2021 Experience Guide
Toll Free 1.800.481.2822
A pair of mountain bikers take in the view of the South Saskatchewan River from the Old School mountain bike trail near Redcliff.
Carly Dow, Amy Nelson and Shaela Miller perform at Medalta during the 2019 Tongue on the Post Music Festival. Read more about TOP Fest on Page 44.
View of the traditional location of the legend of the Medicine Man’s Hat where Ross Creek meets the South Saskatchewan River.
Medicine Hat’s Name Medicine Hat inherited its name from the native word “Saamis” which is loosely translated as “medicine man’s hat.” Several legends tell this story, one of which is beautifully depicted in a
The Great Spirit told the man to spend the night on the small island (Strathcona) and “in the morning when the sun lights the cut-banks, go to the base of the great cliffs and there you will find a bag containing medicines and a Saamis (holy bohnet)”. The hat, he was told, was to be worn only in war, and would ensure victory to the wearer. Aided by the magic of his Saamis, the young hunter located the much-needed game, saved his people, and eventu- ally became a great Medicine Man. Thus, the first “medicine hat”; a symbol of leadership, prowess, and mysticism on the western plains, came into exis- tence. The city which was destined to perpetuate with its name was founded at the location of the ancient legend.
In 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railway stopped to build a train bridge across the South Saskatchewan River. With the construction, a tent town was born taking the name from the numerous legends. A nearby hill was marked by the name Medicine Hat on a map of the Department of Interior the same year. In the CPR’s search for water, their drills accidentally struck natural gas west of town, heralding the exploration that mapped out one of the largest gas fields in North America, providing Medicine Hat with its moniker “The Gas City”.
sculptured brick mural at City Hall. The legend tells of a winter with great famine and hardship for the Blackfoot nation. The elders of the Council chose a young man to save his tribe from starvation. After many arduous days he made his way to the “breathing hole”, an opening in the ice of the South Saskatchewan River believed to be the place of the Great Spirit. The young hunter made camp and summoned the spirits who appeared in the form of a serpent.
Medicine Hat Visitor Information @TourismMedicineHat @TourismMedHat @TourismMedicineHat TourismMedicineHat.com 403.527.6422 1.800.481.2822 330 Gehring Road SW Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Cover Image features The Yard outdoor patio on 3 St SE in historic downtown. The Medicine Hat 2021 Experience Guide is produced and printed for free distribution in Canada by Tourism Medicine Hat. Tourism Medicine Hat is managed by the Medicine Hat Destination Marketing Organization under contract through the City of Medicine Hat. Partners of Tourism Medicine Hat provide information for this guide and every effort is made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of printing. Tourism Medicine Hat assumes no responsibility for any unpredictable errors, changes and/or omissions. Printed in Canada
8 Medalta in the Historic Clay District A National Historic Site, converted into an industrial heritage museum, art gallery and host to international clay artisans. 12-25 Historic Downtown Downtown Self-Guided Walking Indigenous Spaces & Places Learn the historical legacy of the Indigenous people of the area 31-39 Food & Drink Highlights of the local food and beverage scene including local breweries, distilleries and independent coffee shops. 40-51 Sport, Leisure & Entertainment Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede, live music, golf, sport teams, drag racing, roller derby and entertainment venues are all featured. 54-60 City Parks Explore our city’s parks, mountain biking and paddling the South Saskatchewan River. 61-66 Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park The park boasts access to boating, fishing, camping, many mountain bike trails, hiking opportunities and wildlife. 67-69 Southeast Alberta From badlands and dinosaurs, a windmill museum, to Red Rock Coulee. Get out and explore our landscapes! 70 Camping Medicine Hat and southeast Alberta delivers beautiful camping experiences for you to enjoy. 72 Snow Day Playing in the snow in our sunny city. 74 Hotel Listings Select from our many accommodation and review their amenities. 82 FAQ en Francais Tours and the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre. 26-28
Indigenous Spaces and Places
Food & Drink
61 Cypress Hills
67 Southeast Alberta
Stops Here. The Sunshine Trolley Operates during summer months. Check the Tourism Medicine Hat website for schedule and Tixx.ca for tickets.
Medalta in the Historic Clay District
Imagine a place where you can immerse yourself in industrial heritage, learn through hands-on activities, be inspired by artistic expression, and experience the heart of community in Medicine Hat. Medalta in the Historic Clay District is that place. Medalta is a National Historic Site that has been converted into an industrial heritage museum. Far from a static museum, Medalta is a dynamic space that activates commu- nity and inspires change. Their entire campus is the result of a dedicated restoration effort supported by the
local community and all three levels of government. The result is a stunning context for dynamic experiences. Medalta is a venue for community economic development, educational programming, artistic expression and practice, and heritage preservation. Medalta runs a social enterprise business, Plainsman Clays, which manufactures and distributes clay and clay products throughout Canada and into the US. The education program is a leader in delivering experienced based,
hands-on learning opportunities for everyone, from preschoolers to adults from every walk of life. Chances are, as you tour the museum you will encounter a group of children figuring out gear ratios in the Old Factory, or making archaeological videos. The Artist in Residence program attracts artists from around the world to Medicine Hat in order to conduct engaging research in proximal learning environments. Resident artists live in the Historic Clay District at the BMO Artist Lodge, teach in the Education
Travel stickers available at the Medalta Gift Shop (713 Medalta Ave SE) and Visitor Information Centre (330 Gehring Rd SW).
program and summer camps, as well as contribute to the Exhibition programming in the Yuill Gallery. The Gift Shop sells unique gifts and features pottery that is manufactured by artisans on site from materials that are mined from within 200 km and fired using energy pumped from under the facility. Enjoy a cup of Jiggerman’s Joe coffee and granola bars, chocolate, and local beef jerky after exploring all that Medalta has to offer. With an emphasis on material, Medalta takes lessons from the industrial and
entrepreneurial past and align them with social, artistic, and business priorities to create an enriching, relevant, and forward-thinking cultural orga- nization that engages local, regional, and international audiences. TOUR INFO Self-guided tours of this amazing facility are available all year long and in the summer there is the opportunity for guided tours of not only the dynamic museum but also the Medicine Hat Brick and Tile Factory, an enormous
facility that now lays dormant after producing billions of bricks over a hundred year period. Opportunities for guided tours and clay experiences can be found at medalta.org/tours We look forward to you being a part of the Medalta community! #community #learning #creativity #heritage #mymedalta @medalta medalta.org 403.529.1070 713 Medalta Ave SE
Get your tickets at
Medicine Hat Sunshine Trolley
What’s the best way to view a city? Hop on-board Medicine Hat’s Sunshine Trolley and explore Canada’s sunniest city’s culture with a pass. With your pass, you’ll have the opportunity to connect to Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown .
Later, hop on to explore Medalta in the Historic Clay District . Experience the vibrant, feel-good atmosphere of Medicine Hat - enjoy your trip in the most flexible and stress free way possible!
For information on routes, schedule, and cost, follow the link (below). tourismmedicinehat.com/ sunshinetrolley Operates Seasonally
A Day In Downtown
Linda Hoang walks past a downtown Mural by California artist Fasm.
Gas lamps line the streets with big, beautiful floral pots hanging from its posts. There’s endless, charming, old brick buildings, many with new murals on their side walls, or in their alleyways. There’s historic buildings, including one of the oldest, still in-service movie theatres in Canada, pop-up parks, a growing number of boutique stores, coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. And downtown is also home to several parks along with the city’s art gal- lery, museum, and public library. Medicine Hat’s downtown is a mix of old and new. It’s lively, full of culture. And it’s super walkable! Which is how I explored down- town Medicine Hat this July 2020 with my dear friends Jack and Nicole, who are locals to ‘The Hat’ (what the locals call the city).
We spent a full Saturday walking all over downtown, visiting shops, taking in arts and culture, soaking up the sun (Medicine Hat is consid- ered one of the sunniest cities in the country) and of course—eating! Read all about Linda’s Day in the ‘Hat’ on her blog linda-hoang.com You can use the QR code below link directly to her complete article.
Food Stops And Shops To Visit
I’m allllll about cute, small town, small city downtowns. And luckily, there are a lot of those in Alberta! Most recently, I got to explore Downtown Medicine Hat in southern Alberta, and truly think it is such a cute (and actually fairly large) small city downtown that should be on your list to visit!
Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown architecture was primarily influenced by the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883 and subsequent clay and natural gas discoveries. Today, Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown is home to a revived culture of creativity anchored by Medalta’s contemporary
ceramic arts center, the Esplanade, and numerous studios and arts orga- nizations in the downtown core. As for downtown itself, many of those early rail-inspired brick buildings are still standing and occupied by independent retailers, coffee shops, studios, and breweries who have encouraged a new
generation of creative expression. Many downtown business owners have invited local and international graffiti and mural artists to turn the exterior sides of their buildings into public artworks. The result is a bright collection of murals that express our local identity and culture.
Maple Ave Bridge
3 St NE
2 Ave NE
Altawana Ave NE
1a Ave NE
CPR Train Bridge
2 St NE
Parkview Dr NE
1 St NE
1 Ave NE
1 St SE
River Road SE 3
S ou t h Saskat c hewan River
World’s Largest Chess Set
N Railway St
1 St SE
S Railway St
Pick-up & Drop-off Point
2 hour & 4-hour Parking
2 St SE
3 Ave NE
4 Ave SE
6 Ave SE
3 St SE
4 St SE
5 Ave SE
5 St SE
4 Ave SE
T r a i l S E
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Aberdeen St SE
Belfast St SE
2 Ave SE
3 Ave NE
Cambridge St SE
Downtown Self-Guided Walking Tours
Downtown Medicine Hat provides free 2-Hour street parking with additional limited 2 and 4 hour spaces in their multi-level transit parkade (access from 4 St SE).
Medicine Hat’s historic downtown is ideally suited for a stroll, with a cold or hot drink in hand. Take in the history and art that makes our downtown so great!
The pins on the facing page indi- cate some points of interest and act as reference to their spe- cific sections found below.
Birch Ave SE
Historic Walking Tour Take a deep-dive into Medicine Hat’s history, and into some of the most prominent buildings in the city. Find out more on page 16
2 St SE
3 St SE
5 St SE
Braemer St SE Downtown Murals The past few years have brought plenty of new murals to the city’s downtown. Grab a coffee and enjoy the art! See details on page 18
Washington Ave SE
Allowance Ave SE Allowance Ave SE
4 St SE
Maple Ave SE
5 St SE
Ash Ave NE
Woodman Ave NE James Marshall Murals One of the most prominent artists in the city’s history, enjoy a tour of James Marshall’s beautiful brick murals. Discover more on page 20 Balmoral St SE
Princess Ave SE
Braemar St SE
Ross St SE
Yuil St SE Coffee Walk So much coffee, so many baked goods! Check out a handful of the city’s exceptional cafes. Savour the locations on page 22
Balmoral St SE
Prince St SE
Dominion St SE Public Art Enjoy a meandering walk down- town to explore this free and fully accessible artistic diversity from local to international, and emerg- ing to established Artists. Appreciate the details on page 23 Queen St SE
Historic Walking Tour
1 Courthouse It is little known outside of Medicine Hat, but during World War II, the city was home to Canada’s largest prisoner of war camp, which held 12,000 prisoners, more than the population of the city at the time. 2 St. John’s Presbyterian Church The first church building downtown, St. John’s also served as the first school - house. At a 1901 meeting, a woman named Mrs. Blatchford proposed the building of a new church that could be a better representation of a growing congregation. The motion was carried, and the church standing today was officially opened in September 1902. 3 Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church Talk about irony–in the same month the Fifth Avenue church celebrated paying their mortgage with a ceremonial burn- ing, there was a fire that burned so hot, the stained glass had to be replaced.
4 St. Barnabas Anglican Church If you look at the orientation of St. Barnabas Anglican Church, you will notice it does not directly line up with True North. Instead, it is laid out exactly east and west in relation to the sunrise on St. Barnabas Day (a few degrees different). Go ahead, come back on June 11 and see for yourself. 5 Hull Block At seventeen years old, William Roper Hull moved to Canada from England to work on a relative’s farm. Ever ambi- tious, he and his brother grew a small Calgary butcher shop business into Western Canada’s first systematic beef processing operation. He built build- ings across Alberta, including down- town Medicine Hat’s largest and most significant building, the Hull Block.
How do I find these Historical spots? They’re marked on our Downtown Self-Guided Tour Map on pages 14/15
6 Cypress Club In the early twentieth century, as US journalists made Medicine Hat the butt of jokes about supplying bad weather, a vote was set to take place regarding a city name change. Those in favour of the city’s name gathered at the Cypress Club and drafted a letter to English author, Rudyard Kipling, asking him to weigh in. His impas- sioned response arrived in Medicine Hat weeks later, urging the city to “proudly go forward as Medicine Hat – the only city officially recognized as capa - ble of freezing out the United States and giving the continent cold feet.” Thanks to that letter, Medicine Hat was here to stay.
A couple enjoys a coffee outside the Hargrave-Sissons Block on a self-guided tour downtown.
11 Hargrave-Sissons Block Brothers-in-law James Hargrave and Dan Sissons came to Medicine Hat in 1883 and set up a ranch on Riverside and built a wooden store downtown and a trading post at Fort Carlton on the North Saskatchewan. They often traded goods for livestock and even buffalo bones. Hargrave became known as the “Great Bone King”. The store pictured above was built in 1901, replacing the original store. 12 Canadian Pacific Railway Station Thanks to early reports that Southern Alberta was unsuitable for agricul- ture, engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, originally proposed the CPR avoid Southern Alberta altogether (he also designed Canada’s first postage stamp and advocated for worldwide standard time). If it wasn’t for a CPR decision to overturn Sandford’s decision, this Chateau-style station (one of the finest in Canada) would never have been built.
9 Beveridge Building In the early twentieth century, Hatters were optimistic about their future, thanks to a manufacturing boom centered on natural gas and clay deposits. That optimism led to the construction of several large, remark- able buildings like the Beveridge Building. Furniture was sold here from 1911-1984, and it has recently been brought back to life as an events space. 10 Turpin Block Another example of building in opti- mistic times can be found in the Turpin Block, which was built in 1905. It is considered to be one of the first buildings designed by archi - tect William T. Williams after his arrival from the United States. What you see of the Turpin Block today is approximately one-third of the full building, which was damaged by fire in 1999. The original building was recreated at Calgary’s Heritage Park.
7 Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
During World War I, this branch took great pride in their staff members’ effort on the battlefield. Sgt JC Matheson was a member of the 10th Battalion and left a heartfelt letter detailing his battalion’s role in the second Battle of Ypres. With bullet holes in his helmet, no food or water, and dying soldiers all around, he pondered “how I ever came through is a mystery to me.” 8 Monarch Theatre “Can’t we figure out some scheme to make a bunch of coin this year?” asked WB Finlay, one of Medicine Hat’s early businessmen. When the answer to this question was to farm, he exclaimed: “well dammit then, let’s grow wheat!” WB Finlay would eventually focus his entrepreneurial skill on building Medicine Hat’s Monarch Theatre. It stands today as the oldest in Alberta, predating the Fort MacLeod theatre by months.
Where are these Murals located? They’re indicated on our Downtown Self-Guided Tour Map on pages 14/15
3 Penny Profit One of the best and most promi- nent examples of classic graffiti in Medicine Hat, this mural covers the long-standing Penny Profit discount store’s back wall almost entirely. The mural depicts a stylized graffiti artist spraying graffiti on the walls of Canada’s sunniest city. This mural was a collaborative Australia-based artist c4m71 and local artist Will Oskam . 4 No Rain No Flowers Another message of hope is tucked into a small corner on the upper edges of downtown Medicine Hat painted in 2020 by Teanna Church . While small, it is worth the walk to see the pretty floral mural carrying the message “no rain, no flowers.” Beautiful in its sim - plicity and featuring a bouquet of nearly a dozen flowers, this small mural is one of the most inspiring in the city.
5 Exposure Edmonton, Alberta-based artist Josh Creighton explores the dimensions between composition and comple- mentary colour configurations. 6 Somnium (the Face) This mural is another excellent example of classic graffiti. Bacon , a Toronto- based artist, is known for his colourful works. His Medicine Hat piece, titled Somnium (the Face), brings life to Medicine Hat’s historic Assiniboia Hotel. 7 Tunnel Vision South Railway St. Side — In 1988, the Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, only 300 kilometres Northwest of Medicine Hat. A legacy project of the 1988 Olympics was the World’s Largest Tepee, which is now on display in Medicine Hat. This mural features an artistic silhouette of the tepee
1 Deer in the City Painted by local artist Wendy Struck , Deer in the City is a fittingly named tribute to the commonly sighted deer who live along the river valley and can be seen throughout Medicine Hat. 2 Hope and A Future Bright, in both imagery and message, this mural by Medicine Hat artist Sonz1 is an unavoidable message of positivity and optimism. Found on the Southwest wall of Medicine Hat’s Olive Tap in the downtown core, this welcoming message greets everyone and reminds us that there is indeed hope and a future for all.
during a bright Medicine Hat summer sunset. This vibrant piece is a com- bined effort by Will Oskam , Sonz1 and California-based FASM Creative . North Railway St. Side —The Underpass is a hub of street art con- necting Medicine Hat’s downtown to North Railway Street’s eclectic neighbourhood and into the park-like River Flats neighbourhood. This mural features a combination of geomet- ric shapes, intersecting straight lines and circles. Blues, greens, and greys are reminiscent of the city’s iconic Assiniboia Hotel sign, which can be seen in this mural’s background. Tunnel Interior — Medicine Hat’s downtown tunnel has been trans- formed into a showcase for dozens of local graffiti artists, sponsored and
vetted by the Medicine Hat-based Pop Up Parks organization. As with all art, it starts underground before emerging for the world to see. 8 Vehicle Underpass One of the most striking murals is also one of the easiest to miss. Mere minutes from the Riverside Veteran’s Memorial Park, this bright, colourful mural was led by street artists Doktoer and Jesse Gouchey as an homage to missing and murdered indigenous women. Across Canada, hundreds of unsolved cases of murdered or missing Indigenous women where the RCMP say there was no foul play. This mural is a reminder that all life has value, and we must not turn a blind eye to injustice.
9 Growing Hope in Our Community
The Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter and Station Coffee Company teamed up to promote a feeling of hope with this mural by Sarah Slaughter Art . “Growing Hope in Our Community” is a positive message designed as a reminder that no one should have to endure family violence, and there are those who can help.
Main: Sisters pass by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women mural located vehicle underpass. Inset Left: Somnium (the Face). Inset Right: Four art lovers share a laugh next to Exposure.
James Marshall Murals Walking Tour
Who is James Marshall? James Marshall is exceptionally curious about the environment in which he lives, and proud of his province. His brick relief murals can be found across Canada but, being born and raised in Medicine Hat, there is a concentration of several masterpieces commemorating local legends, historic moments, and religious icons. Downtown Medicine Hat is a great place to start your immersion in this Albertan treasure, with many murals within walking distance of some of Alberta’s finest cafès. What’s even better, you’re in Canada’s sun- niest city so it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have a pleasant day for a walk.
1 St. John’s Presbyterian Church St John’s is Medicine Hat’s oldest church, standing since 1902. On the outside wall along Second Street, two of Marshall’s murals can be found, depicting religious themes. One depicts Christ on the cross, while the second shows Christ with a small congre- gation huddled around a child. 2 BATUS Park BATUS Park is a small downtown park where Medicine Hat’s first City Hall stood. Marshall’s mural com- memorates the importance of the British military, which operates the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) 30 kilometres from town. The unit has deep roots in Canada’s sunniest city with ties to Canada’s largest World War II POW Camp.
3 Riverside Veteran’s Memorial Park
Heron Fountain . When it was decided to beautify this idyllic downtown park, James was asked for input on a water feature. His idea was so well-received, it became a focal point to those who entered the park, with the mural of two herons among branches is one of Marshall’s most intricate works. Flood of 1995 : This wall represents the tragic flood that hit Medicine Hat in 1995. It also showcases how our incredible community came together to help and support one another. This mural was built to raise funds for those affected by the flood, through commu - nity support and an anonymous donor.
A look at Marshall’s mural, Flood of 1995 located in Riverside Veteran’s Memorial Park.
Bandshell . A wonderful summary of Medicine Hat’s heritage. From its importance as a First Nations gathering place to one of Western Canada’s most important early industrial centres, this mural weaves centuries of stories together. 4 City Hall Marshall’s first mural shows the Legend of the Saamis, from which the city of Medicine Hat draws its name. According to legend, a harsh winter forced Blackfoot elders to send a young tribes- man, his new wife, and wolf dog to save the starving tribe. Following the frozen South Saskatchewan River, the group
found Medicine Hat’s river valley. After summoning spirits from an unfrozen hole in the river, a giant serpent emerged and asked for sacrifice in exchange for special powers of hunting prowess. To this day, that hole in the river never freezes. 5 St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and National Historic Site St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is one of Medicine Hat’s most visible land- marks. Inside, the ascension of Christ can be found, completing Marshall’s Stations of the Cross. It is the 17th of Marshall’s Stations of the Cross, with the first 16 found a block away.
6 Stations of the Cross In 1995, Marshall was asked by a group of Catholic nuns to depict Jesus’ condemnation, crucifixion, rise and ascension in a series of 17 murals. Soon after beginning, his studio was hit with the flood of 1995, collapsing mural 13. Luckily, it was rebuilt and installed in time for the turn of the millennium.
Want to see these up close? Discover them using our Downtown Self-Guided Tour Map on pages 14/15
Where are these stops? Find them using our
Downtown Self-Guided Tour Map on pages 14/15
Indy Coffee Tour Stops
Enjoy a cup of coffee or something sweet at Station Coffee Co. on 2 St. SE.
1 Madhatter Roastery This quirky place roasts freshly
2 Station Coffee Company A hip shop with exposed brick walls and an always buzzing espresso machine. The baristas have some impressive creations up their sleeves, including The Root Beer Godfather, a chilled concoction made up of local Hell’s Basement root beer, two shots of espresso, and a little bit of cream. Pro Tip: Ask your barista which lavish baking would pair with your coffee choice. @StationCoffeeCompany @StationCoffeeCo stationcoffeeco.ca 403.529.1115 644 2 ST SE
3 Inspire Studio, Gallery & Café A bright and roomy gallery which showcases the original artwork of a variety of local artists. You’ll find inspired comfort food like sand- wiches, delicious homemade soups, freshly roasted coffee, specialty tea ‘bible’ and in-house made desserts. Pro Tip: Ask about the Monarch Theatre dinner and a movie deal. @inspirestudioandcafe @InspireCafe1 inspireart.ca 403.548.2233 675 2nd Street SE
imported beans from all over the world to perfection. Fresh roast beans can be ground and bagged to suit your home brewing machine. The staff will treat you like family and make you feel like you’ve found your second home. Oh, and a full in-house menu. Pro Tip: Follow the rich, toasted aromas wafting out onto the street. @MadhatterRoastery @mhroastery mhroastery.com 403.529.2344 513 3rd Street SE
Just across Finlay Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River sits the lovely Zucchini Blossom Market & Cafe . A short drive from downtown, Café Verve on Dunmore Road will share their passion for coffee, tea, fresh-made food and live music with you.
Finished the tour and looking for a lunch?
Want to stay downtown? Check out the Hat’s two newest cafes, The Copper Leaf Cafe and Country Crumbs Cafe . Both offer fresh-baked goods, a range of coffee to choose from and a cozy atmosphere.
Need to know how to find the art? Spot them using our Downtown Self-Guided Tour Map on pages 14/15
Reka (River) is located on the corner of 2 St. SE and 6 Ave. SE, downtown.
4 Reka (River) Located in BATUS Park at the corner of 2 St SE and 6 Ave SE. Steel and concrete sculpture by J.R. Cooper & R. MacInnis (2012). 5 North Railway Exchange Found at 4 St SE at North Railway St. on the side of MacKenzie Drugs. Painting by YMCA Summer Students (1998).
Public Art adds meaning and unique- ness to our community. It humanizes the built environment and invigorates public spaces by providing an intersec- tion between past, present and future. Medicine Hat’s public art does so in a broad range of media and themes; from contemporary two story graffiti murals to sculpted brick monuments to traditional bronze sculptures. Enjoy a meandering walk down- town to explore this free and fully accessible artistic diversity from local to international, and emerg- ing to established Artists.
1 Turn Turn Turn
(A Resting Place) Located at the Esplanade at 401-1 St SE. Aluminum and Concrete sculpture by Blake Senini (2011). 2 Germans from Russia Also located at the Esplanade at
401-1 St SE. Bronze sculp- ture by Jim Hauser (2011). 3 Day and Night
3 St SE alley at 5 Ave SE, Miywasin Friendship Centre. Exterior latex painting by Wendy Struck (2013).
Stops Here. The Sunshine Trolley Operates during summer months. Check the Tourism Medicine Hat website for schedule and Tixx.ca for tickets.
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
Explore Experience Enjoy Your cultural experience of Medicine Hat starts in the City’s core nestled in the South Saskatchewan River valley. After turning on historic First Street from the Trans-Canada highway and wind- ing your way towards downtown, the attractive Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre stands right across from our beloved Public Library. The Esplanade is a community and regional gem, and is
regarded as a fantastic example of con- temporary Canadian architecture. The building beckons you inside where arts and heritage come to life through exhi- bitions, education and public programs, artefacts, archival and art collections, music, dance, and so much more. Volunteers and staff are eager to help visitors discover Medicine Hat through the Esplanade’s lens. In the Museum, guests will see how the city came to be, through the many stories and
artefacts within. The galleries regu- larly feature travelling and in-house curated historical and art exhibitions, from all over the world. A stop in the Archives Reference Services reveals our immense heritage through the more than one million documents and photos. Some of them are exhibited on a wall we call the “Vignette” in the gallery foyer, presenting another chapter of the community’s story. During hours of operations, the dedicated Reading
The Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre awaits your arrival. The building is open Tuesday to Saturday Noon to 5 PM and the gal- leries are PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL. This means that you decide the price of your admission after your visit! 401 First Street SE 403.502.8580 esplanade.ca @MedHatEsplanade
Room staff is more than willing to help you access your own story or connection to “the Hat” in person or online. If you happen to be here when the Esplanade presents one of its 40 world-class performances a year, do not miss your chance to grab a ticket if it isn’t sold out! The 700 seats Theatre offers the best quality experience. The Esplanade is the perfect start- ing point in Medicine Hat to explore, experience and enjoy the stories of
the area’s collective past, local to international contemporary art, family history, performances, children’s art programs or the view from the rooftop terrace. From there, you can see the neighbouring historic Ewart Duggan House and Courthouse, City Hall, Finlay Bridge,St. Patrick’s Church, and also Saamis; the shoreline escarp - ment which is the setting for the story of how Medicine Hat got its name.
Indigenous Spaces & Places
Veterans Memorial Park Indigenous Military Service Thousands of Indigenous men and women have served in the Canadian Military, including all of the conflicts presented on Medicine Hat’s Cenotaph. In some cases many members of the same family went overseas to serve, sacrificing much. Four Bliss brothers; Pat, Joe, Bill and Tassie, served in the trenches of the First World War. Tassie was injured, having his forearm ampu- tated, and Bill Bliss struggled in his return to civilian life. Bill Bliss signed up in 1915 at the age of 19 with the 3rd CMR. Bill was wounded at Ypres in 1916 by shell in the trenches. He contracted influenza in 1917, was discharged in 1919 at the age of 23. Police Point Park many different plants such as choke- cherry bushes and buffalo berries which have been harvested by the First Nations people for many years. Areas like Police Point would have offered sheltered camping with an abundance of firewood available for the First Nations people. Police Point has an important sacred history too. During the winter, an ice free part of the river was regarded as a breathing hole for the water spirits. The distinctive cottonwood trees have had ceremonial uses. Anecdotal sources have said that Police Point Park has also been used historically as a location for tree burials. The Old Man Buffalo Stone can be found while you are walking through the park. Inspired by the Manitou Stone, this two-sided sculp- ture was crafted to be a guardian watching over the buffalo herds. Police Point Park was known as a safe crossing place for the South Saskatchewan River. It is home to
The Miywasin Friendship Centre and partners created a self-guided tour of some of Medicine Hat’s Historic Indigenous Spaces. Find more information on each spot by visiting the follow- ing locations and sites. Saamis Tepee The site of the Saamis Tepee in Medicine Hat marks a historical location. If you take a short walk through the tepee, to the edge of the path, you will see the beau- tiful Seven Persons Coulee. You are also looking down on the very important Saamis Archaeological site. The area was once used as a late winter, early spring buffalo meat processing site by early First Nations. Archaeologists believe there are over 83 million artifacts buried in the valley. Saratoga Park Saratoga Park is highly valued for its connection to First Nations use of the area, Medicine Hat’s early industrial development and, more recently, to Medicine Hat’s Metis community. Use of the area stretches back to before Medicine Hat’s earliest days. The history of this part of the City can, somewhat arbitrarily, be considered in three over- lapping aspects: Early Settlement, City Development, and Metis Community. MMIW Mural Indigenous artist Jesse Gouchey and the Miywasin Friendship Centre Youth Development Program spent a week- end in October of 2019 redesigning and painting the First Street underpass mural. The mural was constructed to show the dark and tangled times our women are facing in Canada today.
The red dress flows across the mural and ends with the loose flowing fabric surrounding a jingle dress dancer. The increasing vibrancy and colours as well as details in the dancer show the resiliency and strength of our women, community and people. Strathcona Island Park Located along the South Saskatchewan River, Strathcona Island Park was home to First Nations and Metis. On the south side of the spray park and camp kitchen, are the remains of some Metis homesteads, although obscured now by time and foliage. Carlee EaglePlume, Youth Coordinator for the Miywasin Friendship Centre, looks up at the storyboard reflecting the Signing Of Treaty Seven at the Saamis Tepee.
Indigenous Organizations Miywasin Friendship Centre Miywasin Friendship Centre is a part- nership that targets the needs of the Aboriginal Community in the Medicine Hat Area and develops and maintains services to meet those needs. Our vision is to gather together and share, respect our diversity, celebrate our Aboriginal cultures and build our future. Saamis Aboriginal Employment & Training Association Saamis Aboriginal Employment & Training Association is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1998 and has been serving the Indigenous People of Medicine Hat and area since that time. Our vision is that all Indigenous people have pride in their heritage and have equal opportunity to pursue their goals, hopes and dreams. The Hills are Alive Music & Dance Cultural Fest Cypress Hills, Alberta A four day event all housed in trapper’s tents, tipis, outdoor staging areas, and the main auditorium located at Eagles Nest Ranch in the beautiful setting of the southern foothills past Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – Alberta. Instruction in fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bagpipes/chant- ers, as well as Metis jigging & square dancing. Artisan instruction in finger weaving, capote making, Metis beading, hand drum making, dream- catchers, medicine bags and wheels, and friendship bracelets. There are activities and native games for young children and youth, Metis history, elders storytelling & michif lessons. Evening concerts are held at the Eagles Nest Ranch Auditorium with Square Dancing to follow. visitcypresshills.ca/events/hillsarealive
The Storyboards Within the circle of the Tepee, ten illustrated storyboards are visible. These boards were all hand-painted and represent a variety of influences and history of First Nations heritage.
The late Amerigo “Rick” Nella Filanti, a prominent Medicine Hat entrepre- neur and philanthropist, purchased the tepee from the City of Calgary who had originally constructed it for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. Erection of the Saamis Tepee began Oct. 20, 1991, and was com - pleted in less than one week. The Saamis Tepee has a foundation weight of 800 metric tons, and the dead load of the structure is 200 metric tons. The main masts of the Tepee measure 215 feet (the height of a 20 story build - ing!) and 960 bolts hold it all together. Below the Saamis Tepee in the scenic Seven Persons coulees, lies one of the Saamis Archaeological Site. The area was once a buffalo camp and it is believed to have over 83 million artifacts buried there.
The Legend: How Medicine Hat Got its Name Interpretation and Painting by
The Blackfoot Confederacy
Interpretation and Painting by Henry
Standingalone This scene depicts the things that are important to Blackfoot people yesterday and today. The Sun was worshiped for its life-giving source to the Blackfoot people. The buffalo skull represents the Power and Spirit of the traditional food source and the painted symbols on it represent: Sun in the center, pairs of Sun Dogs on each side, Crescent Moon above, Morning Star below, and Hail Stones, or Thunder, all around. The tepee represents the main household that was originally made from buffalo hides, The Seven Moons is a represen- tation of the Legend of the Dipper and all the legends that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Joseph Hind Bull The scene depicts the sadness that overcomes Eagle Birth and his new bride for the sacrifice of a fellow human to the merman. The merman is excited over his new meal. The Tepee is the gift the otter man has given Eagle Birth to use on his Tepee design. The blue circle, where Eagle Birth and his woman are drawn in is our world and the little blue circle is the merman world. The green half of the picture is the colour of deep water. The yellow depicts the brightness of our own world. The Eagle feathers are the truths by which every man lives.
The Plains lndians Interpretation and
The Metis of the Plains Interpretation and Painting by Nona Foster The Metis people came from a meeting of two pow- erful human cultures and the emergence of a new and distinct people; this is shown by the native woman and the pale skin man. The Metis sash origi- nated in Quebec and was worn by the French Voyagers. The thistle represents the Scots, and the yarrow shows that these people still need plants in their medicines. The “North West Half Breed Commission'' paper is shown because the signing of the scrip gave the native people a small amount of cash and took away their treaty rights. First Peoples Today ing of our Native culture from the old world into the new, we have kept our songs and sang them. To this day we still pass on the feather, we still sing, we still hear the stories, we still listen to the wind, and we still feel the power of the Northern Lights. It is a time to walk a path of treasure and enlightenment. This painting depicts the acceptance of both worlds and their challenges. Circle of Unity This is set on a dark and stormy sky, but there are breaks in the clouds and the life giving sun is shining through. Pointing towards the sun and bright light, the native war- rior holds his peace pipe invoking the wisdom of the Great Spirit. The pipe represents the unity of all people and all things in the universe. The crossed circle is one of the very earliest forms inscribed by humans to express the cosmos, life has no beginning or end, and it is a symbol of unity. The cross pieces represent the directions. The different races of people are portrayed here by different coloured hands. Interpretation and Painting by Marilyn Fraser—King Even though there is a pass- – Multiculturalism Interpretation and Painting by Nona Foster
Painting by Manybears The relationship between man and nature’s survival.
The symbol of the buffalo was our main source of providing man with food, shelter, clothing and tools, As you see in the painting, the buffalo has no eyes. He surrendered his being to the Plains Indians. The eagle is our spiritual direction and symbolizes our creator. The eagle sees that man is aware of his values and surroundings. The circle represents the creation of the universe and unity. Our creator made man and woman to carry on our native culture and traditional way of life. The tepee is our shelter and our birthplace to continue the generations of life. Arrival of the Europeans Interpretation and Painting by Marilyn Fraser-King The original human settlers of the Americas welcomed these new people with open arms. Within these arms held trust, kindness and wonder. Little did native people know that these explor- ers would initiate a transformation that revolutionized the First People‘s civili- zation. No more was there the spirit of freedom that man belonged to the land. Treaty #7 was signed at the Blackfoot crossing between the Blackfoot and the Queen‘s government. The five Chiefs depicted in the picture are: Chief Crowfoot (Siksika Tribe), Chief Red Crow (Blood Tribe), Chief Bears Paw (Stony Tribe), Chief Eagle Tail (Peigan Tribe), and Chief Bull Head (Tsuu Tina tribe). Sharing the Pipe Ceremony represents peace between two parties. The promises in the treaty were that the Blackfoot would be ensured their survival and a continued way of life for as long as the sun shines, grasses grow and the rivers flow. Interpretation and Painting by Henry Standingalone In the fall of 1877, Treaty #7
Travel stickers available at the Medalta Gift Shop (713 Medalta Ave SE) and Visitor Information Centre (330 Gehring Rd SW).
Plains Cree Way of Life Interpretation and Painting by Nona Foster In the center of this design
is a late fall or early winter campsite, The trees are bare and it has snowed, the people are going about their business and preparing for colder days to come. Most of the tools shown are still primitive and most of the activ- ities and skills shown are traditional and time-honoured. Around the bottom half of the border are traditional out- fits. The top half of the border shows some of the animals that my ances- tors shared the land with and used for food,clothing and shelter. Tobacco was used in many ceremonies and rituals Plains Cree Ceremonies of the many ceremonies in our Cree culture. The four ribbons are represen- tative of the four directions. The sweet lodge can be used to ask for guidance from the spirit powers, for a time of prayer, or as part of a ritualistic cleans- ing prior to any ceremony such as the Sundance. In Cree culture, the peace pipe plays a very important role. A pipe is lit to call upon the spirit powers. The smoking of the peace pipe also sym- bolizes peace and friendship. The stone border has engraved Cree symbolic lettering, which says “Plains Cree Ceremonies.” The rock is strong and by having the title engraved in it shows that the strength of our culture will never be destroyed and is permanent in its ways. Interpretation and Painting by Robert Anderson This painting represents some
Our Food & Drink
Two bowls of Takumi’s delicious Ramen.
Eating out has looked a little different this past year That hasn’t stopped Medicine Hat from continuing to cultivate an amazing food scene. Whether you’re looking for classic diner fare, something quick to go with your morning coffee, or a top-notch meal to help mark a special occasion, this city’s got you covered.
Our international options will surprise you with their diverse, authentic flavours. Recipes served here have often been handed down through generations. At the same time, you can find talented chefs offering unique spins on their cultural traditions.
This City’s Got You Covered
Everything from breakfast to fine dining. Fresh bread to international fusion dishes. Breakfast on your mind? Head over to local favourite, Lela’s Place the Chocolate Shop . Located in the middle of the South East Hill neighbourhood, this diner offers everything from ear- ly-bird-special platters to omelettes, pancakes, waffles, and french toast. But their secret weapon arrives at noon - salads made fresh to order, homemade soups, and a cheeseburger rumoured to be the best in town. Call to order whatever you’re hungry for.
Down the hill on 3rd Street SE, Madhatter Roastery is another fun morning stop. Irina and Leanne, the cafe’s bakers, are always trying new things, like adding breakfast cereal to their whoopie pies or tweaking their cookie recipes. Their Madhatter staples are always ready to go as well - a frittata breakfast bun or a gluten-free scone goes perfectly with a cup of their coffee. You can call to order beforehand or stop by to see what they have on display. Hop one street over to 2nd, and you’ll find Station Coffee Co. , a great cafe for picking up lunch or a tasty treat while
you walk through the city’s historic downtown. Lunch specials change daily at Station and often feature a hearty soup paired with a sandwich or a loaded piece of pizza. Baked good- ies are also on constant rotation, and gluten-free options are always avail- able. Everything on the menu is made behind the counter, using as many local ingredients as they can find. Next door to Station at Sabai Infusion , the Houmphanh family serves authentic recipes that have locals regularly coming back for more. Tradition Pad-Thai, Red Choo Chee, stir fry dishes - you name it,
The Tomahawk Ribeye offered by Redwood Steakhouse in the Medicine Hat Lodge.
they’ve perfected it, and will serve it to you with a smile. Their staff are known for being particularly sensitive toward food allergies, so don’t hesitate to men- tion any specifications you might need. For an exciting night out, follow South Railway Street southeast of downtown to Grit City Distillery . Owners Andy and Jenn pride themselves on keeping things fresh - ordering all their bread, buns, and dough from McBrides Bakery and sourcing local ingredients for their distillery and restaurant. The new captain of their kitchen, Chef Curtis, runs a tight ship while adding new
things to the menu, like Andy and Jenn’s favourite, the AJ Chicken Sandwich. If table service is available, you can’t leave without pairing your meal with one of their signature cocktails, all made using the distillery’s creations. Redwood Steakhouse , tucked right inside the Medicine Hat Lodge, is another fantastic option for dinner. Every item on the menu will have your mouth watering, but the star dish has to be their 28-32oz Tomahawk AAA Ribeye, served with salad, two veggie dishes, two starches, garlic sauteed mushrooms, and three sauces made
in-house. Don’t let the high price fool you - the dish serves up to four people. Call to order delivery or take- out, or sit and enjoy their highly rated service for the perfect date night. These establishments are only a taste of what can be found in Medicine Hat. Whether you need a quick snack or a five-course dining experience, we have a host of friendly, creative people ready to serve you delicious food while making adjustments to keep you and your family safe. No matter what door you open in this city, our cuisine is sure to please.
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