The Nanaimo Museum, a dynamic facility of the community on Vancouver Island, offers several different interpretive programs that encourage guests to "Make a Discovery" as they explore the heritage and history of the area. The museum started a new stage in 2008 when it moved to a new facility within the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. This facility was created with a vision that the Nanaimo Museum would provide visitors with greater knowledge while inspiring them through interactive presentations of artifacts and stories that span the history of Nanaimo.
Now, the Nanaimo Museum offers spectacular exhibits that have won awards, as well as spaces for events and a Gift Shop. The larger space has let the museum bring highly ranked feature exhibitions to the community from several places, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery, and the Canadian History Museum. The museum was also allowed to expand its permanent exhibits thanks to the relocation. These exhibits build on the culture and history of the Nanaimo of the past, guiding guests along a visual journey.
Industries that helped to shape the city, as well as the lifestyles of local residents and the history of First Nations, are highlighted throughout the exhibits. The exhibit gallery of the Nanaimo Museum offers a rewarding, interesting, and informative experience for visitors of all ages. Among the many permanent exhibits are The Coal Mine, Hub City, Educating Nanaimo, The Harbour, and several others.
The Welcome Area of Nanaimo Museum showcases the uniqueness of Nanaimo. The exhibit space focuses on highlights and local "firsts." The Adopt an Artifact display shares with visitors the significant role members of the community have played in the preservation of the area's heritage. A petroglyph known as the Hepburn Stone, found in the 1920's near Nanaimo River, is also featured in the Welcome Area. The vicious looking face seen in the granite stone has served as inspiration for an array of interpretations ever since it was discovered.
The Bastion Era exhibit highlights Nanaimo's most famous building, constructed in 1853 by the Hudson's Bay Company. Also featured in the exhibit is the Princess Royal's arrival, which carried the Staffordshire miners on board along with their families. The Bastion was moved a few times over the years to better preserve the structure, and the cannons are currently housed at the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza. Visitors can explore The Bastion from the Memorial Day weekend to the Labor Day weekend, as well as the fall on a limited schedule. During the summer, a cannon firing ceremony occurs daily at noon.
Guests can experience a gateway to interactive discovery at the Snunéymuxw exhibit. Visitors will have the chance to see what life was like inside a traditional longhouse, as well learn about the fascinating items used in daily life, including trade items, basketry, tools, and textiles by the Snunéymuxw First Nation. Discover backpacks designed for children will let them feel like an adventurer as they complete puzzles and exercises that lead them on a special journey. The petroglyph station lets visitors create their own rubbings of petroglyphs.
100 Museum Way, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Phone: 250-753-1821