Renovation complete at scenic Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre

The final phase of the redesigned Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre is now open. The state-of-the-art displays, stunning images and vivid stories at the Centre are beside the dam's massive Powerhouse, directly above the giant turbines that provide clean, renewable energy to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across British Columbia.

The extensive, two-year, $2-million upgrade began last year.

The first phase included the development of a 14 new, hands-on exhibits and activities. Ever wanted to build your own dam, pedal a bike to light a bulb or set off a mad-scientist's Jacob's ladder? Now you can. There's also a pictoral history of how the dam was made. (Interesting fact: The concrete dam took 2 million cubic metres of concrete, enough to fill nearly a quarter of a million full-sized concrete trucks.)

The final phase was opened on May 15, 2009. It features a beautiful, unique First Nations Gallery which showcases the history and traditions of the three First Nations who have lived along the Columbia River near Revelstoke for more than 15,000 years.

"As we worked on phase one of the upgrade we noticed that there was an opportunity to incorporate a significant First Nations component to the exhibit," said Lindsay Thompson, BC Hydro project manager. "From that point on we worked in collaboration on this exhibit so that each of the First Nations would be able to tell their own story around the Columbia River and the Revelstoke area."

The Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Ktunaxa Nation helped shape the gallery's design and determined which artifacts and artwork would be included in the displays.

"We also commissioned artwork from each Nation," Lindsay said. "Their work is featured in the gallery and includes 3D models of tepees used throughout the year, birch bark baskets, hide drums, and a contemporary steel sculpture of coyote."

The Revelstoke Museum and Archives also loaned items for the gallery.

A self-guided tour of the Visitor Centre takes visitors along a scenic walkway across the top of the Powerhouse. An elevator transports guests 35 storeys to a spectacular lookout above the 175-metre-high dam.

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The Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre is located on Highway 23 North, about five kilometres north of Revelstoke. The Visitor Centre also has a small gift shop that sells drinks and snacks. BC Hydro staff are always on hand to answer any questions or provide assistance.

The facility is fully wheelchair accessible and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until Thanksgiving Monday, October 12, 2009.

Admission fees are: adults $6, youth $5, under five free, families $15.

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Looking for even more adventure?

Visit our W.A.C. Bennett Dam, Peace Canyon Dam and Stave Falls Powerhouse locations.

Source: BC Hydro News