Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre



  Mission & Vision

  Board Info

Promo Video

About the Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre was created to preserve the history of Southern Alberta's rich farming history. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of the information we provide. We have a large collection of artifacts waiting for space to be displayed.   Just one building  can not house all the information and artifact available .  We will, however be able to bring to you a fun and informative tour that will truly help you appreciate the trials and hard work of our ancestors  which have resulted in one of the world's richest farm and ranch lands.


Did you know that in the early development of the Canadian Prairies the Government used bribery to get people to come out to Canada and start up a farm. The images in their propaganda were misleading.  What you saw was not necessarily what you got! The land deals offered were just too good to worry about the fine print.  It was an especially appealing deal to those living in countries torn apart by war, famine, and wide spread poverty. Fortunately for us, our forefathers were a hardy bunch and not afraid of hard work.


We believe in an interactive learning environment. Some of our displays involve touching, seeing, and hearing.  Our School tours include grinding grain to make flour and planting seeds to take home and grow. We also offer a surprise bag of activity sheets and free gifts.


Truly, the best way to find out what we have, is to come down and check it out.  The cost is minimal and the tour is worth every penny.


Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre Mandate (revised)2014


They are the “Canadian Prairie Grain Elevators”.


They have been called “prairie giants”, “prairie sentinels”, prairie skyscrapers”, “prairie lighthouses” and “prairie icons”. They towered above our mother earth and were found dotting the western skyline every thirteen to sixteen km (8 to 10 miles). Now there are less then 20 of these Monoliths across the Alberta prairies.


The Canadian Grain Elevator Society is honored to be the proud owners of the 3 elevators here in Nanton. In which we are making good use of these elevators to create a “Discovery Centre” that enables us to share the proud history that these iconic monoliths have given us in association with grain farmers and the railway that provided a delivery service.


The Canadian Grain Elevator Society is dedicating the Discovery Centre to the farmers who hauled their grain to the elevators, the dedicated elevator employees who worked hard in the elevators providing a service for the prairie farmers, and the railroad. To that end, the Society will solicit and collect artifacts from the local farming area across the western provinces and from the Canadian public that reflect the history of the Canadian grain elevators. These artifacts will be part of the ongoing exhibits housed in the elevators and at the Discovery Centre.


Based on its current experience of opening the elevators to the public, the Board of Directors are certain the Discovery Centre will enable all Canadians and indeed citizens from around the world to discover the history of the grain elevators, including the role of the grain farmer, the role of the railway and the various organizations that helped shape prairie farming in Western Canada. The farmer, elevators, and railway formed a type of “symbolic” relationship dependent on each other for success.


At the Discovery Centre visitors will have the opportunity to touch and discuss various elevator artifacts, gain an understanding of the various grains handled by the elevators through interactive displays and guided tours. They will understand the inner workings of an elevator through utilization of an operating model and a guided tour of the actual structure. They will also be treated to exterior exhibitions of actual farming and grain elevator equipment along with “live growing plots” of various grains that were stored in the elevators.


One major thrust of the Society at the Discovery Centre will be the development and delivery of educational programs which will include offering guided learning tours to any and all schools who wish to discover a part of our Canadian history. Students will also gain an understanding of the history of the local grain farmers through donated family photos, old news clippings, and various grain farming artifacts.


In order for the Discovery Centre to achieve its objectives of developing a museum and educational mandate the Discovery Centre will need to accumulate between 1.2 million and 1.5 million in capital funds with an annual operating budget of approximately 92,000 dollars. The expectation is to have the Discovery Centre's vision attained by the year 2016


The three grain elevators and the Discovery Centre fit nicely into the town of Nantons theme "where History Lives.


To Promote and preserve the Nanton Grain Elevators and Associated railway line as an accessible heritage site, encouraging appreciation for their history, artistic values and architectural uniqueness and develop an educational tool for future generations.


Preserving and sharing  the history and culture of the Pioneer Farmer, Prairie Grain Elevators and Railway.

Our regular general meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month. If you would like to attend please call us to participate at (403)-646-1146

Chair Person

Diane Wilson


Brent Hj


Karen Downey



Education Director



Rodney Green



Past Board Members

No matter how great or how small we would like to honour our previous board members for all their efforts no matter how great or how small their contributions where.

Joseph Lux

Jenny Harresvale

John Berger

Jim Coutts

Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre