The curated boutique champions makers in Edmonton and beyond, who offer up everything from handmade ceramics to peppermint-sage shampoos.
The newly relocated Royal Alberta Museum, now the largest museum in Western Canada, has a lot going for it: 2.4 million–plus objects on display across five separate rooms; a masterfully designed space by Canadian firm Dialog that’s outfitted with anchor points like a swirling concrete staircase inspired by the curves of the Maligne and Johnston canyons; and more than a whopping 400,000 square feet for natural-history and human-history buffs to geek out over it all. Despite all this—and no offence to the pair of life-size woolly mammoth models in the lobby—we’d argue that one of the museum’s coolest must-see attractions doesn’t require admission at all: the beautifully curated gift shop, which stocks an impressive array of homewares, foodstuffs, books, toys and other quirky, well-designed knickknacks from a collective of much-loved Albertan brands. Think natural peppermint-sage shampoos by Mother Earth Essentials; handmade mugs and pitchers from Medalta, the ceramic-arts facility situated in Medicine Hat’s historic clay district; and leather-and-wood keychains by Brickbubble that proudly depict the province's crest. The shop even sells RAM–branded chocolates and “Wild Alberta Tea”—green tea blended with rose petals, chamomile and yarrow root. Plus, 100 percent of proceeds support programming and services at the RAM, in case you needed any more reason to champion local. The store opens daily at 11 a.m. to museum-goers and non-museum-goers alike. Check out a few of our top picks from the Museum Shop at the RAM below.