Renewing Jasper National Park's Visitor Experience
Part V: Icefields Centre Glacier Gallery and Interior
Since the Icefields Centre’s original construction in 1995, there have been no significant changes or updates to the exhibits or the space on the main floor shared between Parks Canada and Brewster Travel Canada. The central exhibit is the Glacier Gallery. Originally designed to be fun and engaging for all, and to offer information on the area’s history and geology, the Glacier Gallery has become worn over time. Some exhibits are damaged or discoloured, and the Gallery lacks current technology and updated information.
Given the incredible scenery, rich history and fascinating geology of the Columbia Icefields area, the Glacier Gallery has the potential to be a focal point for inquisitive visitors. Parks Canada is investing approximately 2 million dollars into the Icefields Centre’s interior to ensure that the Glacier Gallery properly highlights the area’s unique features. This project will help future visitors have a great experience at the Columbia Icefields, encouraging them to get out and explore the area themselves.
Some of the new things you will see inside the centre upon completion are:
- Construction of a new theatre where visitors can view the feature film Through Ice and Time. The film, by Hollywood cinematographer Alar Kivilo, features entirely local talent and gives visitors an otherwise impossible view of some of the most remote, pristine beauty of Jasper National Park.
- New interactive interpretive displays and activities.
- Up to date geological, environmental and historical information on the Columbia Icefields and area.
- Inviting new look, with updated flooring and new paint in the gallery and main levels.
- Convenient relocation of the Information desk to a central area just above the Glacier Gallery.
Some improvements are already complete, such as the new entrance on the west side of the building where the temporary Parks Canada Information desk is located. The new entrance will improve traffic flow and allow visitors easier access to both the information desk and the new Gallery. Demolition of the old Glacier Gallery is currently underway, with the new gallery expected to be complete in the fall of 2014 – time to start planning your next trip! Make your way down the Parkway late next season; bring the kids, take a walk on the wildlife trail, check out the new and improved Glacier Gallery and see our local celebrities on screen in the new theatre.
3D architectural images of the new Icefield Centre theatre
© Parks Canada