Starting this week, Alberta is re-opening doors that have been closed to the public for nearly two months--restaurants, shopping malls and services, and some attractions. Two of the province's major museums are among those re-opening in Phase 1 of the re-launch--The Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) reopening on May 16, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (RTMP) on May 22.
COVID-19 safety precautions are in place for both museums, including advance booking, reduced hours, physical distancing measures and more access to hand sanitizers.
Visitors will be required to go to the museum's websites and purchase pre-booked, timed tickets for their visit--there will be no walk-up visits allowed. The timed tickets will help stagger visitors entering the museums and help meet the new reduced capacity limits.
In the effort to keep the museums safe for all, there will also be reduced capacity limits within certain galleries at any given time. Some galleries will remain closed altogether for now, including the Children's Gallery at RAM and the Learning Lounge at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
Increased sanitation and disinfecting protocols will happen throughout opening hours, according to the RTMP website. Visitors with young children are also encouraged to bring their own strollers and continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines around handwashing and good hygiene. Anyone exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19 or feeling unwell is asked to stay home.
“We know Albertans are craving those regular activities, like going out to museums, and we understand how important it is for people to safely get back to their everyday lives. We are excited that this can be a part of the transition for Albertans," said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture and Multiculturalism. "Our museums are following cleaning guidelines and capacity limits, as well as informing visitors how they can participate so we can make this a successful relaunch.”
From opening day to June 30, both RAM and RTMP will offer a 20 per cent discount every weekday (and throughout opening weekend). The discount applies to regular one-day admissions. For full details and to pre-book admission tickets, see royalalbertamuseum.ca and tyrrellmuseum.com
While the doors are now open to in-person visits, people can still enjoy virtual visits to both museums. At RAM, visitors can explore the collection online with 3D visits, or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Learning Collection. RAM executive director Chris Robinson said the popular one-minute backstage pass gives viewers a curator-led look at some of the 2.5 million-object collection amassed by the museum.
"Our online gift shop, RAM at Home, has been a runaway success too, with nature-themed puzzles and a curated shopping experience--curbside pickup included," said Robinson.
RTMP from Home also continues, with fact sheets and children's colouring pages on the Drumheller-area museum's vast collection.