A part of the Vancouver landscape since 1894, the Vancouver Museum is an ideal place to begin your tour of this enticing city. Created just eight years after the city officially became a city and organized by a group of dedicated citizens that were interested in preserving the history of Vancouver, this museum is one of the best places in town for visitors to learn about the past, present, and future of British Columbia’s largest city.
The Vancouver Museum, with its landmark domed roof, boasts thousands of artifacts, many dating back thousands of years and others not quite so old. Many are indicative of life in Vancouver and surrounding areas while other treasures come from places around the world.
Viewing the Collections
The Vancouver Museum boasts four main collections. The Vancouver Collection, an amazing array of regional artifacts, displays items that are reflective of the history of the Lower Mainland of Canada. You’ll be able to ascertain how long-ago Lower Mainlanders lived, what they did to occupy their free time, how they dressed, and much more.
The First Nations Collection takes people back to the time before Vancouver became a city. With displays that depict the lives of the Aboriginal peoples of the Pacific West Coast, this portion of the museum educates visitors as to their struggles and triumphs and allows guests to experience what life was like long-before the museum stood on this land.
The Pacific Rim Collection reflects the ethnic diversity of the city of Vancouver and includes exhibits on China, Japan, and Oceania in hopes of prompting cross-cultural understanding.
Lastly, the World Heritage Collection stretches far beyond Vancouver to many distant lands. Displays feature such ancient artifacts as Egyptian mummies and much more.
While the Vancouver Museum offers many special events and lessons for local school children, visitors can treat themselves to a number of unique programs as well. Consider a sleepover at the museum such as “The Night of the Mummy”, where you and your family will enjoy “excavating” artifacts on a simulated dig, researching the artifacts in a lab, learning about the process of mummification, and solving a mummy mystery. Programs vary throughout the year so check out your options before you arrive.
The museum also offers Heritage Excursions, which include historic walks throughout Vancouver’s many diverse neighborhoods. Professional authors and historians lead the tours.
Visiting the Museum
The Vancouver Museum is open 6 days a week at 1100 Chestnut Street, near the south end of Burrard Street bridge, and closed on Mondays. Extended hours are available on Thursday evenings. Admission is very affordable and groups of 5 are eligible for a flat fee admission that saves visitors even more money. Phone 604-736-4431.