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Canadian summer attractions designed for learning and exploring

November 26, 2019

Summer holiday season is in full swing. Whether you’re hitting the road for an annual family road trip, or you’re looking for a local attraction to check out on the weekend, we have some recommendations to share. No surprise, all these attractions are DIALOG projects!

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism explains best: “The vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains stretches not above you, but around you. It is a perspective you haven’t experienced before. Your gaze levels with the towering peaks that a few minutes ago had loomed far overhead. The sweet scent of wildflowers lingers on the light breeze, warmed by the sun. A high-pitched whistle in the distance catches your attention; a local resident of the mountain, the ever-curious marmot, was warning others of your presence. Up here, immersed in the rugged peaks and alpine meadows, you feel so wonderfully alive.”

As Royal Alberta Museum says: “The Royal Alberta Museum is the largest museum in western Canada and one of the top museums in Canada. Located in the Arts District in downtown Edmonton, we collect, preserve, research, interpret, and exhibit objects and specimens related to the heritage of Alberta’s people and natural environment. The museum’s expansive permanent galleries feature engaging exhibits complemented by internationally touring features.” This summer’s feature exhibit: Vikings – Beyond the Legend

  • National Geographic’s Top 15 Places to have an epic family vacation – lists RAM as a must do
  • Forbes Travel Guide – 5 Canadian Architecture Attractions You Have to See
  • Sharp Magazine – 6 New Museums that Qualify as Masterpieces of the Modern Era
  • Conde Nast Traveler – The 7 Biggest Museum Openings This Fall (2018)

Experiencing this public library and community gathering place in person is even better than the photos. And that’s saying a lot because the photos are spectacular.

  • Forbes Travel Guide – 5 Canadian Architecture Attractions You Have to See
  • Architectural Digest – Most Anticipated Buildings of 2018
  • Azure Magazine named it the Best Civic Landmark in their 10 Best Buildings of 2018

As they describe: “TELUS Spark has been promoting curiosity, innovation and collaboration in Calgary since 1967. In 2011, the doors were opened to a reimagined science centre—a place that’s, in fact, much more than a science centre. It’s a place to explore and get hands-on with science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).”

Check out the science exhibits, dome theatre, makers space, live science demos, and outdoor play space.

Take it from them: “In the 1970’s, Granville Island began its successful transformation from an industrial wasteland to one of the most beloved public spaces in Vancouver. As Vancouver’s premier artistic and cultural hub, located in an urban, waterfront location and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage, this unique destination attracts millions of visitors each year from Vancouver and around the world.

The charm of Granville Island lies in its unexpected mix of uses.  The famous Public Market is home to more than 50 independent food purveyors and contributes to the Island’s appeal as a renowned culinary destination. In the Net Loft Shops and Railspur District, many of Canada’s best artists and designers can be found. Granville Island is home to many cultural venues and hosts numerous performing arts and cultural festivals year-round.” You’ll see why it was named Best Neighbourhood in North America by Project for Public Spaces

Tourism Calgary paints a nice picture for you: “From apex predators like lions and tigers to gargantuan grazers like hippos and giraffes, there’s lots to see and even more to learn, as knowledgeable Interpreters share insider info on the incredible creatures we share our planet with and how they’re cared for. Venture into Panda Passage, immerse yourself in Land of Lemurs, or answer the call of the Canadian Wilds and behold the animals – from the glorious grizzly to the majestic moose – living right here in Calgary’s own backyard! While you explore the expansive park and its nearly 1000 creatures, you can take pride in knowing that your visit supports wildlife conservation.”

Our completely biased recommendation (we’re proud of our work!): check out Penguin Plunge—a penguin habitat that goes deep on green design to educate visitors about these engaging, ice-loving birds.

As University of Alberta Botanic Gardens explains: “The 4.8-hectare Aga Khan Garden, Alberta—gifted by His Highness the Aga Khan as a symbol of the continued intellectual, educational and cultural collaboration between the University of Alberta and the Aga Khan Development Network—is an extraordinary contemporary interpretation of Islamic landscape architecture in a northern climate.”

Though the photos are stunning, they don’t do it justice. This garden simply must be experienced in person.

TELUS World of Science Edmonton’s mission is to: Ignite curiosity. Inspire discovery. Celebrate science. Change lives. It is the destination to engage Albertans’ hearts and minds in science.

Fill your whole day with interactive exhibits, IMAX or dome theatre shows (or both!), cafe meals, and pick up awesome souvenirs from the gift shop.

As they explain: “The spectacular Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (pronounced in-ka-meep) is a state-of-the-art interpretive centre sensitively constructed into a hillside. Extensive indoor and outdoor exhibit galleries create a fun, interactive learning environment with hands-on displays, education stations and two multi-media theatre experiences. Discover the fascinating stories of Canada’s only desert and share in the rich living culture of the Okanagan people.”

Edmonton Valley Zoo wants you to get closer to nature. Nestled on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a small and intimate zoo that provides authentic and engaging animal experiences. It’s a special place that inspires love and learning of animals and nature.

DIALOG proudly redesigned their entry plaza—which you don’t need to pay admission to enjoy—and The Wander, which is a central circulation path that follows the story of the North Saskatchewan River.