Posted by: Myles Constable on October 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Monday evening, the Museum of Vancouver played host to the 3rd annual Legacy Awards Dinner that honours individual, families and companies who have shown outstanding vision and commitment to building a city that is ranked as one of the most impressive in the world.

The MOV invited well recognized city historians, urban planners, influencers in the business and philanthropic sector, as well as representatives from the MOV Board of Directors to the selection table. They spent two months reviewing over 50 nominees who have helped mould the city as we know it today and who continue to influence its path to tomorrow.

The 2014 winners were Wade Grant, Dr. Julio Montaner, Morris J. Wosk and Yosef Wosk.

Grant, the son of former Chief Wendy Grant-John and Councillor Howard E. Grant, was presented with the Emerging City Visionary Award for his work bringing together First Nations and New Immigrants, and forging new relationships between Aboriginal people and the City of Vancouver. Dr. Montaner was recognized with the City Shaper Award for his dedication to HIV/AIDS treatment as prevention, resulting in a decrease in infections and mortality. The MOV Legacy Award was presented to Yosef Wosk for his, and his father’s (Morris J. Wosk) extensive history of philanthropic work, benefitting diverse non-profit organizations, both locally and abroad.

Each of the award winners delivered gracious and moving acceptance speeches. Grant reminded guests of the value of multiculturalism; Montaner urged the public to put pressure on the federal government to adopt the UN AIDS treatment strategy; Yosef Wosk read an insightful poem he wrote specifically for the event, entitled ‘Museum as Matter and Metaphor.’

Museum of Vancouver CEO Nancy Noble explained the significance of the award winners: “At the MOV we see the city as a living artifact, and part of that is recognizing the work that has been done by people to make it what it is today. In this third year of awards we’re really starting to see what incredible minds and initiative we have within our city, and we’re excited to be recognizing this group of honourees for their contributions to our city’s story.”

Posted by: Myles Constable on August 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Please join us on October 6th, at the 2014 Legacy Awards Dinner, as we recognize Morris J. Wosk and Yosef Wosk, Dr. Julio Montaner and Wade Grant  for their commitment to shaping a better Vancouver.

Guests at this fundraiser will enjoy an exclusive evening of good company, interesting ideas, a sit-down dinner, complimentary beverages, live entertainment, and a silent auction benefiting our non-profit society. (more info here)

*Tickets are available here. You will receive a tax receipt for a portion of the ticket price.

Date: Monday, October 6, 2014

Schedule: 5:30pm Cocktails & Silent Auction; 6:30pm Dinner & Awards

Location: The Museum of Vancouver in Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut St. Vancouver, BC

Dress code: Elegant

Tickets: $225/person; $2150/table of 10; $2,500/sponsored table of 10.
Purchase by phone: 604-730-5320 or use the widget below:

Thanks to our sponsors:


Posted by: Myles Constable on August 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

In mid-July we launched an awareness campaign inspired by the idea that the CITY is our greatest artifact. It is the Museum's vision to hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about Vancouver's past, present, and future. To that end, we're asking YOU to share thoughts and images (on Instagram) that you think are particularly "of Vancouver."  

For the next 2 weeks we'll be giving away a daily prize! Show us what #ofVancouver means to you! Every day, we'll select one #ofVancouver tagged image to feature. One grand prize including an MOV t-shirt, bag and membership will be awarded on August 29th. We're compiling your outstanding shots at here and hope to put some of the best in an exhibition in the Museum one day.

Posted by: Myles Constable on April 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

Today the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) reaches a major milestone, as a collector of precious artifacts from around the world and the protector of Vancouver’s past. In recognition of 120 years, MOV will host a celebration on May 29th when admission will be $1.20 (always free for members). Following the Annual General Meeting that evening, birthday cake will be served and BC Place will be lit in the Museum’s colours.

MOV’s celebration will continue on their social media channels with photos of artifacts representing 120 years of accessions, shared daily at 1:20pm. Check out this timeline of artifacts that were acquired into our collection.

MOV’s 120th anniversary is not only an acknowledgment of history, but of Vancouver’s history. As MOV CEO Nancy Noble explains, “In Canadian terms, we are an old museum with an old collection. For 120 years this museum has been the repository of the material culture and collective memory of this city. We are a reflection of Vancouver’s identity over time. That is valuable in and of itself.”

In 1894, a group of visionaries formed Vancouver’s Art, Historical and Scientific Association. Soon after, the City Museum was created at the Carnegie Library location at Main and Hastings. In 1967, the city announced the construction of the current landmark building in Vanier Park as part of Canada’s centennial. Designed by well-known architect Gerald Hamilton, the Museum’s distinctive dome top was inspired by the shape of a woven basket hat made by Northwest Coast First Nations people. In 1981, the Centennial Museum was re-named the Vancouver Museum and featured permanent displays, exhibitions and educational programs about the natural, cultural and human history of the Vancouver region.

Society continues to transform and museums have had to adapt to that change. In 2008, the Museum underwent a visioning process that resulted in a shift in focus, taking a cross-disciplinary approach and engaging the community in dialogue about contemporary issues of our city. To reflect the new vision, the Museum changed its name to the Museum of Vancouver in 2009.

“We don’t collect the way colonial collectors did, nor do we communicate information in the same way we did 120 years ago,” Noble explains. “As a contemporary museum, MOV wants to push the boundaries of our role. We believe that the power of history and collections bind the community together, but we want to go beyond that to engage our community in building our collections, telling their own stories, debating contemporary issues and hopefully shaping the future of Vancouver.”


Posted by: Myles Constable on March 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

On Saturday, Dec 14th, families, youth, MOV members, architecture students and the community of the curious got their chance to celebrate the creative spirit of the late Vancouver Architect, Daniel Evan White - with LEGO!

“DIY Daniel: LEGO Build Day” featured two big rooms overflowing with LEGO supplied by The Vancouver Lego Club and the Vancouver Lego Games. The family friendly build day featured an opportunity to view Lego models, connect with expert Lego geeks and opportunities to build some amazing creations.

Folks built very detailed life-sized bust of Captain Vancouver (with nautical captains hat!), a near perfect façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery, 6-foot tall mega skyscraper, as well as very precise abstract forms inspired by Daniel Evan White’s Architecture floor plans made available at each table in simple black and white shapes.

The day started with a Modern Masterpieces: Speed Building contest that was swiftly won by budding LEGO whiz, Aidan Wilson. His dexterity and spatial intelligence was impressive! Later that day, another youth, Kai Darrell placed first in: Make Yours Look like Daniels: DEW Inspired Build. For this contest, Kai built his own creation using basic white bricks in order to make a 3 dimensional interpretation of a DEW blueprint. The judges for this event were the DEW exhibit co-curators: Greg Johnson and Martin Lewis.

Other highlights included Johnathan Vaughan Strebly’s custom designed instructions (download PDF) that helped participants build Daniel Evan White’s famous Maté House out of LEGO!

Also for the kids, we had photographer Ben Cooper, take Polaroid photos of their unique creations in order to give them a keepsake to remember the day. As a child of the 80’s Ben enjoyed the astonished reactions of the kids of today who have been raised in a digital age as they watched the picture of their creation slowly appear in-front of their eyes.

If you want to come check out the exhibit that inspired this event, you have only a few weeks! Playhouse: The architecture of Daniel Evan White closes March 23rd, 2014.

- Adrian Sinclair

Posted by: Myles Constable on February 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm


Visitors to the Museum of Vancouver's Rewilding Vancouver exhibit may be inspired to help REWILD Vancouver.

The following is a list of local organizations who are doing their part to preserve and improve our environment. Please consider lending your support to one or more of these groups:


Pacific Salmon Foundation





The David Suzuki Foundation                                     

(604) 732-4228                      


Green Peace                                         



Pembina Institute                                 









Sierra Club of Canada (BC Chapter)                                       



Evergreen BC                    ...



BC Stewardship Centre                                    



South Coast Conservation Program                                       


Fraser Basin Council 






Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)



The Lower Mainland Green Team                     ...


Better Environmentally Sound Transportation                                

(604) 669-2860                      


Raincoast Applied Ecology      



Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Ecological Restoration Team


Kits Eco-Arts                              


Still Moon Arts Society


Langley Environmental Partners Society                                                            ...


Earthwise Society (Boundary Bay)       



Ceed Centre Society (Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows)






Environmental Youth Alliance                               ...



Catching the Spirit Youth Society      



Young Environmental Professionals (CEP Vancouver)                          ...





BCIT Rivers Institute, School of Construction and the Environment                    


Fraser River Discovery Centre             



Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition               


False Creek Watershed Society


St. George Rainway                                        


Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society/Birds on the Bay






Pacific Stream Keepers Federation                             



Fraser Riverkeeper



North Shore Streamkeepers                                         



West Vancouver Streamkeepers Society


Stoney Creek Environment Committee                                                                    


Squamish Streamkeepers


Byrne Creek Streamkeepers    


Mosquito Creek Stewardship Society



Cougar Creek Streamkeepers              


Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society



Alouette River Management Society                         






Balance Ecological           


North Shore Wetland Partners                                               


Burns Bog Conservation Society                                 



The Crazy Boggers (Camosun Bog Restoration Group)                                





Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup                                 



Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Burrard Inlet Restoration Pilot Program



West Vancouver Shoreline Preservation Society     


North Vancouver Save Our Shores Society               


Wreck Beach Preservation Society





Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (BC Chapter)                         

604-685-7445, ext. 0  


Pacific Parklands Foundation



Pacific Spirit Park Society                

West Area Park Office                                   



Hastings Park Conservancy


Jericho Stewardship Group                         


Stanley Park Ecology Society                                                                         



Lighthouse Park Preservation Society           


Burnaby Lake Park Association      



Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society                          


Minnekhada Park Association





Canadian Urban Forest Network                  


Tree Canada                        



Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program


Tree City                                          



Tree Keepers program                                                


Old Growth Conservancy Society       


Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society      






Edible Garden Project                                      

604-987-8138, ext. 231          


Fresh Roots Society                                



The Sharing Farm Society                                



North Surrey Organic Garden Society                        





Nature Trust of BC                               



Land Conservancy of BC                                  





World Wildlife Foundation                             

1-800-26-PANDA (1-800-267-2632)               


The Pacific WildLife Foundation                                 


BC Wildlife Federation                                     



Native Plants Society of BC (NPSBC)



Invasive Species Council of BC                           



Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia                



Pacific Salmon Foundation



Coastal Painted Turtle Project                                         


Amphibians of the Sunshine Coast                                                          


Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society             

604-664-7664, ext. 107          


North Shore Black Bear Society          






Nature Conservancy Canada (BC Chapter)

1-888-404-8428 (in BC)


BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists


Young Naturalists' Club of BC



Nature Vancouver (Vancouver Natural History Society)



White Rock and Surrey Naturalists



Posted by: Charles Montgomery on January 15, 2014 at 5:06 pm

By Seth Geiser

Can art and design make us kinder? Can we design more trust or altruism into the city?

MOV invited students from CityStudio, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and SFUs School of Interactive Art and Technology to consider these questions through design.

The challenge? To create experiments and designs to test or boost feelings of trust and connection among total strangers.

On Nov 23, students tested their designs on hundreds of members of the public during two events at the Museum of Vancouver. We called this experiment The Happy City Machine. The student work was eye-opening, thought-provoking, and often great fun. Guest judge Marten Sims of the Vancouver Design Nerds helped choose three standout experiments. Here they are:

Now You See Me (ECUAD students)

Seated in adjoining isolation booths, pairs of participants were asked to don a pair of headphones and gaze through a long, narrow tunnel at eye height. Initially looking into darkness, each participant discovered at the switch of a light that a stranger was gazing back at them from the other end of the viewing tunnel. They were left to gaze at each others’ eyes for the duration of a song, such as "It's a Wonderful World." The experience led them well past the point of social comfort. Some shut their eyes. But most did not back away from the intimacy. After each round, the strangers would be introduced and invited to chat about their experience. Participants reported engaging in all kinds of ocular communication, from winks to moving their eyes in time with the music in a kind of playful dance. Most described the experience as positive, which is surprising given our general fear of eye contact with strangers.

Mani Mahmoudian image

Seth Geiser image

Rock the Boat (ECUAD students)

This installation consisted of a small wooden boat under a broad umbrella, onto which video was projected from below. Volunteers were invited into the boat's snug seating, where they were prompted to share secrets and jokes, and explore the idea that "we're all in the same boat." It's often hard to nudge strangers into proximity, but Rock the Boat succeeded, using clever design, intriguing projections and cozy arrangement to lure people together.

Mani Mahmoudian image

Mani Mahmoudian image

Laughing Dresses (SFU-SIAT students)

Laughter is contagious. But what if the laughter emerges disembodied through a hidden speaker and is accompanied by twinkling lights? This kinetic fashion experiment explored the idea using a motion-sensing dress that emitted the recorded sounds of the dress wearer's laughter. The intensity and pattern of laughter was determined by the movements of the wearer. The dress triggered an almost-viral chorus of laughter among party-goers.

Charles Montgomery image

It was wonderful to see the student designs getting so many strangers talking and playing together. The program convinced us to take things up a notch in 2014. Our new program, Urban Cortex, empowers students to take their social devices into the public realm. Stand by for event news!

Posted by: Amanda McCuaig on December 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

Help us deliver a museum experience with the power to change a city!

Four years ago the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) embarked on a new vision, direction, and brand. At the time, we felt the museum had lost its relevancy and that it was time to step back and find out what Vancouverites really wanted. We discovered that citizens were looking for a neutral space for provocative conversation and dialogue about Vancouver and what it means to live here. As a result, we decided to turn the traditional museum on its head: instead of curating a story and telling it to the public, we would invite the community to help us tell important stories. Instead of just being a museum LOCATED in Vancouver we would become a museum ABOUT Vancouver.


This innovative way of engaging with Vancouverites has seen huge success through recognition by our peers and awards received since our re-branding. In creating the exhibition Sex Talk in the City, we worked extensively with an advisory group of 18 experts to develop an exhibition that promoted a healthy, public dialogue about sexuality in Vancouver. The result was a deeply engaging exhibition that the public responded to positively, despite the provocative topic.

  Where else in the city can you freely and playfully explore how you might like to transform a downtown street? At MOV’s Upcycled Urbanism last July, we pulled together, artists, students, designers, and anyone with an interest in rebuilding a piece of Vancouver to do just that. Together, we transformed a block of Granville Street. Upcycled Urbanism, in partnership with the UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, (SALA) we helped the public re-imagine public art and street amenities.

When you donate to the Museum of Vancouver, your gift makes a big impact! You help people of all ages connect more deeply and relevantly to our city and its history.

By visiting the MOV, becoming a member, renewing your membership, or making a cash donation, you help ensure the long-term sustainability of an institution that has been around since 1894.


Your tax deductible gift of $50 or more will ensure we can keep delivering provocative exhibitions and programs.

For more information about the MOV or making a donation please contact our Director of Development, Debbie Douez at 604.730.5304 or You can also make your donation online from our website at

Be part of the community of the curious and help the MOV continue to pursue its vision: To hold a mirror up to the city and lead provocative conversations about its past, present, and future.

Thank you kindly for your support!

Posted by: Paul Carr on October 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Design Sundays return to the MOV this November. Part of a recurring series made possible through rotating partnerships with local education institutions, this latest iteration of Design Sundays is presented in collaboration with the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). Design Sundays | Urban Imprints: The Interior Life of West Coast Living invites designers, architects, and the plain curious to learn about and discuss Vancouver’s urban design culture through the lenses of interior design, lived experience, ergonomics, and the utopian ideals of West Coast Modernist Architecture – all as they relate to issues of density and the conservation of limited, shared space.

Join us for 4 Sundays in November 2013 as KPU faculty speak to the wider issues, inspirations, and challenges that configure their Vancouver-based design research, practice, and teaching. Joining us themselves on the heels of the MOV’s recent delving into (West Coast) Modernist Architecture through the exhibition Play House: The architecture of Daniel Evan White, this group of KPU instructors will facilitate interactive dialogues refocusing Design Sundays from examinations of external, built form to instead look (literally) inside toward interior form and spatial design. The series culminates on November 24 with a screening and filmmaker Q&A for Coast Modern, the 2012 documentary examining the spellbinding homes created by pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture, and the types of living they inspired within.


Sunday, November 3, 2:00pm-4:00pm with Brenda Snaith
Laneway Homes: Emergent evolutions for compact living and sustainability

Brenda Snaith is an Instructor of Interior Design at the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design (KPU) and VP Education at the Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia.
Join Brenda for a participatory workshop and discussion on the functional design and aesthetic criteria for small footprints through a critique of laneway housing plans proposed by emerging and student designers.

Get tickets:


Sunday, November 10, 2:00pm-4:00pm with Erika Balcombe
Inside Small Spaces: Designing within density

Erika Balcombe is an Instructor of Interior Design at the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design (KPU). Join Erika for a discussion on the ever-shrinking footprints of residential spaces in dense urban centres, the relationship between living and happiness in confined quarters; and creative strategies to expand beyond these cramped enclosures.

Get tickets:


Sunday, November 17, 2:00pm-4:00pm with Dan Robinson
Human Factors: Ergonomics of urban living

Dan Robinson is an Instructor at the Chip & Shannon Wilson School of Design (KPU) and a Certified Professional Ergonomist. Join Dan for a discussion on the interactions between people and things that shape urban living and design in Vancouver.

Get tickets:


Sunday, November 10, 2:00pm-400pm with Coast Modern Filmmakers
Coast Modern (film & Q+A)

Design Sundays wraps up with a special screening of this stunning documentary showcasing the inspirational homes designed by pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture. Join filmmakers Gavin Froome and Gavin Bernard alongside KPU faculty for a critical consideration of these utopian masterpieces in relation to Vancouver’s tighter, vertical living typologies; density debates, and sustainability goals.

Get tickets:

Posted by: Amanda McCuaig on October 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

White Space from Michael Lis on Vimeo.

Earlier, we released Part I of an interview that MOV curator Viviane Gosselin did with our guest curators Greg Johnson and Martin Lewis. Here's Part II, where they delve into what it was like to actually build the exhibition, and get into Dan White's inspirations.


VG: Could you talk about the decision to construct a huge model of the Máté Residence in the centre of the exhibition gallery?

ML: One of the most compelling features of Dan’s work is its play with scale. On the one hand, it is clear that the forms are meant to be read as objects in the landscape. On the other hand, they are clearly functional homes. The fact that they can be enlarged and reduced and rescaled as artefacts, almost at will, and certainly without losing their essence, speaks to how well considered they are. The Maté Residence is 1/4 full scale, which is large for a model but clearly small as a house. So, there should be an interesting, almost arresting dynamic as the viewer confronts this artefact. Are we suddenly four times normal size? Does vital information get lost or abstracted? Do we gain a radically new perspective? We want to ask: ‘Is it big or is it small?’ That ambiguity (of scale and size) is one of the strengths of Dan’s work, and we wanted to communicate this idea effectively in the exhibition space itself.


VG: I know that one of the curatorial intents was to have the gallery space make continual references to Dan White’s work. Could you speak to this?

GJ: Yes. Rather than introduce forms that competed with his work, we decided to use a limited palette that might complement and reinforce the reading of his own formal vocabulary. That is to say, we introduced the square, cube, diagonal, triangle, parallelogram, etc. as the principal components of the exhibition. So in a way, visitors can appreciate that the museum experience itself is a way of experiencing these abstracted forms at varying scales. 


VG: The exhibition uses a multitude of representational methods to interpret Dan’s work: orthographic projections, physical models, 3D computer models, etc. Is there a subtext about the nature of drawing and modelling?

ML: Architecture suffers from a problem of appropriate representation. As Julius Shulman, one of the pioneer photographers of Modern Architecture, noted, it really wants to be experienced by all senses; so, any substitute for that experience – the model, the photograph, the drawing – won’t do justice to the original work. These limitations and challenges associated with architectural representation led us to emphasize the premise and concept of individual projects in evolution rather than the finished product.


VG: What about the large portrait of Dan, made up of small icons?

ML: One of Dan’s primary influences was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the German architect who came to the USA in the 1930s. He designed the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, in 1953, one of the most influential buildings of mid-century architecture. We were acutely aware of the graphic work the design firm 2x4 did with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), at Mies’s Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago. So, we liked the idea of a portrait that played with the idea of scale and could be constructed of icons representing Dan’s houses.


VG: How are you referencing other works in the exhibition?

ML: We decided that some of our research would involve looking at how the work of architects had been represented in museum and art gallery exhibitions. To start with the classics, there is Mies van der Rohe’s exhibition career, starting in 1926; the Existenzminimum of 1929 in Frankfurt; Hitchcock’s and Johnson’s seminal International Style, at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, in 1939. Of course, now it is not uncommon for architects to curate their own work; in fact, in the age of instant media, it is almost compulsory to embrace that approach as a form of advertising.

Inspirational were exhibition projects such as the Frank Lloyd Wright retrospective at the Guggenheim, NY (2009), ‘Content’ by OMA in Berlin (2003), and ‘Alvar Aalto in the Eyes of Shigeru Ban’ in London (2007), but also countless smaller exhibitions over the years, including ‘Art Into Life’ at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle (1990).

We tend to look at everything. Bik Van Der Pol’s  ‘Butterfly’ installation (Rome, 2010) is one. ‘Grand Hotel’ at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2013), featuring the exquisite models of some of our collaborators, is another recent example. We thought that ‘Ron Thom and the Allied Arts’ at the West Vancouver Museum (2013) was extremely well designed and presented.



Subscribe to Blog