‘a sliver of the true fort’: Imagining fort edmonton, 1911–2011

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Over the course of the twentieth century, the Fort Edmonton Park living history museum helped to coordinate the city's hinterland origins as a military and trading post with its metropolitan ambitions. In the process, it has served as a symbol of community progress and spirit as well as a tourist attraction. In 2009, Park management proposed a series of touristic enhancements including holographic characters, interactive games, sound effects, new rides, and Wild West-style theatrics. Immediate public debate arose in response to the spectre of theme park marketing, a body of discourse building on a century of negotiations over form, content, and control of Fort Edmonton's commemoration. A study of discourse from several main periods reveals a recurring set of conceptual clashes and interactions between values of, first, historical authenticity and local legitimacy in representation and, second, the practical challenges of operating a sustainable and competitive leisure attraction. After focusing on the construction of the Park from the 1970s through the 1990s, this paper concludes with an overview of current issues of representation in public history in the city at the turn of a new century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Authenticity
  • Community
  • Contested heritage
  • Fort
  • Heritage
  • Heritage planning


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