This June, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum won the 2016 Prairie Design Award for Excellence, its ninth award in only 9 short months of being open to the public.
The museum resides on Highway 43 in the small town of Wembley, Alberta, about 19km west of Grand Prairie. Why was this site chosen for the museum? This stretch of the highway is heavily frequented by tourists heading up to Alaska, but more importantly, Wembley happens to be home to one of the world’s richest caches of dinosaur bones and fossils. Most of the artifacts in the museum were collected from a local area known as the Pipestone Creek Bonebed. 75 million years ago this creek was the site of a catastrophic flash flood that swept thousands of creatures downriver, their carcasses collecting in a bend in the river. The remains settled into the landscape to become fossilized, where they were eventually discovered by a local high school teacher in 1973.
The museum offers visitors the chance to discover and imagine a time when dinosaurs roamed this part of the world. Interactive and touchable exhibits, designed by Reich + Petch, beautifully display the unique animals that lived in the area, including five newly named dinosaurs from Alberta. There are also exhibits that examine Alberta’s economic ties to fossil fuel exploration and extraction. With its smart technology classrooms, a fully functioning paleo lab, and a 70 seat theatre, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is an international institute that is dedicated to preserving and sharing Alberta’s paleontological heritage.
Eos Lightmedia worked with the museum’s lighting designer, Suzanne Powadiuk Design Inc, and the Maltbie exhibit fabrication team on this project. We supplied, installed, focussed, and programmed the lighting equipment, while lending support to make sure the vision and design of the exhibits were realized…and realized they were! Come see for yourself the next time you pass through Wembley!
For more information on the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, please visit dinomuseum.ca and reich-petch.com.
To learn more about the national and international awards won by the museum, check out these articles by cbc.ca and huffingtonpost.ca.