BC Museums Week 2019 will take place May 18-24. 

Do you have an opening, a feature exhibition or regular programming that is low-cost and appealing to a broad audience? Share information about your free activities, family programming, admission by donation days, educational activities/workshops, online collections, etc, by clicking below.

BCMA will use the BC Museums Week to promote activities that are happening across the province by featuring events on this page of our website and publicizing them via social media. Please take advantage of this opportunity to showcase your programming and any special events you may have planned.

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Myfanwy Pavelic // Opening Celebration & Curator’s Talk


Time: 14:00

Location: University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries


Join us at Legacy Downtown on Saturday May 25 for the Opening Celebration of Myfanwy Pavelic: Mirrored Selves Within and Without, featuring a curator’s talk with guest curator Patricia Bovey.

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About the exhibition: Victoria-born artist Myfanwy Pavelic (1916-2007) was fascinated with the inner and outer dimensions of being human. Imbued with prescient human insights, and largely self-taught, she created insightful and compelling portraits in pencil, collage, acrylic and oil. In an exhibition that spans her entire career, guest curator Patricia Bovey explores Pavelic’s keen observation, empathy and knowledge of anatomy that allowed her to capture her subjects’ inner essence – fears, vulnerabilities and strengths – consistently revealing the tensions between within and without. Her self-portraits honestly convey her own inner explorations and she used this experience to probe the depths of celebrities including acclaimed violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and renowned actress Katharine Hepburn. Multilayered in feeling and expression, her works exude dignity, beauty and the depths of joy, sadness and despair. Image: Myfanwy Pavelic, Raincoat (Self-Portrait), 1987, Gift of Dr. Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic. Accessibility: The main entrance to Legacy is at street level and there are no steps or gaps to enter the main gallery, inner gallery or washrooms. The main entrance has two sets of heavy doors that must be manually opened. There are additional doors without push buttons to the inner gallery. Legacy has two single-stall, gender inclusive washrooms. Both of these washrooms have manual doors and support bars, and only one provides ample space for mobility devices. If you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility at Legacy, please contact legacy@uvic.ca or call 250 721-6562.

Webinar: Making the Case for Your Museum


Time: 12:00 -13:00

Location: Accessible anywhere

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Making the case for your museum: Advocacy strategies that work!

There are hundreds of museums across the province and the vast majority of them receive some form of investment from local governments. Building strong relationships and lasting partnerships with local government officials is the first step on this path for support. It can be hard work – but it is also very worthwhile.

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In this webinar, members of BCMA’s Advocacy committee will explore best practices for building positive and lasting relationships with municipal governments and regional districts. The webinar will showcase positive examples, spotlight common challenges and include voices from BCMA members who have had success in increasing support from their municipalities. Participants will come away with solid tips, tools and strategies for making the case about the powerful role museums play in creating economic, social and cultural benefits for communities and why local governments should invest in your organization.

Maritime Museum Admission by Donation


Time: 10:00 - 17:00

Location: Maritime Museum of British Columbia


Admission by donation all day on Victoria Day, May 20th! Come check out our new Great Pacific Garbage Patch exhibit or the many different activities we’ll be running throughout the day!

Victoria Day Celebrations and High Tea


Time: 12:30 - 16:00

Location: Barkerville Historic Town & Park


Join Queen Victoria and Her Royal Consort at the Wake Up Jake Restaurant for High Tea in honour of Her Majesty’s birthday.

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High Tea Seating: $16.95 + tax per person
Tickets for the either seating (1:00 pm and 3:00 pm) can be purchased at the Wake Up Jake Restaurant in Barkerville. For more information or to reserve a seat, please phone the Wake Up Jake at 250-994-3259.

New in 2019: tea not your thing? Head to the clearing for heritage games and a maypole celebration!

Spring on the Homestead

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Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: Huble Homestead Historic Site


Celebrate the coming of spring and the season opening of Huble Homestead with classic spring activities. Learn all about the different tasks a pioneer family like the Hubles would take on to ensure the rest of their year was a success. Welcome the new animals to the homestead – the sheep, rabbits, and chickens will be awaiting your arrival!

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Watch or participate in heritage activities such as the May-pole dance, planting the garden, and making butter and ice cream. Reacquaint yourself with the historic site by taking a guided tour, and explore the buildings by taking part in a treasure hunt. Be sure to celebrate 30 years of Huble Homestead by checking out the launch of a new year-long exhibit that talks about the opening of the park.

On Sunday, flex your creative muscles in the scarecrow making contest for your chance to have your entry stay up in the Huble garden all summer long! Be sure to stop by the garden to find out more about the vegetables that will be planted in the Huble garden for the season, and about the heritage varieties of potatoes being grown for this fall’s Potato Festival.

Afterwards, relax with a picnic basket brought from home, or buy lunch from the BBQ. Don’t forget to check out the General Store and browse a new selection of locally made goods!

Free Admission at the Nanaimo Museum & Bastion


Time: 10:00 - 17:00

Location: Nanaimo Museum and Bastion


The Nanaimo Museum is celebrating International Museum Day on Saturday, May 18 with free admission at the Nanaimo Museum and Bastion.  International Museum Day 2019 is an opportunity for museums around the world to showcase their role as cultural hubs.  The Bastion’s summer season also kicks off on May 18 and runs through Labour Day.

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The International Museum Day 2019 theme, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” is reflected in the Nanaimo Mysteries exhibit.  “This exhibit has been a great opportunity to share some of the darker stories from Nanaimo’s history,” says Aimee Greenaway, Curator.  “Nanaimo Mysteries uses interactive elements such as the popular Mugshot Selfies, Ghost Stories board and ‘Artifact or Artifiction?’ to engage visitors in the history behind murders, crime, ghosts and vanished heritage sites in the community.”

The Bastion opens on May 18 this year to coincide with both Victoria Day weekend and International Museum Day.  As an iconic landmark in “Hub City”, the Bastion is a neat fit for the “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition” theme for the day. “It’s instantly recognizable,” says Sophia Maher, General Manager. “Thanks to some new research into the Hudson’s Bay Company activity here, we’re excited to include some new stories and perspectives.”

Celebrate international Museum Day by visiting the Nanaimo Museum and the Bastion, and by taking photos and tagging #nanaimomuseum, #IMD2019, and #CanMuse on social media.

The Bastion will be open daily 10:00 am to 4:00pm from May long weekend to Labour Day weekend.  Exhibits including artifacts and photos from the building’s 166-year history are open to the public.  Admission is by donation, but will be free on May 18.

Nanaimo Museum is open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm from May long weekend to Labour Day weekend. Admission, including to Nanaimo Mysteries, is free on May 18.  Regular admission is $2 for adults, $1.75 for seniors and $0.75 for children.

For more information, please visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call 250 753-1821.  The Bastion is located downtown on Front Street.

International Museum Day at MOV! $2 admission


Time: 10:00 - 21:00

Location: Museum of Vancouver

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International Museum Day is Saturday May 18th and we’re celebrating by offering $2 admission all day (10-9 pm)! Experience a visual feast of innovation and tradition on a 30-minute highlight tour happening at 11:30 and 1:30 in Haida Now. Limited spaces available.

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Join representatives from the Hancock Wildlife Foundation at MOV’s next Wild Things Interactive Station: Bald Eagles and Their Local Habitat (11-3 pm)! The station will include a full screen display from Hancock Wildlife Foundation’s eagle cams providing rare real-time views of nesting eagles. Also, be sure to check out our newest feature exhibition There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools, which focuses on rare surviving artworks created by children who attended various Indian Residential and Day Schools in Western Canada.

Its never been a better time to experience MOV!

Don’t forget to share your experience on social media and tag @museumofvan #IMD2019 #AtMOV #iheartMOV

Public Opening of ‘Artistry Revealed’


Location: Audain Art Museum


‘Artistry Revealed: Peter Whyte, Catharine Robb Whyte and Their Contemporaries’ is a traveling exhibition that celebrates the legacy of Peter and Catharine Whyte 50 years after the foundation of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

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Aspiring career artists from vastly differing backgrounds, Peter Whyte and Catharine Robb Whyte met at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and immersed themselves in the craft of fine art painting. Included along with Peter and Catharine’s work are paintings and drawings by artists who influenced their careers, touched their lives and with whom they painted.

Through their art and associations Peter and Catharine inspired interest in Banff and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and encouraged a generation of nationally significant artists to paint the Canadian Rockies. Presenting Sponsor: R.A.B. Foundation Generous Supporter: Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation Image: Peter Whyte, ‘Lake O’hara’, 1932 – 1935, oil on canvas, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Opening Weekend: Shadows, Strings and Others Things

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Time: 12:00 - 15:00

Location: Museum of Anthropology at UBC


Join Dr. Nicola Levell, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UBC and Curator of Shadows, Strings and Other Things, for special curatorial tours of MOA’s enchanting new exhibition.

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Over 250 puppets, old and new, from 15 countries, are illuminated in MOA’s new exhibition. These exquisite puppets—sometimes charming, sometimes a little bit scary, and always entertaining—come together and reveal our enduring fascination with storytelling. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience this theatrical world of puppets with the exhibition’s curator. She will take you through many rich and diverse puppetry traditions of the world, and outline the role they’ve played in transmitting cultural knowledge, stories, and values, from generation to generation.

Tours take place at 12pm and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. No registration required; space is limited. FREE with museum admission.

Building the Community – Exhibit Opening


Time: 13:00 - 17:00

Location: Creston Museum


The forest industry has always been a huge part of the community – a way of dealing with the timber cleared off new farms, a source of building materials, a major employer and economic supporter. On May 18, we are opening a brand-new exhibit that showcases the impact logging and sawmills have had, and continue to have, in the Creston Valley.

Join us for a special ceremony, Curator’s Talk, and an opportunity to speak with people who have worked in the industry for years and contributed their stories to this exhibit.

Free admission


If you’d like to plan something special for BC Museums Week, there are lots of ideas in the participation guide – e.g. admission by donation, free day, behind the scenes tour, sidewalk chalk, etc.

All members encouraged to participate in social media with #bcmuseums hashtag and daily themes and/or suggested tweets!

Learn more about BC Museums Week