Gateway Gazette

New Partnership Shares Oil Sands History and Grows Tourism

A new partnership with Fort McMurray Tourism provides one-stop shopping for tourism and oil sands information at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.

From humble beginnings - Alberta's oil sands industry can trace its roots back to Bitumount. The story of the pilot project north of Fort McMurray is just one chapter of Alberta's energy heritage found on Alberta Culture's new Energy Resources Heritage website, launched July 24 at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.
From humble beginnings – Alberta’s oil sands industry can trace its roots back to Bitumount. The story of the pilot project north of Fort McMurray is just one chapter of Alberta’s energy heritage found on Alberta Culture’s new Energy Resources Heritage website, launched July 24 at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.

“This agreement allows us to capitalize on the growing interest in heritage tourism and its potential for continued growth. With its marketing expertise and knowledge of the regional tourism sector, Fort McMurray Tourism is the perfect partner to help promote the story of oil sands development in our province while linking visitors from across Alberta and around the world to an array of local vacation opportunities.”

~ Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture

The 20-year agreement, signed in the summer of 2013, took effect when Fort McMurray Tourism relocated its staff and business activities to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in April 2014. The discovery centre has been expanded to accommodate the addition of a visitor information centre and work space for tourism staff with the cost of renovations shared between Fort McMurray Tourism and the Alberta government. Under the agreement, Fort McMurray Tourism will provide tourism information services as well as oversee and manage operations and programming at the discovery centre.

One scoop or twenty? This bucket wheel excavator once used in the Fort McMurray oil sands is one of the massive tools of the trade on display at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray. An agreement between the Alberta Government and Fort McMurray Tourism will help to grow tourism and share the story of the province's oil sands with Albertans and visitors from around the world. Photo courtesy Oil Sands Discovery Centre.
One scoop or twenty? This bucket wheel excavator once used in the Fort McMurray oil sands is one of the massive tools of the trade on display at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray. An agreement between the Alberta Government and Fort McMurray Tourism will help to grow tourism and share the story of the province’s oil sands with Albertans and visitors from around the world. Photo courtesy Oil Sands Discovery Centre.

“The Oil Sands Discovery Centre is an ideal gateway through which visitors from around the world will discover the wealth of tourism options found throughout the Wood Buffalo region. This collaboration will help us to make Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta a destination of choice and generate new economic opportunities for area communities.”

~ Joel Trudell, Board Chair, Fort McMurray Tourism

An event at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre marking the new partnership also featured the launch of Alberta Culture’s Energy Resources Heritage website. From turn of the century coal mining in the Rocky Mountains to early breakthroughs in oil sands technology, the interactive website takes visitors on an exploration of the history of energy development in Alberta.

The Energy Resources Heritage website was developed by Alberta Culture to promote a deeper appreciation for the province’s rich energy resource history.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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