Min­is­ter unveils new Tyrrell ex­hibit

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Al­berta Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Tourism, Ri­cardo Mi­randa, was on hand at the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum Fri­day af­ter­noon to of­fi­cially open its new ex­hibit Grounds for Dis­cov­ery.

Grounds for Dis­cov­ery is a unique ex­hibit, as it dis­plays some of the most sig­nif­i­cant fos­sils that have been dis­cov­ered through in­dus­trial work.

“This show­cases what hap­pens when in­dus­try and the mu­seum work to­gether, and these are some beau­ti­ful ex­am­ples of what this looks like, when work­ers see some­thing on the ground and alert us,” said Min­is­ter Mi­randa.

“It is the ful­fill­ment of the His­tor­i­cal Re­sources Act in this prov­ince. It is an ex­pres­sion of the col­lab­o­ra­tion we have with in­dus­try and the preser­va­tion of the beau­ti­ful palaeon­to­log­i­cal his­tory of our prov­ince.”

In the spot­light in the ex­hibit is a new species of no­dosaur. It is the old­est di­nosaur ever dis­cov­ered in Al­berta, and the best pre­served ar­moured di­nosaur ever found in the world. It came out of the Sun­cor Mil­len­nium Mine near Fort McMur­ray in 2011.

"Staff at the Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum and our col­leagues at the Royal Al­berta Mu­seum have been work­ing for sev­eral decades to ed­u­cate in­dus­try on the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing fos­sils un­cov­ered by in­dus­trial ac­tiv­i­ties,” said An­drew Neu­man ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum of Palaeon­tol­ogy. “This ex­hibit high­lights some of the re­sults of this col­lab­o­ra­tive

ap­proach to her­itage preser­va­tion.”

Min­is­ter Mi­randa high­lights the im­por­tance of the Tyrrell on the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional stage. Ear­lier in the day, he was at Ren­dez-vous Canada, a ma­jor tourism con­fer­ence in Cal­gary, which high­lights the prov­ince’s tourism des­ti­na­tions.

“This is one of the top des­ti­na­tions they want to see and I know there have been fa­mil­iar­iza­tion trips here. Peo­ple want to see what has been dis­cov­ered,” said Mi­randa.

He notes that the new ad­di­tion will be ex­cit­ing for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers, and a boon for the econ­omy.

“By re­fresh­ing our mu­se­ums and bring­ing in these dis­cov­er­ies, it re­news in­ter­est around the world. Peo­ple al­ready know we ex­ist, and they love it and want to come here, but for those who have been here a num­ber of times, it is just an­other rea­son why they should come again and again,” he said. He also noted that ten­der would be go­ing out shortly for the $9.3 mil­lion mu­seum ex­pan­sion, which is slated to be com­pleted in 2019.

“We know the ex­pan­sion is long over­due and it is go­ing to be very much wel­comed by both the mu­seum and tourists alike,” he said.

He has a spe­cial con­nec­tion with the mu­seum. As a child, it was the first mu­seum he ever vis­ited, af­ter ar­riv­ing Canada as a refugee from Nicaragua.

“This is a quin­tes­sen­tial part of what it means to be Al­ber­tan. The mu­seum for me, is some­thing that lives in my heart.”

mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Tourism Ri­cardo Mi­randa in­spect the Tyrrell’s new ex­hibit Grounds for Dis­cov­ery, with seven-year-old Parker Klass, whose grand­fa­ther Edgar Nern­berg dis­cov­ered one of the spec­i­mens on dis­play in the new gallery.

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