Posted by: Myles Constable on May 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm

It's been a rather thrilling time to work at the Museum of Vancouver. Not only have we launched an exhibition about one of the most important stories in Vancouver's history - c̓əsnaʔəm - but then we brought one of the most prolific designers in the world - Stefan Sagmesiter - to launch The Happy Show and give a few presentations.

After overseeing the finishing touches on the exhibition installation, talking to the media, writing on the walls and bathroom stalls, Sagmeister welcomed MOV Members and special guests at our opening reception.

On April 23, Sagmeister with friend (and local designer) Marian Bantjes had a conversation about design. This event was co-presented with the Graphic Designers of Canada, BC Chapter and moderated by Mark Busse. See video below.

Later that day, Sagmeister gave a lecture "On Happiness" which provided additional details behind The Happy Show and insight about his quest to better understand his happiness. Video to come.

Happy days indeed!

Posted by: Viviane Gosselin on May 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

Call to Collectors for Upcoming Exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver

We want to know about your collection, the idea behind it and how it all started.

The Museum of Vancouver is working on a temporary exhibition project that will feature Vancouver-based collectors and their collections. The museum wants to explore the mindset of these passionate “hunters and gatherers” and showcase their favourite pieces.

The collections might focus on Vancouver but they don’t have to. We are interested in learning how the collections came to be and what they bring to the lives of the people who create them. We are looking for interesting, beautiful, rare, unconventional collections: small, big, noisy, musical, historical, digital, analogue – surprise us!

This project will generate new discussion about the future of collecting, and the role of private collectors as memory keepers and makers.

Please fill out this form (PDF) and email back to Viviane Gosselin:

The deadline for submitting your collection profile is September 30. 2015.

Photo above from Lyanne Smith's collection.

Posted by: Myles Constable on May 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

The Museum of Vancouver has received an abundance of media coverage of the newest exhibition, Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show. Take a look at the previews and reviews below:

CBC's Andrew Chang takes a walk through the exhibition just before the Opening Reception.

"The Happy Show at the Museum of Vancouver will leave you smiling." The Georgia Straight's Amanda Siebert explores The Happy Show and upcoming events. Full story here.

Maike Evers from Novus TV visited the Museum of Vancouver to check out The Happy Show and interviewed Gregory Dreicer.

Stefan Sagmeister tours Shaw Go! Westcoast through The Happy Show exhibition.

Dawn Chubai from Breakfast Television visited the Museum to chat with Aaron Weidman from UBC's Happy Lab about the Psychology of Happiness, and MOV Director of Curatorial and Engagement Gregory Dreicer; she even rode the stationary bike to power the wall of neon! Weidman will be leading a Talk & Tour of the exhibition, June 4, Drecier will lead a Talk & Tour, August 6

Stefan Sagmeister visited Breakfast Television studio to chat with Riaz Meghji about happiness and the exhibition.

Gregory Dreicer speaks about The Happy Show on CKNW's 'Drex Live'

Margaret Gallagher from CBC's The Early Edition (April 22) interviewed Stefan Sagmeister about The Happy Show. Listen here.

Kevin Griffin from The Vancouver Sun (April 22) interviewed Stefan Sagmeisiter about The Happy Show. Stefan discribes the design and function of what to expect as you walk through the show in corralation to happiness, “It’s a subject that clearly many people are interested in,” he said. “We’ve designed the show so that you can walk through it and pick and choose and see something in 15 minutes. If those 15 minutes seem interesting, you can easily stay three hours.” Read more here.

The Province interview betweeen reporter Stuart Derdeyn and The Happy Show designer Stefan Sagmeister (April 22)

"At at time when polls suggest Vancouver is one of the least happy places in Canada, The Happy Show should be somewhere to have a much-needed laugh. Well, there or reading real estate listings and then playing with a mortgage calculator to see how many generations it will take to pay off that single family home." Full Article here.

Ecert from Monecristo Magazine's Whitney Millar article The Happy Show: Stefan Sagmiester's lessons in joy. (April 23)

"A glance at the gumball levels helps each of us find our place in a collective level. And suddenly, we’re not so alone." she says. Read more here.

John Burns from Vancouver Magazine talks with curator Gregory Driecer about The Happy Show and The Museum of Vancouver. (April 24)

"The show ties into larger themes for the museum, and for Dreicer personally, who arrived last summer to discover the dispiriting “Connections and Engagement” survey results from the Vancouver Foundation. His responses: this show, and a second, planned for 2016, that will “enable and help people to connect. But also get people to understand why connection is important: if an earthquake happens, are you expecting an ambulance just to drive up? If people can come away from interacting with the museum knowing why to connect and how, and having the opportunity to do so, then I really will be happy." Full article here.

Exert from Brian Patterson from 24 Hours talk with Gregory Driecer about The Happy Show and Vancouverites happiness (April 23) 

"If there is one takeaway Dreicer hopes to impart to visitors, it’s that, “if we want to, we can take control of our own happiness. We can make a difference for ourselves and for other people at the same time.” Read more here.

Metro News Vancouver Thandi Fletcher's excert from Tuesday April 21st article talking to Stefan Sagmesiter about The Happy Show.

At the time, Sagmeister, who has documented his struggles with alcohol and drugs, weight gain and depression, said he was at an emotional low point in his life dealing with the death of his mom and the end of an 11-year relationship.“It was sort of ironic that just as I started to work on this happiness subject, my own life was actually going down,” he said. Read more here.

Westender's Sabrina Furminger discusses happiness with designer of The Happy Show Stefan Sagmeister (April 21)

“You have things that are very short in length of time, that last maybe a few seconds, that would be more in the way of joy or bliss or possibly an orgasm, and then there are medium lengths of experience, like when you spend a Sunday afternoon with a paper at the park. And you have very long experiences, possibly lifelong, like finding the thing that you’re good for in life, fulfilling your potential,” says Sagmeister.

“These three things all fall under the giant terminology of happiness, but really have little to do with each other. If you think of an orgasm, it really has nothing to do with finding what you’re good for in life.” Read more here.

Cheryl Rossi of The Vancouver Courier walks through The Happy Show April 21 

"A companion exhibit called #makesmehappy saw 10 Vancouverites, including writer Amber Dawn, singer-songwriter Veda Hille and hip-hop artist Prevail select an object from the museum’s vaults that sparked happy memories, write a blurb about it and issue an immediate call to action, such as call your mother." Read more here.

More reviews:

"If you’re in the Vancouver area pick a date between now and September 7th and make a trip to the Museum of Vancouver.  It’s the perfect day out, and guaranteed to make you happy enough to dance! It worked on us!!" - SpandyAndy

"All in all, it's a must-see and fantastic show, especially for cloudy days like today." - Lara Smith / Georgia Straight

"The Happy Show is definitely one of my favourite exhibits. I absolutely recommend you check it out for yourself." -Ruuella

"I may not have exited the museum that evening with a pre­scrip­tion for hap­pi­ness, but I did have many new ideas to con­sider. My friend and I stood in a sur­pris­ing sum­mer rain shower and con­tem­plated what bus route to take back to our rented apart­ments. A yel­low taxi approached and with­out much delib­er­a­tion, we hailed it. For a few dol­lars each we got to forgo a long damp ride on tran­sit. As I watched our wet, bor­ing city glide past from the back seat, I was happy. For a while, anyway." - Eleanor Radford / SadMag

"interactive, informative and fun... With  Gum-ball machines which you get a free gum by displaying how happy you are. A bicycle in the middle of a great big room on a platform, which you can ride and a huge display runs slogans of inspiration in front of you. Seek discomfort to achieve your goals. You only grow when your uncomfortable! In a word Brilliant! We haven't had this kind of mind jogging exhibit ever." - Ron P. via Yelp

"I’ve spent hours thinking about his proposition that people should take five years of their retirement and intersperse them into their working lives in order to contribute more to society. I also enjoyed his analysis of why we remember negative things more clearly than positive things and how that affects what we consider 'news.'" - Sabina  / Victim to Charm
Posted by: Myles Constable on March 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

The 2015 TED Conference is currently taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre (March 16 to 20), but Vancouverites don’t need to spend big bucks to enjoy these "ideas worth spreading". For the second year, TED will stream the entire conference at select locations around the city, including:

  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Science World 
  • University of British Columbia, Faculty of Education and main library branch 
  • Vancouver International Film Centre
  • Potluck Café Society 
  • Langara College
  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design 
  • YWCA Metro Vancouver 
  • The AMP
  • Vancouver Community Network
  • Wolrige Foundation 
  • Stratford Hall Secondary School
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Grouse Mountain Theatre in the Sky


Stefan Sagmeister, the creative force behind our upcoming exhibiton The Happy Show, has spoken at TED on numerous occassions. Follow these links to watch his Ted Talk "Happiness by Design" where Sagmeister takes the audience on a whimsical journey through moments of his life that made him happy, and 7 Rules for Making More Happiness.

Posted by: Myles Constable on February 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Saturday, February 7: Vanier Park hosts family-friendly, cultural discovery event

Vancouverites are invited to spend the day exploring the six cultural institutions of Vanier Park, at the fourth annual Winter Wander, presented by Port Metro Vancouver.

Vanier Park is home to Vancouver Maritime Museum, Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, Vancouver Academy of Music, and City of Vancouver Archives. Each year, the group teams up for a one-day event where locals and their families can enjoy a taste of what Vanier Park’s cultural institutions have to offer.

For only $5.00, youth, seniors and adults receive admission to all venues, while kids five and younger can visit for free.

In addition to all the exhibitions, there will be some extra special opportunities to enjoy.

There will be food trucks on site from Triple-O's and Big Red's Poutine, and ventriloquist Kellie Haines will be performing her show at MOV (11:30am and 1:00pm),

Expert face painter Allyson Grant from Gossamer Designs will be adding colour the the festivities, and We Love Van will be providing complimentary water and coffee. Make sure to enter the prize draws too!

We are grateful for the continued generosity of Port Metro Vancouver, whose support will ensure that this year’s event is not to be missed. We would also like to thank our event sponsors City and LG104.3 for spreading the word.

For full schedule of events and more information, visit

We'll see you Saturday at Vanier Park!

Posted by: Myles Constable on January 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

We have received extensive coverage of c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city.

Below is a sneak peek of the exhibition at MOV by Dawn Chabai from City's Breakfast Television, or view here:

“We want Vancouverites to recognize that there was a city here before they came,” said Howard E. Grant. “When contact came, historians, archaeologists, and writers, wrote a lot about other tribes but very little written about Musqueam. It is now our time to tell our story.” - Excerpt from the Vancouver Sun: 'Vancouver exhibition at three sites tells the story of Musqueam city on the Fraser'  Read more

Shaw Go WestCoast explore the exhibitions at Museum of Vancouver and Musqueam:


Below, NovusTV host Maike Evers explores all three exhibitions:

"The key across the project is to re-establish a connection between past and present, to show the continuum between the early Musqueam people and their descendants still here, still looking for justice and recognition." Excerpt from Vancouver Magazine's 'The City Before the City: The Musqueam First Nation'  Read more

"Many people think of Vancouver as a "new" city. But long before the gleaming towers, the industry and the traffic was another thriving community called "cesna?em." Watch Jordan Wilson's interview with Gloria Macarenko on Our Vancouver: 'Vancouver's Musqueam past revisited' here and listen to Jordan Wilson give a tour of the original c̓əsnaʔəm site on CBC Early Edition: here click the "Listen" button.

"When guests visit the Museum of Vancouver’s newest exhibit beginning next week, the first thing they will see is a nail protruding from the wall beside its entrance. A Musqueam tradition advises visitors to someone’s home to “hang” any preconceived thoughts on a nail like this so people enter the space with an open mind and an open heart." Excerpt from The Globe and Mail: 'Using traces from Vancouver’s past, a vibrant community is recognized'  Read more

"The origins of this city, now lying unseen below the streets of Marpole, date back 4,000 years, and the people who built it have been here even longer." Excerpt from the Westender: 'Groundbreaking, three-part exhibit traces the origins of Vancouver back to its Musqueam roots'  Read more

“It’s one of the first times where Musqueam’s really been able to tell our own history in our own words,” said Jordan Wilson, a member of the Musqueam Nation, co-curator of the exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology and part of the curatorial collective for MOV. Excerpt from Vancouver Courier: 'Exhibits bring Musqueam legacy alive'  Read more

"The exhibition asks, whose home is Vancouver? How have newcomers claimed Vancouver as their own? How do the Musqueam understand their lengthy connection to this place?" Excerpt from Price Tags: 'c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city'  Read more

Groundbreaking, three-part exhibit traces the origins of Vancouver back to its Musqueam roots - See more at:
The origins of this city, now lying unseen below the streets of Marpole, date back 4,000 years, and the people who built it have been here even longer. - See more at:

"At all three venues, the didactic components are thoughtfully composed and the exhibition design is handsome and effective. The elements that knit past and present together and that most engage the visitor, however, are the unearthed belongings and the quotes from and interviews with Musqueam elders and other community members." Excerpt from the Georgia Straight: 'c̓əsnaʔəm unburies the city's lost Musqueam world Read more

"The story of Vancouver is typically told with a gaping hole, leaving out the perspective of the First Nations that called this land home for thousands of years before Europeans arrived." Excerpt from from Vancouver Metro: 'New exhibit tells Vancouver’s story through Musqueam First Nation’s eyes'Read more

“We want to make sure the Musqueam perspective is predominant,” Gosselin says. “Hopefully, when people come in here they don’t think the museum is speaking, but rather Musqueam presenting and representing the community.” Excerpt from Megaphone Magazine: 'Where We Started'  Read more

"Our elders tell young people to go slow and be careful, because if something happens to one of us, there is a page in our living history torn out and lost forever." - Morgan Guerin. Excerpt from the Vancouver Observer: 'Can we mend thousands of years of displaced history in Vancouver?Read more

“People often think of Vancouver as a new city, when in fact it is one of the most significant sites of ancient cultures in Canada – one that has even been compared to other societies such as the Egyptian and Roman societies.” - Terry Point. Excerpt from VanCityBuzz 'South Vancouver 5000 Years Ago'  Read more



Posted by: Rachel Roy on January 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Harkening back to a bygone era: Haunting melodies performed at MOV on January 17th, 2015.

Ever want to escape today’s hustle and bustle to a slower more romantic time? Vocalist Patricia Hammond charmed us with her pre and post war era tunes, bringing a poised and elegant presence to the stage. Patricia and guitar accompanist Budge Schachte have a soulful chemistry — evermore so when it was revealed to the audience that they met in person for the first time the day before!

The first half of this MOV event included a selection of 1940s tunes that brought out the hardships and far away travels of these war times when soldiers left their families and lovers behind. Patricia encouraged the audience to join in with “You’ll get used to it”, “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye!” and “Will meet again some sunny day”.

After a costume change to a more whimsical dress, appropriate for the 1950s post war era, the second half of the show brought a feeling of letting go with songs such as, “This is my lovely day” and “Enjoy yourself.”  “Far away places with strange sounding names” had an emotional resonance that reminded me of adventurous train travels in Europe.

Quite the conversationalist, Patricia revealed her passion for collecting sheet music. She discovered “She wears red feathers and a hootie hootie skirt” at Carillon Music in Vancouver, and performed it for the first time this night, with charm and grace.

Patricia’s 1950s dress had a playful fabric, which swayed as she sang and danced.

She revealed that it was a reproduction designed by Vivien of Holloway, and amusingly mentioned that certain songs tickled the bones of this dress, acting as an “imaginary singing teacher” as she sang. 

To see more dresses from the 1940s and 1950s, visit MOV’s From Rationing to Ravishing Exhibition through March 8th 2015!


Posted by: Rachel Roy on January 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Transport yourself back in time with a retro musical performance from London England singer Patricia Hammond and accompanying guitarist Budge Schachte. Experience a lyrical journey of wartime and postwar era tunes that will trigger your imagination as you stroll through MOV’s Rationing to Ravishing The Transformation of Women’s Clothing in the 1940s and 1950s  exhibition—free admission with your paid ticket!

After the concert, come explore more than 80 garments presented in the gallery spaces from cocktail dresses to jumpsuits to wartime wedding dresses and much more this Saturday, January 17th from 7:00 to 8:30pm at MOV. A cash bar will be available on site to enhance your evening’s enjoyment!

For further ticket and event information please visit

Posted by: Myles Constable on November 25, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Design Sundays returns to the Museum of Vancouver this November with the series Housing for a Connected City. Part III – Rally for Connection – was held on November 23, 2014 and was facilitated by Jorge Amigo of the #bemyamigo initiative.

Jorge Amigo initiated the session with a presentation on iconic signs and acts of protest from the 20th and 21st Centuries (right up to the concurrent Kinder Morgan protests in Burnaby), and how their images have come to define issues due to their ubiquitous circulation throughout the mass media, exhibitions, and the internet. See example below:

Participants discussed their own histories with protesting, each sharing their successes, failures, motivations and the dangers faced. We then broke off into teams to devise slogans encapsulating desires and attitudes surrounding housing affordability and social connection in Vancouver, spending over an hour and a half of intense planning to flesh them out into engaging visual prototypes.

Design Sundays: Housing for a Connected City wraps up this weekend with:

November 30: Part IV, CONNECT: Design Nerd Jam with the Vancouver Design Nerds Tickets

A key part of the Museum of Vancouver's mission is to strengthen Vancouverites’ personal connections and civic engagement. We believe that connection is critical for resilient communities, sustainability, and health. We are pleased to be partnering this month with Laboratory of Housing Alternatives, Generation Squeeze, marianne amodio architecture studio, THNK School of Creative Leadership, #bemyamigo, and the Vancouver Design Nerds to present the latest iteration of our annual four-part Design Sundays series: Housing for a Connected City.

More event photos can be seen here.

Posted by: Myles Constable on November 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm

On the morning of November 8th, the Vancouver Urban Sketchers MeetUp group convened at MOV with their pencils and books in hand, to experience our current fashion exhibition From Rationing to Ravishing - which spans the 1940s and 1950s. Twenty-eight members came out to participate in the event creating many fantastic representations of the exhibition.

Visit their MeetUp page to see more.


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