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Fort Edmonton Park is celebrating 50 years over the May long weekend

To celebrate its 50th season, Fort Edmonton Park is bringing additional programming and presentations to this year’s opening weekend. 

First established in 1795, Fort Edmonton’s location changed several times until it was torn down in 1915 following the decline of the fur trade.

The current Fort Edmonton Park structure is a recreation of the last original fort built in 1840 near the Alberta Legislature; it has now been in use for longer than any of the forts of the past.

Over the years, the park has expanded to represent Edmonton’s history from the 1700s to the 1920s.

In 2021, the park launched the Indigenous Peoples Experience, offering a look further back into Edmonton pre-Fort Edmonton history.

“As Indigenous people, we’ve always been here and we’re still here,” said Everet Poor, Indigenous narrative coordinator for the park. “This space helps to articulate that presence in history, in this park, but also within the community.”

While the fort itself is a recreation, many of the park’s other buildings are original structures that have been moved to the site – including western Canada’s first Mosque.

Neil Cramer, a coordinator at the park, said he’s proud of how the park has evolved to meet an increasing demand for a more inclusive representation of history.

“We have been working hard to incorporate a stronger Indigenous history and narrative on the site,” he added. “And we’re continuing that progress with other multicultural narratives with Asian, Black, Muslim history.

“This year as well, we’re working with the Edmonton Queer History Project to help tell some more Queer narratives on site.”

Cramer said the park is always updating, so there’s always something new for return visitors to enjoy.

“But by and large, the stories that you’re going to hear here are Edmontonians stories,” he added. “The people, the interpreters that are here, they’re sharing their own stories, they’re sharing the stories of their community as well.

“This is very much an Edmonton place.”

Tickets for this weekend start at $21 for children and $27 for adults.  

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