BC Museums Week and International Museum Day

BC Museums Week Proclamation

For the last two years, The Province of British Columbia has proclaimed a week in May to be “BC Museums Week,” recognizing, among other things, “the importance of museums, art galleries, historic sites, cultural centres and other memory institutions as keepers of legacy, places of learning, and drivers for the economic and social well-being of our communities.”

In 2018 the BC Museums Association was joined by 55 museums and related organizations from around BC as we celebrated and highlighted the work of our members, discussed important themes for the sector, and advocated for reconciliation and innovation within the sector.

BC Museums Week was perfectly situated in the international museum calendar as it included International Museum Day (IMD), a global celebration now in its 41st year that takes place annually on May 18.

To learn more about BC Museums Week and IMD, click here.


Regional Workshops

2018 – Caring for your Collections: The Long Road to Deaccessioning 

Presented by Luc Desmarais in Abbotsford (March 19) & Quesnel (April 30)

As museum collections grow year by year, storage space is becoming limited and causing a strain on staff time and resources. But before you can start cleaning house, you need to ensure the foundation of your collection is solid so you can prepare from the ground up. It’s a long road to deaccessioning!

The BCMA invites you to join Luc Desmarais as he guides you through how small museums can lay the groundwork for collection clean-up and deaccessioning projects in British Columbia. From policy, to inventory, and ethical issues to disposal, Luc will map out your journey to a refined and tidy collection.

2018 – Making the Case for Museums with your Municipality: Advocacy strategies that work!

Presented by Erica Mattson in Dawson Creek (May 25)

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 municipal governments and regional districts is hard work – but very worthwhile. This session will explore best practices for how to build positive and lasting relationships with local governments.  Make the case to your local government about the powerful role museums play in creating economic, social and cultural benefits for communities and why they should invest in your organization.  We will begin with case studies that showcase positive examples of how museums and local governments in different parts of BC are working together, spotlight common challenges. This will be followed by practical, hands-on activities that provide participants with practical tips, tools and strategies for making the case for support.

2017 – Fire, Flood, Earthquake: Are you Prepared?

Presented by Bill Chimko in Nanaimo (April 10), Penticton (April 24) & Prince George (May 1)

Our 2017 spring regional workshops focused on emergency preparedness for fires, floods and earthquakes. Learn from the experts and begin, or refine, an emergency plan for your museum, gallery, archive, cultural centre or heritage site. Workshops took place in Nanaimo, Penticton, and Prince George.



All past webinars are archived and accessible to BCMA members on our new member portal.

Consider becoming a member to gain access to these valuable resources. Past webinar topics include:

  • Write Your Own Fundraising Plan
  • Planning Successful Exhibitions
  • Strategic Plans: Their Importance and Limitations
  • Overcoming Challenges of Recruitment and Retention in Youth Programming
  • Activate your Exhibition!
  • B.C. Libraries and Reconciliation: Planting Seeds of Change
  • Bringing Your Photographs Online: Perspectives from the Haida Gwaii Museum
  • We Speak Translate:  A Google Translate Workshop
  • And much, much more!


Provincial Forum – Voicing Contested Histories: Creating opportunities to foster diversity, inclusion and reconciliation

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A province-wide workshop to explore the important role we all play in giving voice to diverse perspective on history.

In the spirit of Canada’s 150th anniversary themes of reconciliation, diversity and inclusion, the day focused on issues and best practices for building relationships to support these themes within your museum or heritage institution. After an introductory overview, participants joined facilitated, small-group discussions inspired by panel presentations.  View the Forum’s Resources here.

Presented by the BC Museums Association, Royal Roads University, the British Columbia Heritage Branch and Heritage BC. 


Indigenous Perspectives on Repatriation: Moving Forward Together – March 29-31, 2017, Kelowna, BC

The BC Museums Association was honoured to support this important symposium organized by the Royal BC Museum in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. On March 29–31, 2017, Indigenous organizations, cultural practitioners, scholars, museum and archive professionals convened in Kelowna to review past and current efforts and begin the process of identifying long-term strategies and resources required for First Nations to successfully secure the return of ancestral remains, sacred objects and intangible cultural heritage. Visit the symposium website or read the Repatriation Symposium Invitation (PDF) for more information on the event.


Canada 150 Provincial Forum

Presented by the BC Museums Association, Royal Roads University and BC Heritage Branch with support from the BC Historical Federation and the Archives Association of  BC.

April 22, 2016 was a full day of dialogue at the Canada 150 Provincial Forum produced in partnership with Royal Roads University with support from the BC Heritage Branch and the Archives Association of BC. Check out all the Canada 150 Provincial Forum resources we gathered and produced here.