Northwestern Alberta's Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum rakes in awards

The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum opened last fall to much fanfare. Conde Nast Traveller ranked the opening as one of the top 10 in the world.

Alberta Dinosaur museum beside one of the densest dinosaur beds in the world

This new museum complex may not be in a major urban area, but its location was strategically chosen: it's the spot where the horned dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai once thrived, says Conde Nast Traveler magazine. (Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum)

Accolades for world renowned Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alta. continue to pile up. 

The $34-million museum, which opened amid much fanfare last September, was ranked by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the 10 best museum openings over the last year worldwide.

Conde Nast, one of the world's premier travel magazines, ranked the museum 20 km west of Grande Prairie in the company of such institutions as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and London's New Tate Modern.  

It was the only museum on the list from Canada.

The recognition comes on the heels of several awards celebrating the museum's innovation, design, civic reach, engineering, architecture, among others — eight different awards since opening. 

Conde Nast Traveler showcases the latest travel news, recommended destinations, and travel advice and tips for thousands of destinations around the globe.

"The museum design draws on an abstraction of the paleontological excavation experience and interior displays use augmented reality platforms and fractal screens to bring to life animated dinosaurs placed in interactive ecosystems," the magazine says in a news release.

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum was ranked seventh in Conde Nast Traveler magazine's top 10 museum openings. ( Marilyn Grubb Chipabirdee Images)

The museum's mandate is to increase awareness about dinosaurs through educational programs, including onsite programs for children, summer dinosaur bone bed tours, helicopter tours to remote fossil sites, distance education and lecture series.

The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum was ranked seventh on a list of the biggest museum openings in the world, listed just ahead of China's Shanghai Natural History Museum.

While the awards are a welcome recognition, the institution is helping to increase paleo-tourism in the region, said spokesperson Nora Weber.

"It's sitting on one of the densest dinosaur beds in the world, a gold mine of dinosaur bones in Alberta," Weber said.