Edmonton’s newest shop local destination is not what you’d expect.
With over 150 local brands scattered throughout its sun-soaked displays, the new Royal Alberta Museum’s gift shop looks more like a niche boutique than… well, a museum gift shop.
In February 2017, the Royal Alberta Museum put out a call for artists interested in having their work featured in the shop. It received 1,500 submissions from local makers and artisans.
Alberta companies currently make up more than half of the shop’s 300 vendors.
“Albertans want to come into the museum about Alberta and see things from Alberta,” museum shop coordinator Orissa Sabourin says about the gift shop’s newfound focus on locally made products.
The move downtown means the gift shop is no longer only serving museum patrons, but the wider community she explains. The hope is that downtown residents, as well as those who work downtown, will frequent the shop regularly.
“There’s so much public space in this building, including the café, that our hope is people who live and work nearby are going to come spend time at the museum even when they’re not going into the galleries,” says Sabourin.
The new Royal Alberta Museum opened on Oct. 3, after much anticipation. At 419,000 square-feet (twice the size of its former Glenora location) it is the largest museum in Western Canada and tells the story of Alberta through its two main galleries (human and natural history), bug room, children’s gallery and feature gallery, as well as through its architecture.
The museum shop is conveniently located next to the front entrance, in the pre-admission area.
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