Written by Maurice Tougas
While the Alberta Aviation Museum is dedicated to the history of aviation in this province, you can make your own history within its walls.
The museum is home to the famous Hanger 14, which is available for rent. And so it is the museum gallery itself, which makes for a perfect backdrop for photos for networking events, cocktail receptions or small wedding receptions. And there’s a fully-equipped boardroom, even classrooms. Basically, the Alberta Aviation Museum has space for nearly every occasion.
The most popular rental space is the huge 13,777 sq. ft. event hall, which in its prime was home to many of the models of aircraft now on display. Lucas Poirier, visitor services and rentals coordinator, says the event hall is booked nearly every weekend throughout the year. In fact, the hall is so popular the next available full weekend isn’t until the first week of July.
In keeping with the theme of the museum, both Army and Air Cadets parade in the hall on weekday evenings. But on weekends, the hall welcomes a truly eclectic variety of renters.
“We’ve had rock and gem shows, a reptile expo, holistic health shows, geeky gifts and curios,” Lucas says. “We’ve had the space booked for filming, both movies and music videos.”
The enormous space lends itself to all manner of events, Lucas says. It has hosted taekwondo tournaments, and folks who use the space to fly or drive remote controlled vehicles (the towering ceiling is ideal for these kinds of events).
“I’m working with a gentleman looking to host a boxing tournament,” Lucas says. ”I even have a group I’m working with who would like to utilize the space for a group who wants to ride electric unicycles.”
A little more mundane, but no less important, the space has been used for graduations, weddings and memorials. The hall has a full-size stage for performances, speeches and ceremonies, with a capacity of 400 people. Classrooms are located on the second level of the hall, which are often used for additional storage, break rooms and dressing rooms. (The classrooms are also available for rental during non-event times.)
The maximum amount of time for a rental is 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the hall can be rented for clean-up or tear down the day before or after the event.
If someone is renting the event hall space, the museum is still open to the public. Admission for the museum isn’t included in hall rentals; however, if renters do want their event participants to be able to view the museum, a special rate can be negotiated.
“Really the space is as versatile as a blank canvas. With imagination and the right décor and equipment the space itself can become whatever a person needs it to be.”