Community Stories

Happy Birthday, Red Deer #tbt

March 25, 2021

Happy birthday, Red Deer – today marks the date of your incorporation as a city.

Happy birthday, Red Deer – today marks the date of your incorporation as a city.

Eight years ago, The City of Red Deer began centennial celebrations with fireworks on January 1, and continued the birthday party throughout the year. 100 years is a big deal! On March 25, 2013, Red Deerians officially marked 100 years of city status with the burial of a time capsule in City Hall park.

The contents of the capsule were selected to paint a picture of Red Deer in 2013 – profiling things like how the city has grown in size, progressed as a community and how technology, the media and the people who live here have shaped Red Deer.

Creating a time capsule is quite an interesting, and involved, process. First, you have to buy a time capsule – one that will last 50+ years and that will take on the challenges of Alberta’s weather. Then, you must decide how big the time capsule should be. Then, where do you put it?

A meaningful and logical location needed to be selected. The Red Deerians of 2063 had to easily be able to find it. Ultimately, a location on the north side of City Hall Park beside the Centennial Hot Wings Tatarian Maple was selected, and marked with a plaque and commemorative bench.

The City invited submissions from organizations throughout the community and each of our City departments. We asked for items, photos, and messages - things that would profile how Red Deer came to be the great place it is today.

Red Deer Archives worked to ensure everything was catalogued and encapsulated according to Archive’s standards, in hopes that the items would still be intact in 2063.

So we don’t spoil the fun for those of you who will be around in March 2063, we won’t tell you everything that is in there, but here is a little sneak peak of some of the items included:

  • Artwork from a Maryview class depicting what they think Red Deer might look like in 2063;
  • 1913 – 2013 penny collection donated by long-time city resident Phyllis Paterson. Significant as this year the penny was taken out of circulation;
  • Messages and letters with predictions about what Red Deer life might be like and what people hope it will be like in 2063;
  • March 2013 Newspaper - it’s loaded with flyers as we thought it would be fun to see what things cost in 2013;
  • Letter from Emergency Services manager to his successor in 2063, along with equipment and apparel used by our FireMedics, and
  • Some of the day’s most popular toys and a bit of pop culture to give people a look back into what our lifestyles were in 2013.

Parks and Public Works staff prepped the site, and transported the sealed time capsule from Council Chambers, where we compiled and packaged the items, to City Hall Park, where staff from EL&P were waiting to rig up the time capsule for lowering during the ceremony.

Later that very cold March 25 morning, the time capsule was lowered into the ground amidst an excited, red-mittened wearing crowd, during the official ceremony led by Mayor at the time, Mayor Morris Flewwelling and City Manager at the time, Craig Curtis.

Next time you are in City Hall Park, head over to the north side of the park and look for the plaque. Happy birthday, Red Deer. We hope someone remembers to open the time capsule in 2063!