Hours of Operation
The Nordegg Discovery Centre (NDC) is home to
- Visitor Information Desk
- *Redesigned Interpretive/Exhibit Centre (Grand Re-Opening Spring 2024!)
- Nordegg Public Library (open all year)
The NDC is open for visitors seven days a week (9:00 am - 4:30 pm) from the May Long Weekend to September Long Weekend.
This centre showcases and celebrates history, culture, and the environment while also serving as an information hub that introduces visitors to the area and their next adventure. The centre is a wheelchair-accessible facility and has wheelchair-accessible washrooms.
Brazeau Collieries Historic Mine Site Tours
Brazeau Collieries Historic Mine Site Tours are scheduled from Wednesday to Monday (except Tuesdays) as follows:
- 10:00 am - Upper and lower mine tour (duration approximately 2.5 hours)
- 2:00 pm - Upper mine tour only (duration approximately 1.5 hours)
Registration for tours can be taken at this time by drop-in or by phoning 403-721-COAL (2625).
Please note that the site/tour is not set up to allow for guests to bring pets.
- Mailing address: PO Box 67, Nordegg, AB T0M 2H0
- Nordegg Discovery Centre Direct Phone: 403-721-COAL (2625)
- Clearwater County Main Administrative Phone: 403-845-4444
- Email: email@example.com
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During the summer of 2021, the Nordegg Discovery Centre (NDC) got a face lift with a new exterior. Prior to installation a test section of the stucco was removed and it was discovered that there was water damage and the walls still contained the original wood shaving insulation. This changed the project to include replacement of water damaged wood and new insulation throughout. The finished product is a beautiful exterior with better insulated and a stable structure.
Inside the building you will no longer find the Miners Café and Colliseum Gift Shop as they have relocated. With the vacant spaces on the lower level of the Discovery Centre, Clearwater County has engaged the services of the Hatlie Group to develop a new exhibit.The new exhibit will be expanded from the original room to encompass the old gift shop room as well.
At Council’s Strategic Planning meeting on April 17, 2023, a report on the feedback heard from community engagement was presented to Council (click here to view the report). The NDC Exhibition Renewal Project began in October 2021 with a two-part phased approach.
Phase 1: Planning & Development focused its efforts on strategy, business planning, and interpretation planning to set the stage for next steps.
Phase 2: Development, fabrication, and installation of the renewed NDC exhibits - coming next year in 2024.
It is anticipated that the new exhibit will open in 2024. Included in this project is the mural recreation in an accessible location.
Clearwater County has developed a strategy for the NDC that draws from the community feedback solicited in 2022. From this strategy the team highlighted values to set a foundation for the project through community, respect, history, and creativity.
Vision: “The Nordegg Discovery Centre engages our visitors in the exploration of this place, the stories of its people, communities and history, and their enduring spirit.”
Mission: “The Hub for experiences, education, and information, the Nordegg Discovery Centre connects visitors and residents with the natural, cultural, and industrial heritage of the region.”
Please remember that as a National and Provincial Historic Site, Brazeau Collieries has been deemed as historically significant to Albertans and all Canadians. Access can only be permitted through our guided tours, in order to ensure the longevity of the site so that more people can come enjoy and learn from it. The briquette plant can be visited on the B Tour of the mine site.
The briquette plant can be visited on the B Tour of the mine site.
The Brazeau Collieries Ltd. was established in 1909 by Martin Nordegg of the German Development Company and Mackenzie, Mann and Company (major shareholders in the Canadian Northern Railway) in order to search for a large coal field for the use of the Canadian Northern Railway. In 1910, large coal fields were discovered along the North Saskatchewan River near Rocky Mountain House. In 1911, Brazeau Collieries Ltd. established its mine; and a town, Nordegg, had sprung up around it by 1913. At the peak of operations the mine produced over 250,000 tonnes of coal per year. In 1949 briquetting presses were added to produce more heating coal. As demand for coal declined so did the fortunes of Brazeau Collieries Ltd. In January 1955, the mine closed and the company went bankrupt.
The Brazeau Collieries National Historic Site and the Nordegg Heritage Centre are both managed under the umbrella of the Clearwater County Heritage Board. This volunteer board advises the Clearwater County Council and Administration on heritage matters throughout the county.
Previously these were managed by the Nordegg Historical Society. The County became involved with the historical group in Nordegg in 1992. The society was known as the Nordegg Historic Heritage Interest Group at that time, and was experiencing some financial difficulties in their attempts to protect and restore the remaining buildings in town and particularly on the Brazeau Collieries mine site. The Council at the time recognized the significance of the old mine site as an historical resource and consequently got involved. The County appointed a manager to operate the daily affairs of the Society and to look for opportunities to alleviate the debt and resume with the restoration of the site.
Over the last eighteen years, Clearwater County has been involved with the Society, providing management and some resources for the Society to continue in their efforts to restore and stabilize the site. In August 1993, the site was designated an Alberta Historic Resource by Alberta Community Development. In February 2002 the site was designated a National Historic Site by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Nordegg Historical Society and Clearwater County were both recipients of Heritage Conservation Awards from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation in 2007.