Tour Descriptions

“World War II New Westminster” will discover the history of New Westminster through the lens of this important world event. Starting at Fraser River Discovery Centre, the tour will touch on important sites and the iconic Wait for Me, Daddy photograph, as well as how New Westminster experienced the war years.

“Our Working Waterfront” will highlight the instrumental role of waterfront industry in New Westminster over the last 70 years. Take a walk along the Fraser River, and learn about New West’s international shipping ports, saw mills, shipbuilding outfits, and how that legacy continues to reverberate along today’s increasingly residential waterfront. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT.

Time: Sunday October 25, 2pm-4pm. Meet at the Fraser River Discovery Centre at 1:45pm to check in for your tour.

Cost: $25/person (members & non-members). Pre-registration required. All proceeds go to support the BC Museums Association.


Tour Guide Biographies

Oana Capota – Curator, New Westminster Museum and Archives

Oana has a Bachelor’s degree in art history and Chinese language from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma of Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria. Prior to joining the New Westminster Museum, Oana worked at the Port Moody Station Museum and at the Surrey Museum and completed an academic internship with the Burnaby Village Museum. With the Surrey Museum, she curated and coordinated the “Dressed for Success,” “All Aboard” and “In the Game” exhibits with community partners, as well as bringing in travelling exhibits from across Canada. She served at New Westminster Museum and Archives as Museum Curator/Heritage Programmer from 2011 to 2014, and as Curator since early 2014. For the most recent exhibit at the museum, “Wait for Me, Daddy,” Oana collected artefacts from the community, conducted oral history interviews, and did research work with students and volunteers. As Curator, Oana is passionate about introducing more diversity and voices to the Museum, especially from those of underrepresented communities.


Michelle Taylor – Heritage Programmer, City of New Westminster

Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in history from Simon Fraser University and holds a Masters of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto where her research focused on Issues in Canadian Identity, Community Engagement and Cultural Memory. Michelle is responsible for the research, development, implementation, promotional copy and evaluation of a variety of heritage programs, including special events, tours, demonstrations, courses, workshops and programs for schools. Previous to joining New Westminster Museum and Archives as Heritage Programmer, Michelle was the Program and Exhibit Coordinator for the Britannia Mining Museum as well as the Fine and Performing Arts Programmer, Exhibits and Visual Arts for Place Des Arts. She has also worked with the Museum of Vancouver, Royal BC Museum and Langley Centennial Museum respectively as Guest Curator and Collections Assistant, Modern Human History Intern and Museum Assistant – Curatorial. Michelle is enthusiastic about the unique ability museums have to facilitate meaning-making for visitors of all ages and abilities.

KPetrusa June 30Kate Petrusa, Simon Fraser University/New Westminster Museum

Kate supported the curation Our Working Waterfront, 1945-2015 exhibit, by worked closely with the New Westminster Museum, Simon Fraser University and various community partners. She developed 3 school programs and several public programs to expand the exhibit themes. Kate has a Master of Anthropology and Master of Museum Education from the University of British Columbia, where she looked closely at representations of farming in the Fraser Valley and southwestern BC. Prior to this exhibition, Kate curated 2 exhibitions at the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley, BC.



Historic Photographs

The oldest city in Western Canada, and the first capital city of the new colony of British Columbia, New Westminster has a rich history as a major port and business centre from the Caribou Gold Rush to today. Many of the original buildings have been refurbished, interspersing old with new.*

historic downtownDowntown New Westminster (New Westminster BIA)

nwheritage“View from the Fraser” c. 1865 (New Westminster Heritage Database)


“Wait for me Daddy” c. 1940, New Westminster (Claude P. Dettloff)

hyack“Hyacks: Council Chambers: City Clerk’s Office” c. 1889, Hyack Hall on Columbia Street (New Westminster Heritage Database)