The view from inside the new Art Gallery of Alberta. ((CBC) )

Edmontonians got their first glimpse of the newly renovated Art Gallery of Alberta at its grand opening Saturday.

After an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests wandered through the three floors of exhibition space.

Featured works include celebrated Canadian photographers as well as audio exhibitions.

Dawn Vaasjo went to the gallery opening with her family.

"It means putting some life back into the downtown, a reason to come back into the core of the city at night," she said.

"It's a very exciting time, [a] big weekend for Edmontonians. We've waited a long time and it was really nice to see such proud faces here."


The newly renovated Art Gallery of Alberta opened to the public on Saturday. ((CBC))

CBC News spoke to Reed Clarke at an exhibit that allows visitors to experience being in an abandoned Japanese dentist's office during a storm.

He said the exhibit was very realistic.

"I can imagine this if there's that much rain coming out – it's intense. It's really cool. It kind of puts you in the moment of this going on. You can feel what it would be like."

The $88-million gallery was redesigned by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout. It has double the exhibition space of the former gallery.

Tickets for the two-day grand opening celebration are sold out. Regular admission hours begin on Feb. 2.