Your Museum

An invitation.

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

Come share our passion for the beauty, complexity and rich diversity of Red Deer and surrounding area.

Here at the MAG, we are passionate about art and history and we want nothing more but to create a memorable experience for our visitors. Help them understand the people, history and culture of Central Alberta. We want to engage families in learning together about our community – and the rest of the world.

Our collection is rich and varied, and supported by the most fascinating research. Visitors of all ages in a journey of discovery will share our delight and curiosity about the art, culture and history of the rest of the world.

We can’t wait to see you.

The MAG is governed by the Board of Directors of the Red Deer & District Museum Society. There may be up to 12 volunteer Board members.

The Board has adopted a Policy Governance model, and as such, the Board leads the organization by developing the over-arching goals for the organization and setting organizational policies for accountability.

The Red Deer & District Museum Society owns over 90,000 artefacts representing donations by over 3,000 individuals from Red Deer and the surrounding area. Our largest collection is clothing and textiles – over 15,000 items!

We have significant collections of military history, decorative arts, the history of commerce and agriculture in Red Deer, visual arts created by artists from Central Alberta, and contemporary First Nations art by artists from across Canada.

The Board is currently working with staff to develop parameters for the collection and a long- range collecting strategy.

Museums are about history, so here is ours.

The Red Deer & District Museum began in 1973, marking the City of Red Deer’s 60th anniversary. The Museum expanded into its present quarters in 1978, and transferred ownership of the building to the City of Red Deer. In 1983, an addition provided the Atrium, Stewart Room, two galleries, a second reserve storage room and enlargement of the Archives. Subsequently, in 1993 – 1994, an additional storage area was constructed for the ever-expanding museum and archives collections.

The Museum collection consists of more than 80,000 objects, and includes one of the finest collections of clothing and textiles in Western Canada as well as an extensive collection of First Nations and Inuit art. The Library houses reference and artifact books, catalogues, and other print material.

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery is a permanent institution in the service of Society and of its development which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment. The Museum presents an on-going series of temporary exhibitions and interpretive programs in the fine and decorative arts, sciences, and humanities.

Our Core Values

Mission

The MAG inspires greater understanding of the art, history and heritage of Red Deer and Central Alberta. Working with the community we will tell the stories that are meaningful to Central Alberta. Using our expertise in studying and learning from objects we will present enriched, enjoyable and informative learning experiences for community members of all ages and abilities.

Vision

We are THE gathering place for our community.
We strive to bring the people of Central Alberta together to share stories and experiences that inspire.

Mandate

  • To be Central Alberta’s leading establishment for the research, collection and presentation of visual art and material culture that is related to this region.
  • To promote knowledge and enjoyment of the art, culture and history of Central Alberta.
  • To be a vibrant and inclusive gathering place for our community.

Core Values

As a public museum that serves the members of a diverse and dynamic community, we value:

  • Ethical and credible research;
  • Proper stewardship of the art, artefacts and documents in our collection;
  • Inclusivity and cultural sensitivity;
  • Constructive dialogue and debate;
  • Empowerment;
  • Teamwork and cooperation – within the museum, and with individuals and groups outside of the museum organization;
  • Continuous consultation with all of our stakeholders;
  • Fun;
  • Humour.

Goals from the MAG’s Strategic Plan 2019-2024

  • Goal 1

    Increase public awareness of the MAG and its role in our community.

    1.1 Develop a strategic marketing plan which incorporates a digital communications plan, to engage the interest of current and potential audiences.
    1.2 Develop strategies to engage diverse segments of the community in dialogue about the MAG’s role and programs in order to inform our planning process.
    1.3 Build partnerships with community organizations to support mutual goals.
    1.4 Seek out opportunities to participate in major community events. (e.g.  the 2019 Canada Winter Games, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Westerner Days, etc.)
    1.5 Increase awareness of the MAG’s location, in order to leverage increased visitor traffic to the downtown core.

  • Goal 2

    Attract larger and more diverse audiences to visit the MAG.

    2.1 Engage in dialogue with diverse segments of the community in order to understand what is important to them, and use this information as the basis for research, collecting and programming.
    2.2 Present an outstanding museum experience for all visitors by creating exceptional exhibitions and programs.
    2.3 Develop an outreach strategy as part of the strategic marketing plan to expand the MAG’s presence throughout the City and County.
    2.4 Establish operating hours based on the needs of community members.
    2.5 Develop a membership program that will increase membership sales by 10% each year.

    Goal 2

  • Goal 3

    Ensure the financial sustainability of the MAG’s operations and programs.

    3.1 Ensure sound business planning for major projects and new ventures.
    3.2 Seek diverse sources of funds to support operating costs.
    3.3 Establish a fund development plan to secure corporate sponsorships and cash donations.
    3.4 Explore new avenues for increasing funding and revenue.

  • Goal 4

    Establish the foundational framework to develop the MAG’s role as a public art gallery.

    4.1 Build community support for the art gallery. ( e.g. membership, donors of art and financial resources, and political support)
    4.2 Build research and a collection based on the work of Central Alberta artists, past and present.
    4.3 Establish a framework for the collection of art by First Nations artists.
    4.4 Establish an active and credible program of art exhibitions and public programs.
    4.5 Complete an analysis of possible locations and approach, as the basis for a feasibility study for an art gallery facility.

    Goal 4

  • Goal 5

    Strengthen the governance and operational capacity of the Red Deer & District Museum Society (O/A the MAG).

    5.1 Attract and retain a high-performing team of staff and volunteers that delivers on the Society’s mission.
    5.2 Develop an effective plan for succession for key team members.
    5.3 Continue to improve the MAG’s implementation of excellence in the core museological practices of research, collecting, collections care, exhibitions and public programming.
    5.4 Complete the Collections Storage Project by 2024.
    5.5 Continue to maintain and improve the facilities to serve the needs of the staff and community users.

Our Vision for the Future

At the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, we are passionate about learning the stories that art and artifacts can disclose. We delight in learning how to unlock the information that objects can tell us about our past and our present. We want to share the creative energy that comes from learning alongside artists and artisans and engage visitors of all ages in a journey of discovery.

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