'We want to deliver excellence': Fort Edmonton Park preparing to reopen
EDMONTON -- After nearly three years and $165 million worth of renovations, Fort Edmonton Park is preparing to welcome visitors back this summer.
“We’ve got light at the end of the tunnel,” said Darren Dalgleish, the president and CEO of the Fort Edmonton Management Company.
Fort Edmonton Park offers guests a look-back at what life was like in Canada’s past, all the way back to the 1700s, according to the park’s website. It began as a Canada Centennial reconstruction project in 1967.
The park has undergone significant changes over the past few years, according to Dalgleish. There has been an expansion to the midway, a new entry plaza and a new exhibit known as the Indigenous Peoples Experience.
“We’re hoping for those who have been to Fort Edmonton in the past, they’re going to see a glaring difference when they return this year,” said Dalgleish.
The park is slated to reopen on the Canada Day long weekend in July. Fort Edmonton Part traditionally opens on the Victoria Day long weekend in May, but it was delayed due to safety concerns.
“Right now, we’re excited and hoping that July long weekend will see the restrictions ease suitably so people can walk into the park and experience the full scope,” said Delgleish.
“We’re not thinking months and months ahead… as we get closer to the July opening and as we take guidance from AHS we’ll be in a better position to understand exactly what an opening will look like.”
He added that the design of the park should help with physical distancing, an unintended bonus.
“The new design of the park really intended to be a compliment to people’s natural movement and intuitive way to experience the park,” said Dalgleish. “Without foresight into this pandemic, the design of the flow is actually creative to that kind of environment.”
The park is the largest open-air museum in Canada, according to Dalgleish. He added that he and his team “want to deliver excellence this year” to the people of Edmonton.
“My heart is thumping, I think Edmontonians and people in the region deserve something spectacular.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Carlyle Fiset