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How one man’s passion for things that go helped bring a world-class museum to Wetaskiwin

Few things capture our collective imagination more than the remarkable vehicles of flight, transportation, farming and industry.
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum was the vision of Wetaskiwin businessman, aviator and philanthropist Stan Reynolds, who donated much of his extensive collection to the government for the initiative. Photo courtesy City of Wetaskiwin

Few things capture our collective imagination more than the remarkable vehicles of flight, transportation, farming and industry.

They were certainly a highlight for one local, and thanks to him, locals and visitors alike can appreciate these unique machines.

“This museum was the dream of one man: Stan Reynolds, a Wetaskiwin businessman, aviator and philanthropist,” says Cynthia Blackmore, Head, Marketing and Communications for the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.

Reynolds recognized that his collection should be preserved and presented for all to see, so he approached the Government of Alberta in the mid-1980s, offering to donate some of his vast collection of cars, tractors and industrial machines. In 1992, following the largest single donation of its kind in Canadian history, the provincially owned and operated Reynolds-Alberta Museum opened its doors, right here in Wetaskiwin. The museum’s collections also now include aircraft

Reynolds’ roots in the community, and the region’s deep connections with aviation, farming and industry made it a natural choice for the world-class museum, located on a working farm of more than 232 acres next to the airport.

Delighting visitors are “thousands of items, from the ordinary, to some really rare, one-of-a-kind pieces,” Blackmore says, noting that people from across Alberta, Canada and beyond come to view the unique displays.

In all, the museum’s collections include more than 500 vehicles, 135 aircraft and 5,000 pieces of agricultural and industrial equipment, but not all can be displayed at once, so through July and August, warehouse tours take visitors behind the scenes. Unique pieces to watch for include early electric vehicles, the 1898 Innes chassis, and what is believed to be the world’s oldest production Chevrolet, a 1913 Chevrolet Classic Six. On the aviation side, look for the the full scale model of the 1958 Avro Arrow CF-105.

Sharing the story

Raising awareness of the museum and the region’s other attractions is a group effort. “We have a valuable partnership with the City of Wetaskiwin, especially in marketing the museum and the City,” Blackmore says. “When visitors come, we want them to know about all the things to see and do, including places to stay here and the places to eat.”

In addition to permanent exhibits, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum also develops and presents major exhibitions and special events.

From now until Oct. 14, 2024, the museum presents Driving Thru the ’70s, its “latest, and grooviest, exhibition.” View 35 period vehicles exploring topics like The Oil Crisis, The Rise of Imports, The Death of the Muscle Car and Vehicles in Popular Culture. Packed with plenty of fun alongside the insights and nostalgia, visitors of all ages will enjoy music, game shows, movie trailers, slideshows of life in the 1970s and more.

Special events connected with the exhibit include:

  • Oct. 21 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (evening event, adults only)
  • Dec. 2 – Christmas at Reynolds…Hawaiian Style, reflecting one of the ’70s most popular vacation destinations
  • Feb. 10, 2024 – ‘70s Retro Prom, (evening event, adults only)

A variety of other events are also on the summer calendar.

Coming up this Saturday, July 8, is The Ultimate Car Show, a spectacle of automotive history, from 1900 to today. Sponsored by Hagerty, expect more than 600 vehicles on display, plus music, food trucks and donations accepted for the Wetaskiwin Food Bank.

On Aug. 12, it’s Ride to Reynolds, an amazing one-day-only display of motorcycles in the museum parking lot, plus live music, food vendors, beer garden, vendors, and of course, a chance to take in the museum.

Sept. 2 and 3 brings the annual Harvest Festival event, featuring bringing in the museum’s crop, threshing, tractor driving, tractor rides, and ploughing demonstrations, a family fun zone, petting zoo, music and lots more!

If you go:

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with family admission for two adults and their children under the age of 18 just $40. Learn more and plan your visit at

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