The Galt is well respected in Alberta's museum community, has a growing national profile and is committed to international museum standards. The archives contain an extensive collection of information on the human history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta. Today, the museum cares for well over 17,000 artifacts and more than 1 million archival documents and photographs. These collections continue to grow.
The history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta can be explored through the Galt's rotating world-class exhibits, special events, and school and community programs. The Galt Museum Store offers visitors a selection of historic publications and other unique local and retro gifts. Volunteers donate their time and talents to enhance the work of museum staff.
Award of Merit for "History on Tap" program, Alberta Museums Association, 1991
Programming–Exhibits Award for Akaitapiiwa–Ancestors Exhibit, Alberta Museums Association, 2003
Marketing Excellence Award Finalist for Year of the Coalminer, Alberta Tourism Marketing Awards, 2004
Marketing Partnership Award Finalist for Year of the Coalminer, Alberta Tourism Marketing Awards, 2004
Tourism Partnership Initiative Award for Year of the Coalminer, Chinook Country Tourist Association, 2004
Museums and Society Award for Year of the Coalminer, Alberta Museums Association, 2005
Change and Innovation Award, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, 2007
Collections Award in Collections Management for Operation Homecoming, Alberta Museums Association, 2007
Programming Award in the Exhibits Category for Auschwitz: The Eva Brewster Story, Alberta Museums Association, 2007
Marketing Excellence Award for Auschwitz: The Eva Brewster Story, Chinook Country Toursit Association, 2007
Community Organization Award, The Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge Aboriginal Awareness Week Planning Committee, 2011
5 Blooms for the Native Prairie Plants Garden at Galt Museum, Communities in Bloom, 2012
Leadership Award for Engagement, Alberta Museums Association, 2013
Award for Excellence in Museums Finalist, Governor General's History Awards, 2016
In addition to numerous walking trails and interpretive signage, the Museum Grounds include two gardens created in partnership with two community groups: The Lethbridge & District Horticultural Society and the Galt School of Nursing Alumnae Association. The South Garden is made possible by additional community support.
The Lethbridge & District Horticultural Society began planting a Garden of Native Prairie Plants containing over 40 species of native plants in September 2008 to be ready for its 2009 Centennial Celebration. Designed by Lethbridge-based horticulturalist June Flanagan, it is appealing in all four seasons and features:
a variety of wildflowers, grasses and woody plants
attractive flowers through the growing season
autumn leaf colour, seed heads, fruit and interesting bark
The plants are placed similar to how they would grow in the river valley: shade tolerant species on the slope against the north wall of the museum, the most drought tolerant species on the steep, southwest-facing slope. Galt volunteers collect, clean and package the seeds, and they are available in the Galt Museum Store! Native Prairie Plants Garden Seeds $4.95/pkg
Aside from preserving and interpreting history of southwestern Alberta, the Galt Museum & Archives formerly the Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives has a great unfolding history itself, from its early beginnings to the 2005 expansion and beyond.
The Galt is one of the Boards and Commissions of the City of Lethbridge. We are governed by a Board of Directors which are appointed by City Council. The Galt Board of Directors oversees the Galt's objectives and operating policies and serve as a link to the community.
2019–20 Board of Directors
Chair Vic Mensch, Community Volunteer
Vice Chair Heather Oxman, Community Volunteer
Treasurer Don Chandler Community Volunteer
Brendan Cummins, Community Volunteer
Kim Seiver, Community Volunteer
Avice DeKelver, Community Volunteer
Aaron Stout, Community Volunteer
Matt Gal, Community Volunteer
Ryan Parker, City Council representative
Ex-officio member: Dr. Glenn Coulter Chair, Friends of the Galt Society
The Galt Museum & Archives engages and educates our communities in the human history of southwestern Alberta by preserving and sharing collections, stories and memories that define our collective identity and guide our future.
The Galt Museum & Archives is a vibrant gathering place that meets historical, cultural and educational needs.
We treasure and protect the stories, objects, memories and relationships of our communities
We advocate for history, culture and historical education
Creativity and Innovation
We thrive on challenge, ingenuity and improvement
We believe in and foster life-long learning
Integrity and Authenticity
We are open, honest and respectful
We ensure the authenticity of our collections, exhibits, education and programs
Teamwork and Cooperation
We encourage diversity of opinion
We find merit in collaboration and partnerships
We believe that with dedication, passion and commitment we strive for our best performance
We respect the skills and expertise of others and cherish diversity
2014 - 2024 Strategic Plan
With our stakeholders we have identified a suite of strategies falling into three core work areas:
Core businesses - building partnerships, collections, exhibits and programs which will anticipate and meet the needs of current and future audiences, primarily in Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta, but also capitalizing on Lethbridge's rich tourist potential;
Sustaining - giving direction to and setting a high standard for the institution's sustainability, by developing and operating value-added businesses, and building robust fund development and donated income capability;
Communicating and Marketing - developing the Galt's long term brand and building awareness of the institution in its communities by engaging stakeholders and using skilled communications and marketing.
The Strategic Plan will remain flexible and responsive while guiding the dedicated board, staff and volunteers into 2024.
The Friends of the Galt
The Friends Society of the Sir Alexander Galt Museum & Archives is registered under the Societies Act of Alberta as a non-profit group. The Friends promote public support of the Sir Alexander Galt Museum & Archives, undertake fundraising initiatives, receive donations and sponsor events, all designed to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of the Galt. The funds raised are directed to educational programs at the Galt.
Using the entire Galt Museum & Archives and Fort Whoop-Up as the classroom, a qualified teacher enlivens history for visiting student groups. Working closely with teachers in the region, the Alberta curriculum is incorporated in presentations. The sometimes forgotten history of Indigenous Peoples is given voice in the Galt’s programs.
In 2009, the Friends Society Board and the Galt Museum & Archives' Board jointly established the “Friends of the Galt Endowment Fund” through the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta. Contributions to the Endowment Fund are permanently invested in perpetuity with subsequent earnings used to support the Galt’s programs in the future. Donors are eligible to receive a charitable tax receipt for their donation.
Currently the Friends Board is managed by nine community members. Various fundraising events have been hosted including dinners with an outstanding speaker, winter barn dances, five Valentine’s teas, two speaker series, a raﬄe and others. The funds have supported bussing students from their school to the Galt and back to school, materials for use in educational programs, a mural in the Galt’s classroom, an outdoor irrigation exhibit and many more.
If you have an interest in supporting the Galt, consider joining the Friends of the Galt Museum. You can contact us through email or by dropping a line to us at PO Box 321, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3Y7.