Buffalo Hotel and Club Café Collection

As we say goodbye to the Buffalo Hotel and the Club Café, we’re collecting memories from these sites so future generations know about their role in our community. Archives staff have pulled together the photographs and records already in our collections and the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery staff are collecting artifacts from the buildings. Now we want your personal stories and experiences. We invite everyone to share their individual stories and creative works inspired by both sites.

Collecting Buffalo Hotel and Club Café Stories

Students at the Club Cafe, 1944. Red Deer Archives, P2752.

Did you stay at the hotel? Do you have memories of meals from the Club Café? Help us capture these memorable experiences and become part of Central Alberta’s enduring story.

Note that your donations may be highlighted on The City of Red Deer and Museum + Art Gallery (MAG) social media feeds, and on site at the MAG.

How Do I Share My Story with the Archives?

The first step is to prepare your memories for sharing. You may want to scan photographs or diary entries, prepare a story in a Word document, or record a video on your phone.

Once you have your electronic records ready in one folder on your computer, follow these steps to donate them to the Archives.

  1. Click the button below to open the Archival Records Donation form
  2. Fill out the form
  3. Attach your donations
  4. Check the agreement
  5. Submit

If you have any issues, please email archives@reddeer.ca.

Open Archival Records Donation Form

How Do I Donate Items to the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery (MAG)

Before donating artifacts, the first step is to contact the Collections Coordinator at the MAG to discuss it. They are always grateful to be offered material, but they are strict about what they accept. The MAG is interested in artifacts and works of art which are in good shape and well documented and which help to tell significant stories about people, and their cultures, lifestyles and history.

To become part of their collections, an artifact must:

  • Be significant and specific to Red Deer and/or Central Alberta;
  • Be unique. It must not duplicate items already in our collections
  • Come with rich supporting information.

You can contact the Collections Coordinator by telephone at 587-797-4040 or email museum@reddeermuseum.com 

How Do I See What Has Already Been Donated?

As records are donated to the Archives collection, they are described and added to the Buffalo Hotel and Club Cafe collection on Preservica.


What Can I Talk About?

For inclusion in this collection, you can share any stories or records that relate primarily to these sites. The goal of this project is to collect and share community memories.

We understand that not all memories may be pleasant. If you need support, you may want to call the Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.

What Should I Say?

If you're still unsure what to say, consider some of the prompt questions below:

  • Did you ever attend a concert at the Buffalo Hotel? Whose concert and what was it like?
  • What were the hotel rooms like? Why were you staying in the hotel?
  • Did you have a favourite meal from the Club Café? Who did you eat with? Did you celebrate a special event there?
  • Do you have memories of the staff who worked in the Club Café or in the Buffalo Hotel?
  • Did you or anyone you know ever bowl in the basement of the Club Café building?
  • These buildings each hosted a variety of businesses. How did you patronize those businesses over the years?
How Should I Say It?

How should you record your experiences? However you like! We've provided a few ideas below, but this isn't a comprehensive list.

  • Record your memories with pen and paper. The Archives can digitize your journal so you can keep the physical object, or you can donate the journal.
  • Submit photographs documenting your experience
  • Write a recollection of a single unique moment
  • Blog or vlog and download for submission
  • Write a poem, short story, or other creative writing work
  • Record a video or audio clip (TikTok, etc.) and download for submission
  • Create art inspired by your experience in the medium of your choice. Paint, sculpt, draw, photograph, bake, design, animate, or stitch your feelings. These items will be considered for inclusion in the Museum + Art Gallery collections.

If you have a project idea that isn't on this list, that's great! We'd be happy to work with you to design your project with an eye toward archival preservation. Email us at archives@reddeer.ca.

In late 2022, The City purchased the sites of 5021 and 5023 Ross (50) Street downtown with the intent to redevelop the area. Included among the two parcels of land are the Buffalo Hotel and Club Café. Read more about the redevelopment project here.