BC Museums Week 2019


Join the BCMA and museums from around BC as we celebrate and highlight the work of our members, discuss important themes for the sector, and work together to build a stronger future.

BC Museums Week 2019 took place May 18-24. Click here here to download our press release!


What is BC Museums Week?

BC Museums Week is the annual celebration of museums, art galleries, historic sites, cultural centres, and other memory institutions in BC. The week is held annually in May, providing an opportunity for British Columbians to celebrate the vital role museums play in their communities, economy and education.

Each year, the BCMA creates a series of BC Museums Week activities and resources aimed at promoting and highlighting BC museums and their staff and volunteers. Cultural institutions in BC are encouraged to join the celebrations by engaging on social media or hosting their own special events.

In previous years, over 55 museums and other organizations in BC joined the BC Museums Week conversations on social media. Explore previous BC Museums Week events and activities here.


How to join BC Museums Week

Daily Themes

The BCMA creates a series of daily themes for use on social media during BC Museums Week. You can use these themes to plan special on-site events or programs, or you can choose your own themes for events or social media! Feel free to join us on Twitter and Facebook by following our suggested daily themes:

  • Saturday, May 18 – International Museum Day: join the international conversation about “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” using #MuseumDay.
    Learn more at: http://imd.icom.museum/
  • Sunday, May 19 – BC Museums Week: promote what you have planned for the week and get people excited about BC Museums Week.
  • Monday, May 20 – Your People: showcase your staff, volunteers, community members, or anyone else involved with your museum.
  • Tuesday, May 21 – Hidden Stories: this is a great opportunity to show people what they don’t often see about your organization. Behind the scenes, sneak peeks, little known facts…
  • Wednesday, May 22 – Your Community: celebrate and highlight how you contribute to and are involved in your broader community. How do you partner with your local heritage, education and community organizations? This is a great day to showcase how you serve diverse communities, and, in particular, your ongoing Indigenous Reconciliation efforts. The BCMA is also focusing on the theme of “International Year of Indigenous Languages” (a UN observance in 2019) to showcase the impact and importance of museums in B.C. communities. This day is a great opportunity to highlight collaboration between museums and First Nations to advance reconciliation initiatives and showcase Indigenous languages and culture.
  • Thursday, May 23 – Our Connected Sector: celebrate Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) by showcasing your connections with other GLAM organizations in your region or around the world.
  • Friday, May 24 – Coming Soon: following BC Museums Week, what is coming soon in your organization? Highlight upcoming exhibits, events, programs, initiatives, or cool staff projects.


Online Involvement

Celebrate BC Museums Week by joining the conversation on social media!  Previous years have seen over 55 organizations tweet and post to Facebook about BC Museums Week, with #BCMuseums trending in the Lower Mainland.  It’s really easy to get involved, creates thousands of engagement opportunities with the local, provincial, and international community, helping to spread appreciation of Museums around the world.

Get Connected:

Whether joining the daily themes or posting on your own, be sure to tag the BCMA so we can help promote your work.  Tag us using @BCMuseumsAssn – this works on Facebook and on Twitter.  Find our accounts at /BCMuseumsAssn.

Also remember to use #BCMuseums on all your social media posts so we can see them and share them!  Follow #BCMuseums for all your BC Museums Week news, information, and celebrations.

You can also check out our May Webinar on Advocacy Strategies that Work! There’s no better time to learn how to “Make the Case for Your Museum”. Registration is free for BCMA members; $10 for non-members.

Top Tips:

  • Include an image or other visual media to make your posts more visible.
  • Schedule your posts throughout the day (and in the lead-up to the week) to ensure they get noticed.  If you don’t have a scheduler already, try Hootsuite for free and get up to 30 posts scheduled in advance.
  • Use Facebook Events for on-site programs throughout the week


On-site Involvement

On-site programs are also a great way to celebrate BC Museums Week and get people through your doors.  Some examples of potential events and programs include:

  • Open by donation or open late hours
  • Special events for kids and families
  • Behind the scenes tours of the collections
  • Concerts or other festival-style events
  • Special events with community groups


Events as Advocacy and Promotion:

On-site events are a great way to attract political support and media attention.  Invite members of your civic council, your MLAs and your MPs to your events.  Coordinate with local media to cover politicians’ visits as well as to showcase your events.  Communicating with local media will increase your chances of attracting your representatives and your community.


If you don’t know who your local representative is, try these links:

Find your local MLA: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members

Find your local MP: http://www.ourcommons.ca/parliamentarians/en/constituencies/FindMP


Partnerships within the GLAM sector:

BC Museums Week is a great time to partner with institutions across the broader Gallery, Library, Archives and Museum (GLAM) sector.  If you are a gallery or museum that works closely with or acts as an archive, showcase that work in an on-site program or online.  Partner with a local library to host a pop-up exhibit at their site, or a pop-up library at yours.  The GLAM sector is excited to work with you, so don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your larger community!

While we encourage these events all week long, we will be specifically focusing on GLAM sector connections and partnerships on May 23.

Posters and Templates:

The BCMA has created a series of posters for BC Museums Week that you can use to promote the week and showcase the important role of museums in your community.

Have a poster up in your museum or gallery?  Show us where you put it by sharing on social media – just don’t forget to include #BCMuseums so we can see it!




Contact Us

We want to hear from you about your BC Museums Week events and experience!  What did you do to celebrate BC Museums Week?  How did your community get involved with your celebrations?  What ideas do you have for next year?

You can send questions or share your events by email to bcma@museumsassn.bc.ca or by phone at 250-356-5700.

Don’t forget to use #BCMuseums when you tweet us, and you can always tag us on Facebook when you share your events or content.


International Museum Day


BC Museums Week is perfectly situated in the international museum calendar as it includes International Museum Day (IMD), an ICOM-sanctioned celebration that takes place annually on May 18.

The objective of IMD is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” ICOM’s theme for this year’s IMD is “Hyperconnected museums: new publics, new approaches.”

Go Global: Join the IMD celebrations:

ICOM has released a resource kit for IMD that includes event examples and step-by-step instructions for planning and promoting activities. You can also get your IMD events on the IMD Map by registering them with ICOM.