One of Drumheller’s main attractions and a key driver of local economic activity is being refurbished in time for its upcoming 20th anniversary, thanks in part to a federal investment of $200,000 through the Canadian Experiences Fund.
The World’s Largest Dinosaur (WLD), an iconic attraction in the heart of the Drumheller Valley, will undergo a scenic transformation of its exterior over the next month—ensuring it remains a key attraction for the Canadian Badlands.
“When Canadians hear the name Drumheller, they instantly think of one thing: dinosaurs. Now, with the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada, this iconic Alberta attraction will undergo a scenic transformation so it can continue to amaze visitors from across Canada and around the world. Projects like these are crucial to helping our tourism sector come roaring back after COVID-19, and residents of the dinosaur capital of the world can rest assured that their government is working with them to do just that.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
Owned and operated by the Drumheller & District Chamber of Commerce (DDCC), the dinosaur was last repaired and painted in September 2013. Plans for the exterior repair and paint had been underway since last year. In March 2020, the Chamber of Commerce was pleased to learn it would be receiving $200,000 in federal funds to go towards the exterior refurbishment of the dinosaur.
“A Request for Proposals was sent out in March and the DDCC Board of Directors selected F & D Scene Changes Ltd to perform the work. The project is expected to take three weeks to complete, contingent on weather. Our goal is to have the project wrapped up prior to June 30. This fall will be the 20th anniversary for the World’s Largest Dinosaur and we wanted the work complete prior to the upcoming tourism season.”
Heather Bitz, DDCC Executive Director
The Drumheller Valley is widely recognized as the “dinosaur capital of the world.” The fibreglass and steel Tyrannosaurus rex is visible for kilometres. Built in 2000 and 4.5 times larger than a real T-Rex, the dinosaur attracts over 125,000 visitors every year who climb the interior stairs to catch a view of the surrounding badlands.
“Each month, the DDCC allocates 25 per cent of admissions from the dinosaur to a Capital Repair Fund. It is through these Chamber reserves and the federal grant that the $300,000 cost of the project will be covered. The Chamber is proud to be good stewards of these reserves and the federal government funding in completing this project in a fiscally responsible manner. As the WLD ages, the Chamber of Commerce will continue to be diligent about saving funds for future repairs and maintenance to the structure. Dinosaurs are the major tourism draw to our community, and the DDCC wants to ensure the WLD is looking her absolute best for all to enjoy in the years to come.” Jeff Hall, DDCC President
The Canadian Experiences Fund supports communities across Canada as they create and enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) delivers the fund in Western Canada.