"The new type of museum has a real attitude. It is where the myth of the museum as neutral space is blown to pieces. It is where museums and politics meet and embrace."
— David Fleming, Director National Museums Liverpool
Established in 1894, the Vancouver Museum site has moved to several locations over 70 years, until, in 1967 it received centenary funding to construct a permanent location. The distinctive dome atop the Museum is similar in shape to that of the woven basket hat made by the Northwest Coast First Nations Salish peoples and has become one of the best-known landmarks on the city skyline. Visitors always love the innovative large-scale stainless steel crab sculpture designed by George Norris - it makes kids squeal when the water spray comes on. Indeed, this wonderful Gerard Hamilton designed building sits on some of the most 'Prime Real Estate' in Vancouver. With stunning views of the North Shore Mountains, the unfolding panorama of the South Shore of False Creek and the beauty of Vanier Park, the location is unparallelled in Vancouver.
In 1968 a generous donation by the late H.R. MacMillan allows the architect to incorporate a planetarium into the design. Originally, the area was the location of a First Nations village, which later became Reserve land. During the Second World War, the property was used as an Air Force equipment depot. The grounds subsequently changed to the city-owned Vanier Park and home to a clutch of civic buildings, including the Planetarium/Observatory and Museum, City Archives, and the Vancouver School of Music, as well as temporary structures which house seasonal cultural events, such as Bard on the Beach.
Inside the Planetarium
In 2008, after much public and inner-disciplinary consultation, the Museum implemented a new direction. The new Strategic Plan was, in short " To hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about its past, present and future." "PROVOKE, ENGAGE, ANIMATE." And just last year, the museum won the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Management for the Museum's Re-Envisioning. Quite an impressive dive into the future of the functionality of museums.
The museum website is quite in-depth and I'm surprised at all the many exhibitions, permanent and upcoming, that they offer. They also offer a fun variety of school activities for all grades, including a sleep over night called 'Night of the Mummy'. Throughout the evening they’ll role-play archaeologists and excavate Egyptian artefacts, explore the museum by flashlight to solve the mummy’s curse, and examine a real mummy! This innovative museum is a real must-see for Vancouver residents and tourists alike.
Starting on May 25, 2011 and running until October 23, 2011 is the new exhibit "Bhangra.me:"; Vancouver's Bhangra Story.
What was the best part of your week?
Hope you've enjoyed this posting. If you have any questions, any little known facts or interesting Vancouver Stories or pictures you'd like to share, please feel free to contact me.
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