Alberta's Provincial Historic Sites, Interpretive Centres and Museums
Oil Sands Discovery Centre

About the Centre

“Sharing the Oil Sands Experience”

Provide a unique and memorable experience that inspires a lifelong interest in science and technology.

The Centre opened in 1985 as the Fort McMurray Oil Sands Interpretive Centre, and in September 2002, the redeveloped exhibit hall was opened. It was created through donations by private companies, individuals, and the Alberta Government, and by the hard work, dedication, and vision of advisory and fund raising committees and the former Friends of the Oil Sands Discovery Centre.

Admission to the Centre includes:

"Oil Sands" film
A 10 minute introductory film on the history and development of Alberta’s Oil Sands. Available at scheduled times in the Robert Fitzsimmons Theatre.

Dr. Karl A. Clark Exhibit Hall
Learn about the history, science, and technology of the oil sands through interactive displays. Don’t forget to visit the 150 tonne heavy hauler truck!

Hot Water Extraction Demonstration
OSDC interpreters show how bitumen is separated from the oil sands in this 10-minute live presentation.
“Quest for Energy” film
A 16-minute film that introduces you to the geology, history, mining, and extraction processes of the Athabasca Oil Sands.
“Pay Dirt – Alberta’s Oil Sands: Centuries in the Making” film
A 45-minute film that portrays the history and development of the oil sands in Alberta.

Oil Sands Discovery Centre Daily Schedule (PDF -186 KB)

Industrial Equipment Garden and Bucketwheel Exhibit (Closed during winter)
This outdoor display area features mining equipment that was once used in the oil sands mining industry. “Cyrus,” the 850 tonne bucketwheel excavator, is one of the largest land based artifacts in Canada.

Alto awardPremier's AwardThe Oil Sands Discovery Centre is an ALTO (Alberta Tourism Awards) Award Winner. The Centre's exhibit redevelopment project is also the recipient of the Premier's Silver Award of Excellence in 2003.


The Discovery Shop

The Discovery Shop at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre

The Discovery Shop is operated by Fort McMurray Tourism and is open during regular Visitor Information Centre hours. Please contact Fort McMurray Tourism for more information at 780-791-4336 or

Last reviewed/revised: July 11, 2017
Viscosity display

Part of the environment display

Insitu exhibit area