We are Minutes away from Change!

Yesterday we had a bit of a wake-up call! Almost all our visitors have been amazing since we reopened, working with us to follow the provincial health guidelines to keep us all safe. But yesterday we were reminded that it only takes one person to put many at risk. One of the visitors came around behind the front desk to get information from a staff member placing himself no more than 6 inches away from her. Yes he was wearing a mask as required but when he was requested to also social distance he got mad and blasted the staff member, saying “who do think you are, the health authority?”
Then on the news last night Dr. Henry reminded us, as she has many, many times, masks do not replace the other measures we all need to follow: social distancing, hand washing, surface cleaning, and also masking, and of course staying home when sick.
Then last night I got a text: “13 cases in Haida Gwaii”! We are minutes away from change!
People everywhere seem to be dividing in two camps, the believers and the deniers, a false dichotomy as far as science is concerned. This pandemic is not a “hoax” as some in the US would say, or “overblown” as one of our visitors this week said, it is a disease that can brutalize your body and possibly damage it for life; it separates people from their loved ones, and it spreads like nothing ever seen in our lifetimes. And everyone is vulnerable – four children under 10 have died in Florida in the last few weeks.
It is the Museum`s policy to respect the right of every human to see the world as they see fit, but it is also our policy to be safe, not sorry. We take our responsibility to our visitors and staff very seriously – since we re-opened, almost 300 people have enjoyed the Museum with the safety we all deserve. Please if you intend to visit the Museum, ask yourself if you can respect and follow the BC guidelines.

The Museum of Northern BC is Open With New Fall Hours

Staff will be on hand to receive booking requests up to and including just before the requested time, as long as the appropriate numbers in the Museum at any one time are not exceeded. In this way we can ensure the success of the required safety measures.
We are committed to following the BC Government’s guidelines to ensure the safety of our guests and staff! These are the measures we have put in place to keep us all safe: hand sanitizer on entry and exit, extra cleaning routines during the day, all staff and guests will be required to wear masks – if you don’t have one we will make one available for $2, social distancing will be ensured by limiting the number of people in the museum at any one time, and in specific parts of the Museum such as washrooms.

Of course if you are ill with any condition that is or may be contagious we request that you visit when you have recovered.


If you book well ahead you will be able to visit at the time of your choice – if you book a short while before you wish to visit we will do our best to accommodate you.

Museum admission is: adults $8, youth $4, children $3, children under6 free. If you do not have a mask, we can sell you one for $2.

New to the Museum’s Collection: Leaving the Sternwheeler at Kitksigyukla on the Skeena

This image is both a wonderful work of art and an incredible historical record of the role sternwheelers played in the lives of the people of Gitksigyukla between 1864 and 1912. This photo was taken in 1900 by H.A. Tremayne.

A Passion for the Arts: Paintings by Ruth Harvey

Boats at Sunset watercolour by Ruth Harvey c 1960

Join us as we celebrate the memory of Ruth Harvey and her artistic contribution to the community and the region.  Ruth Harvey singlehandedly put Prince Rupert on the artistic map and paved the way for others to follow.  Visit the exhibit and pick up an invitation to the evening celebration April 12, 2016, from 7 to 9 pm



Treasures from Storage

Everyone is intrigued to see what is in museum storage; there is a sense that there are hundreds of treasures hidden away.  While there may be hundreds of artifacts, they are not hidden, but rather stored for research and future exhibits.  Once in a while it makes sense to bring them out, just so they can be seen.  This exhibit is designed to do just that.  It is an eclectic exhibit; the artifacts have no apparent connection one to the other; each artifact is interesting and tells a story all by itself.  Nevertheless viewing such diverse artifacts can also inspire new understandings and new ways of seeing, and offers the opportunity to create one’s own meaning.  This exhibit is rooted in the history, culture and heritage of the region, and we hope it will interest our visitors and inspire thoughts and memories.

Busy Summer So Far

June and July have been very busy months at the Museum of Northern BC.  In June we hosted several hundred young people, the most in any one month ever!  Students from all over the north and from as far away as Abbotsford participated in our school programming.  They especially enjoyed our unique Feast Program, in which a tour of the Museum to learn about the Northwest Coast Feast is followed by a live experience of mask dancing and storytelling at the longhouse.  The Drumming Program was also very popular with the students, particularly the younger ones – in this program, a tour of the Museum learning about drums, other musical instruments and masks is followed by learning to drum and wear masks at the longhouse.

Also in June and into July, hundreds of cruise ship visitors experienced and enjoyed the Museum and its programs and tours.  The tours offered included twice-daily Heritage Bus Tours, which were sold out during the cruise ship visits.  So far this year, 80% of the cruise ship visitors spent time in the Museum and enjoyed the programs.

We are pleased to host the visitors to our community, and by their remarks in our comment books, it seems they enjoy their experiences at the Museum.   We are very grateful that they take the time to share their feedback in our comment books.  In July, one of the guests from Alberta commented: “Stunning.  Wonderful history superbly displayed.”  Reading this makes our day!

Art Workshops for Families

The Museum of Northern BC’s first art workshop for families was held on Feb 9th on the weekend of BC’s first ever Family Day.  The artist studio was filled to capacity with parents and their children sharing the joys of creation.   The accomplished Prince Rupert artist Joan Mostad demonstrated the use of charcoal, erasers, and specialty papers to create shapes and textures in the workshop called Drawing is More Than Line.  This was the first in a series of workshops that will culminate in an exhibit in the Museum’s Ruth Harvey Art Gallery.  If the works created on February 9th are any example, the exhibit promises to be an exciting one.

take time out to discover, create, collaborate & enjoy


Museum Acquires Halibut Bowl From Dundas Collection

Thanks to the generosity of art collector, Gary Bell, the Museum of Northern BC has been able to add an important Tsimshian art work to its collection.  First purchased from the Tsimshian in the late 1800s, this piece was in England for over a century, as part of the famous ‘Dundas Collection’.  In 2006 it was auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York City, where, thanks to the efforts of Canadian collectors, it was purchased and returned to Canada.   As a result of Mr. Bell’s long-term mission to return important northern Northwest Coast pieces to the Museum of Northern BC, this beautiful expression of Northwest Coast First Nations culture is now in the heart of laxyup Tsimshian, the land of the Tsimshian.

Our new website at last!

Not quite finished but launched! Welcome to our News page where we will do our utmost to keep you informed and hopefully entertained, educated, and even amused! This Museum of Northern BC website has been designed to take advantage of the new developments in website software so that now we can speak to you directly and frequently – even if we are not web geniuses, like the design and IT team that put this site together. We designed this site so that people around the world can get to know us – our wonderful community and region, our history, our culture, our heritage – and then decide to visit, but also so that our community, Prince Rupert and region, will know their museum better. Whether near or far, we want you to know “what’s up” and we want you to feel free to voice your thoughts and communicate with us and others on a wide range of topics. So check out our YouPage, where we hope to host discussions on cultures, heritage, the arts, museums, history, and all creative endeavours.

The Museum of Northern BC would like to thank the wonderful team that put this site together. As many people now know, the design world and the IT world are not always compatible – you can get a functional and efficient website or a captivating and artistically successful one but not usually both. The team at Metaform Communication Design has proven it’s possible to have it all. We hope you like it.

Welcome to the new MNBC website!!