The Cultural Development Department is committed to ensuring that the arts flourish in Medicine Hat, and that our heritage is celebrated and preserved. The department provides cultural programs and services to the residents and visitors to enrich cultural life in the community, fulfilling its goal of connecting everyone with arts and heritage. This is accomplished through its primary programs areas including the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, the Cultural Centre and the Saamis Tepee.
The Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre is for everyone. Whether you're an art lover, a cultural enthusiast, or someone who can appreciate the beauty of an architecturally stunning facility – the Esplanade is for you. Medicine Hat is proud to bring together the disciplines of visual art, performing arts, and cultural heritage under one roof. But not only is this building a place to appreciate and interpret culture, it is a place for our community to gather, to celebrate, and to cherish.
The Esplanade was built in 2005 as one of Alberta's Centennial Legacy Projects. The Medicine Hat Museum, Art Gallery and Archives had outgrown its facility and the City of Medicine Hat began considering options for expansion. With this opportunity grew the idea of adding a Performing Arts Theatre into the fold and combining all of these disciplines under one roof. The idea for Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre was born.
Where did the name "Esplanade" come from?
In the late 1800s, the streets in downtown Medicine Hat had different names. First Street SE (where our new Arts & Heritage Centre is built) used to be called " Esplanade Road." The street names were changed to their current monikers in 1914. Esplanade (which means "pathway near water") is actually a popular name for large buildings near water, like resorts, condominiums, hotels and theatres.
Medicine Hat Cultural Centre
The Medicine Hat Cultural Centre, which opened in 1983, is a unique venue for numerous cultural activities in Southern Alberta. This modern, elegant building is the culmination of a joint venture by the Medicine Hat College and the City of Medicine Hat. The centre is owned and operated by the Medicine Hat College. Situated on the beautifully landscaped College campus, this centre provides the ideal location for many educational and cultural activities. The Cultural Centre provides studio, rehearsal and performance space for many local cultural organizations. Monthly exhibits by local and regional artists are featured in the Cultural Centre Gallery. The Centre is also home to the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music and Dance.
By far, Medicine Hat’s most visible landmark is the Saamis Tepee! Originally constructed for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics, the Saamis Tepee is a tribute to Canada’s native heritage. Built entirely of steel with a concrete foundation, the tepee is ringed with 10 large circular story-boards depicting aspects of native culture and history. Below the Saamis Tepee in scenic Seven Persons coulee, lays one of the Northern Plains archaeological sites - the Saamis Archaeological Site. This self-guided walking tour will show you one of the foremost important archaeological sites of the Northern Plains. The area was once a buffalo camp and meat processing site. Experts believe over 83 million artifacts are buried at the site. The Saamis Tepee is located on the Trans-Canada Highway next to Tourism Medicine Hat.
The Around Town Newsletter is produced by the Cultural Development Department. It compiles most of Medicine Hat cultural event information. For more information or to submit content, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Information is also available on-line at Tourism Medicine Hat