By Pamela Roberts
Visitors to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver will enjoy storytelling, science shows, theatre performances, Indigenous demonstrations, dedicated kids’ areas, and thought-provoking speakers — all firmly rooted in the community.
It’s a far cry from my first encounter with a museum, which, as a young girl living in Scotland on a family outing, was actually pretty intimidating!
We’d never been before so wore our Sunday best. Even my parents were nervous as we climbed the steps of the grand, red-bricked Victorian “Palace.” Of course, inside I was amazed. It was a place full of wonder and curiosities, but I never felt entirely welcome there.
Explore Exhibits In New Ways
Museums have come a long way since then. Over the years, museums have shifted from temple-like institutions to community hubs where visitors can socialize, share ideas and have fun together — public programs are at the heart of this change.
Visitors now expect to be actively engaged and encounter more than traditional labels. Yes, they want to learn something new, but they also want to experience something real, have fun and explore exhibits in different ways.
When COVID-19 arrived, it presented big challenges for museums. Before the pandemic, visitors attended late night parties, music events, sleepovers and even escape room-style experiences at many museums.
But, as we discovered, COVID also presented new opportunities. Museums have pivoted online and now attract viewers from across the globe. At MONOVA, we embraced the challenge and it’s been exciting to see our virtual audience grow. We now have a virtual speaker program, online events, online storytelling, and lots of engaging content on our website. We’re sharing the stories of North Vancouver with more people in more locations than we could have ever imagined.
With the opening of the Museum of North Vancouver, we’re ambitious about our in-person programs too. We’ve thought carefully about creating activities and events that are engaging, dynamic and fun, while still ensuring the safety of our visitors and staff. North Vancouver is an amazing, unique place with a fascinating history, rich cultures, incredible environment and a history of innovation.
We are also grateful for our partnerships with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səl̓ílwətaɬ Nations, sharing Indigenous culture and knowledge with our virtual visitors and we look forward to building on this with in-person programs and events.
We promise, there’ll be something for everyone at the new Museum. Keep an eye on our website and follow us on social media to stay up to date.
What’s On Over The Holidays
Now open Thursday to Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm, the new Museum is offering daily programming for folks of all ages. Here’s what you can expect this weekend:
- Local Indigenous Plants with Senaqwila Wyss. Indigenous Cultural Programmer Senaqwila Wyss shares her knowledge of Indigenous plants as teas, medicines, tinctures and ceremony. Thursday, December 30 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Coast Salish programming is generously supported by BMO Financial Group.
- Shipyard Selfie Challenge with Shipyard Sal. Hear stories of workers from the historic Burrard Drydock Shipyard and find out how to enter our Shipyard Selfie Challenge for a chance to win a free membership. Friday, December 31 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.
We look forward to seeing you soon! To plan your visit, click here.
Pamela Roberts is a Public Programmer at MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver.
Your donations to the Friends of the NVMA Society support thought-provoking programs and exhibits that promote our community values of inclusiveness, relevance, creativity, and engagement, and help MONOVA to bring stories to life for North Vancouver residents and visitors.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.