The past year has been a remarkable one for the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. Since opening its doors last September, more than 120,000 people have made their way to Wembley to visit the facility. It’s also been named a top travel destination by Conde Nast Traveler, the Globe and Mail, and Air Canada’s enRoute magazine, and has won several awards.
“I think the awards are a good sign in the sense that it endorses the institute as a museum of excellence,” says President and CEO George Jacob. “Everything from architectural design to engineering to civic reach, project engineering, and leadership; so there’s a whole spectrum of areas where the museum has been recognized.”
With the region’s harsh winters, projected attendance over the first year was pegged around 50-thousand. With that more than doubled, Jacob says it’s important they find ways to bring in new visitors, and see people coming back more than once.
“I think it’s important not to rest on one’s laurels, because then you make a compromise with a sense of complacency. The important thing is to keep exhibits fresh, keep adding new content to those travelling exhibits, and to have new films from the National Geographic Film Library.”
A new “Dinosaurs Take Flight” exhibit opens Saturday, and the museum is testing out new a web-based, interactive learning tool called “design-o-saurus”. The museum is also partnering up with the Alberta Conservation Association, a move set to be announced at Friday’s Amber Ball. Tickets are almost sold out for the annual event at the Entrec Centre.