Cold Lake Air Force Museum: History on the Hill
The Cold Lake Air Force Museum is open for the summer.
The museum is one part of the Cold Lake Museums, located at the former 42 Radar Squadron facility high on the hill behind Tri-City Mall. Other galleries, besides the Air Force Museum, display Cold Lake’s Aboriginal history, the oil and gas industry and the heritage of the Cold Lake area.
Like all such projects, the Air Force Museum is a continual work in progress. Over the past winter, a lot of effort has gone into improving the displays and giving the exhibits a professional look. This includes new display cases, improved lighting, fresh paint and some structural maintenance to keep the historic building looking fresh. There is also an impressive new ammunition exhibit.
Jennifer Ross is the curator of the Air Force Museum. She says visitors will be impressed by the range of artifacts on display.
“The mandate of the museum is to exhibit the history of 4 Wing,” Ross said. “We have artifacts and exhibits from the Cold War era to the present day.”
The lower level of the museum offers a look at activities, units and personnel that support the base, while the upstairs galleries are about the flying squadrons. At the centre is the huge radar room.
There is also a collection of historic aircraft on the grounds.
Ross says the artifacts on display represent a small part of the museum’s growing collection. A major aspect of museum work is archiving and documenting artifacts, and preserving them for posterity. Many of the artifacts will be displayed in the future, and some may go to other collections to be cared for or exhibited.