Edmonton

'The project has been a journey': Royal Alberta Museum to open Oct. 3

The Royal Alberta Museum in downtown Edmonton will open Oct. 3, the Alberta government announced Wednesday.

Offer of free admission for first 6 days crashes museum's website

Ricardo Miranda, Alberta's culture and tourism minister, announces the opening date for the Royal Alberta Museum. (CBC)

The Royal Alberta Museum in downtown Edmonton will open Oct. 3, the Alberta government announced Wednesday.

Admission will be free for the first six days, the government said.

The $375-million, 419,000-sq.-ft. building, is twice the space of the former museum building beside Government House which closed in December 2015.

The downtown Royal Alberta Museum will open Oct. 3. (John Robertson/CBC)

Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda said the museum is an "architectural showpiece" where Albertans will see their history, their province and themselves reflected inside the building.

"The project has been a journey filled with hard work, passion, dedication and, of course, a lot of moving parts," said Miranda.

"The moment that these doors are open for Albertans, they'll be able to experience fully everything that the museum has to offer."

The new museum is at 9810 103A Ave.

The opening weekend visiting hours will be noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 4, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 through Oct. 8.

To book free time-specific tickets visit this site. Tickets are available online only, while quantities last.

The site was overloaded with traffic on Wednesday, causing delays and occasionally crashing.

More than 4,000 tickets were claimed in the first hour, said the museum's executive director, Chris Robinson. 

"There is a very high volume, we are absolutely excited by the enthusiasm that is being shown," Robinson said. 

"Edmontonians and Albertans like their Royal Alberta Museum, and we have been dark for a while. There's a lot of expectations, I think there's a pent-up interest in it." 

Regular admission prices will be in effect as of Oct. 9.

The Alberta government invested $253 million in the new museum. Another $122.5 million came from the federal government's Building Canada Fund.

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