museum focuses on the artefacts aspects of Ukrainian culture (like costumes, Easter Eggs etc). As it has been a long time since I visited, I don’t know if they expanded. You can see some of these items at the Ukrainian village, but I think that it is worthwhile visiting while you are in town. The village is mainly an outdoor museum to experience pioneer life and the other one is a more typical indoor museum.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park – this was one of the highlights of my first trip to Saskatoon. It is quite far from the city, almost in the middle of nowhere. This park focuses on the ancient Plains Native culture of the Canadian Prairie. The interpretive centre was really good and had good displays pertaining to native culture of the regions. There were nature trails outside the interpretive centre and you can see teepees, and items of archaeological interest. Scenically it is flat…When I was visiting in the evening, there were lots of mosquitoes though, so I strongly recommend bug spray. The cafeteria serves Native inspired food. I enjoyed my buffalo burgers there. This park does not focus on the pioneer aspect of the history of Western Canada.

For Historic Dunvegan, I have never been, but it is really far away from Edmonton to see this park…it is around 7 hours to get to Fairview from Edmonton.

Below are some general recommendations for Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina. I don’t know if these may interest you, as your focus seems to be the pioneer aspect of Western Canada, but I hope this may assist you in your planning:

For Edmonton, I generally speaking like to take visitors to our beautiful Alberta Legislature grounds. The tour of the beautiful legislature building is free, and the grounds are very pleasant to walk around.

The Government House in Edmonton is also worth a visit (free tours on weekends) and it is right on the grounds of the Royal Alberta Museum – another place to go if you want to explore more of the Natural and Aboriginal history of the province. There are some very nice neighbourhoods and homes close to the museum. The galleries on 124 Street are quite interesting, and the Bearclaw Gallery focuses on Native Art.

Some other things to do in Edmonton are to enjoy the vast river valley, look at some modern buildings like the City Hall, Space and Science Centre and Shaw Conference Centre, shop at West Edmonton Mall and explore neighbourhoods like Chinatown and Whyte Avenue.

The Elk Island National Park is across the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Although it is not scenically “striking” IMO (it is pretty flat), you may come across bisons. I find the Astotin lake area quite nice.

For Saskatoon – I really enjoyed walking around the historic Delta Bessborough Hotel in downtown. The University of Saskatchewan campus is quite nice as well.

If you do make to Regina, besides the RCMP museum, the Wascana centre and the Saskatchewan legislature are really nice.

Hope this helps

Ben
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Feb 9th, 2008, 01:20 PM
  #7  
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Many thanks for respsonses so far.

@ron: RCMP and Regina more generally may be on the list when we sort things finally. At present we’re trying to decide more on what to miss out especially where there appears to be overlap between sites that are otherwise generally similar.

@bob_brown: Yes, Drumheller is on the list (we’re into geology).

@Ben: Thanks for such a full answer. Elk Island is likely to get a look. it is pretty flat We come from Lincolnshire, where flat means flat, so we may be impressed! Dunvegan would not be done from Edmonton but as we loop round via Grande Prairie and Peace River towards the end of the trip.

Michael
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Feb 9th, 2008, 04:13 PM
  #8  
 
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Since you are into geology, before you visit the Royal Tyrell Museum, make a stop at Dinosaur Provincial Park if you can. Many specimens in the Royal Tyrell came from this area I think.
rm_mn is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:39 AM
  #9  
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@rm_mn: Thanks, yes we intend to get there.

Michael
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Feb 12th, 2008, 10:32 AM
  #10  
 
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Wasleys,

I just posted this message on your last subject but will post here again just in case it is still applicable: -

Don't know if you have found the answer to your original question but a UK based company you could try is www.canadianaffair.com
We used this company to organise our two week trip to Canada a couple of years ago and everything went to plan (although not as complicated as yours looks).

Since then lots of our friends have also booked through them and I would definately recommend giving them a go.

They also have an office in Vancouver, Canada so you might have the best of both worlds in case of an emergency.
TeddG is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 06:31 AM
  #11  
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@TeddG

Thanks for response. I have contacted them. In fact we are now thinking of fixing the accommodation (and probably everything) ourselves.

Michael
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