Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre

Your cultural experience of Medicine Hat starts in the city's core, nestled in the South Saskatchewan River valley. After turning on historic First Street and winding your way towards downtown, the attractive Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre stands at the first set of lights. This marvel of contemporary Canadian architecture is regarded as a gem in the community and region. The building beckons you inside where art and heritage come to life through exhibitions, artifacts, archival and art collections, music, dance and theatre, and more. 

Esplanade volunteers and staff are eager to help visitors discover Medicine Hat. In the permanent museum exhibit, guests will see how the city came to be, through the many stories and artifacts within. Nearby, the Heritage Gallery regularly features traveling and in-house curated exhibitions. Right next door, the 3,000 square foot Art Gallery showcases the finest contemporary art from here and beyond. And finally, a stop at the archives reveals an immense heritage through more than one million documents and photos. Some of them are exhibited as part of the Archives Vignette in the gallery foyer, presenting another chapter of the community's story. During the week, the dedicated Archives Reading Room staff is more than willing to help you access your own story or connection to "the Hat". 

The Esplanade is the perfect starting point to live the past, present and future of culture in Medicine Hat. Explore the stories of the area's collective past, check out local to international contemporary art, research family history, attend a theatre performance, bring children to an art program, or simply enjoy the view from the rooftop terrace. From there, you can see the historic Ewart Duggan House and Courthouse, City Hall, Finlay Bridge and St. Patrick's Church, and also Saamis; the shoreline escarpment which is the setting for the story of how Medicine Hat got its name.