BC | Canada 150 Grant Recipient Project Highlights

Burnaby Village Museum and the City of Burnaby

Project: Burnaby Then and Now: Celebrating Burnaby125 with Heritage Markers
Funding Received: $57,000

2017 marked not only the 150th anniversary of BC and Canada, but the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the Municipality of Burnaby in 1892. Over this 125 year period, the City of Burnaby has grown from a rural, suburban community to a bustling urban centre that is one of Canada’s most culturally diverse communities.

To celebrate Burnaby’s 125th anniversary and BC|Canada150, the City created and installed heritage markers at key locations throughout Burnaby. The theme for these markers, “Burnaby Then and Now,” celebrates many of Burnaby’s unique stories, provided by local residents. For this, original research and community outreach created new historical knowledge, which has been shared with the community. Five short video vignettes were also created based on the plaque research.

This project explored many themes important to the history of British Columbia in a local context, including political activism, environmental preservation, urban growth, and cultural diversity. Many of the stories that were researched, uncovered, and presented in this project are significant on a provincial scale.


The research has significantly increased the Burnaby Village Museum and the City’s ability to tell the stories of Burnaby’s diverse community. It has created a large historic repository, including oral histories, photographs, and historic census data. All of these assets can be used in the future.

It has also helped to create access to important BC stories. Though the plaques are located in Burnaby, the vignettes are available for viewing beyond Burnaby, as research notes and resources gathered during the project are now available online.

The project has raised awareness of important places, events, and themes in the history of Burnaby. The vignettes make this history accessible, while the plaques mark important locations to the public in high traffic areas. This project has captured important local historical stories that were previously under-represented or not available in the historical record.