Twenty-five years of discovery, success and accomplishment were celebrated last Saturday at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
“It was one of those things that just happened, as soon as it came it was just right, absolutely right,” said Lougheed of the idea of the Tyrrell. “Community involvement was absolutely key with me when I was premier, as it is today, and to see the community to be so involved and come up with the idea…it seemed completely right.”
“I was honoured to be here 25 years ago to the day.” He has enjoyed watching the progress of the Tyrrell and said he often brings visitors to the museum.
“I am just so proud of what they have done. The people here, the directors and the staff, over all these years have steadily improved it,” said Lougheed. “Of course getting the Royal Designation was wonderful as well. To think about 10 million visitors, that is something. If you were to ask me 25 years ago, I would have thought we would have done well, but I never would have thought it would be that many.”
Sharing pride in the museum was the current Premier of Alberta Ed Stelmach. He said the notoriety of the museum is something that is known to many when he travels.
“We always think of Alberta as oil and gas and maybe agriculture, but you take 10 million people and that is a huge boost to another huge industry, and that is tourism,” said Stelmach. “The more the name gets out there, the more curiosity it creates, and that is why people want to come and see the museum and see the surroundings, they are quite unique.”
The tourism is not only a boost, but also a boost when other sectors of the economy are struggling.
“There is no silver bullet to solve some of the issues tied to the recession, but investments such as the government made many years ago in small communities are paying off, and they are paying off in a time when the economy has slowed down,” said Stelmach.
“Other special guests included Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and Drumheller Stettler MLA Jack Hayden. Hayden said Albertans take pride in its history and culture.
"'94 per cent of Albertans say that having a wide variety of cultural activities and events make Alberta a better place to live, and I think this is a prime example what we are seeing here today,” said Hayden. “I’m sure if we did a comparable survey in Drumheller, it would be closer to 100 per cent because people are very proud of the area.”
To celebrate the occasion, the Royal Canadian Mint presented the Museum with its very own framed Albertosaurus coin which commemorates the Tyrrell’s silver anniversary, and is part of the Dinosaur Exhibit Coin series.
“The Royal Tyrrell Museum is synonymous with Canada’s leadership in the study of the world’s history and the Government of Canada is proud to take part in this celebration,” said Sorenson. “This collector coin has immortalized an important element of Canadian heritage which dinosaur hunters and coin collectors of all ages can cherish for years to come.”