Question 2: How do you think the museum could most effectively tell stories of B.C.’s communities?



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28 responses to “Question 2: How do you think the museum could most effectively tell stories of B.C.’s communities?

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    [-] April

    Through virtual screens and eye wear and hearing devices that describe the displays you are viewing.
    The narrators would be local storytellers and interviews with local people sharing their stories.

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    [-] Steve

    I would like to see personalized stories of individual representative fictional BC residents of all types. For instance, first nations people from different areas of the province, explorers, business owners, professionals (nurses, dentists, doctors, pharmacists etc), Chinese and negro immigrants, women, students, gold miners etc. When people come to the museum that would pick up a card showing the individual they will follow throughout their visit to the museum. As they progress through the museum they would check in at each exhibit to see how the person they are following would have interacted with this particular exhibit. For example a pharmacist would be shown interacting with a physician in his office, the dentist and a female patient. The idea is the personalize the stories of actual bc residents.

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    [-] C.McWillis

    I think the museum could most effectively tell stories of BC’s communities by engaging the people within these communities (not about telling the story for them but allowing them a platform to tell their story). Utilizing technology and innovation, the museum is the platform the stories belong to the community they are from.

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    [-] Ellen

    Your native plant garden could be a catalyst for showcasing many local stories of habitat restoration, of beautifying neglected streetscapes, or of reducing erosion or flooding risks with landscape plantings of native species. You could feature a different success story each month, partnering with that community to offer a workshop, a garden tour, a brochure, and perhaps even seeds or young plants for sale.

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    [-] Jo-Anne

    I think that “stories” need to be told in the voices of those who lived those experiences as much as possible.
    I think photography, videos, sounds, multi-media and live actors are media that could be used to tell stories.
    I also think that field/study trips that link the global to local could be organized for all age groups, but not necessarily all at the same time, By this I mean that audiences are diverse and different programs could be developed for specific target audience segments.
    I think that holistic, integrated and interconnected principles should inform methods. By this I mean, that we should tell stories of collaboration, mutuality, cooperation in building the province and not just stories of famous people (usually wealthy businessmen and politicians from Anglo-European backgrounds). At the same time stories of conflict, rebellion, resistance against injustice should also be told (and we have many stories of these already, but almost always told from the perspective of the dominant groups).

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    [-] Janet

    A representation of all cultures and relevant groups who contributed to the historical mosaic which built British Columbia…..please include the Doukhobors!!!

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    [-] Emily

    We enjoyed visiting a historic house in Quebec City where we could tour the house and at different artifacts we could plug in headphones and listen to stories about the artifacts in the voices of actors (using accents so it was very authentic) representing historic figures.

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    [-] Jerri

    A museum is not about the past; it is a continuum of our identity, which involves our inter-dependency with the land, the weather and each other, over time, as evidenced through first-hand stories and scientific research. What better way than a museum on rails, with each car dedicated to, and created by, communities, telling their regional stories and inter-dependencies with assistance from historians and scientists, creating a traveling museum scheduled to meet visitors in the places they are most likely to be, creating a ‘pop-up’ museum in and for all regions of BC.

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    [-] Becky

    It would be wonderful to see some of the local history that is being completed by Vancouver Island Historians highlighted. For example, work by historians such as Dr. Steven Davies or Dr. Patrick Dunae who have created the Canadian Letters and Images Project or the History of BC Schools would be wonderfully highlighted in the museum. Likewise, having some interactive exhibits similar to that of the Canadian Unsolved Mysteries Project would be a great way to engage families as they walk through the museum.

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    [-] louise

    Oral histories that have been collected and in person story tellers or all heritage ie First Nations (children love the lullabies listening cocoon); perhaps in the Big House, or drama students in the pioneer section like at Barkerville could be used.

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    [-] Rob

    Story telling is a powerful way to convey history, and culture. This can be done in a variety of ways including: oral story telling using an Indigenous framework, digital storytelling using video, picture collages that are connected through narration using BC people (artists, educators, culture leaders) or: through music. Drama/theatrical performance would also be a great way to appeal to community engagement.

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    [-] Lisa

    The museum should strive to be more inclusive of all BC stories, especially highlighting marginalized communities. In particular, there is an inadequate exhibit about Japanese Canadians in the current fishing section and sadly nothing about the forced removal and dispossession in BC. More needs to be done to show the diversity of this province, the communities that grew together and have been intertwined for years, and the challenges/achievements they’ve faced. Too often, communities are exhibited as in the past and separated from each other when more could be done to highlight them as living communities. I’d also like to see more meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities.

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    [-] Chloe

    Repair the museum’s credibility on storytelling by giving back all First Nations artifacts and cultural resources to Indigenous communities & peoples who want them back. I want the modern Royal BC museum to seek out the original keepers of your whole collection of Indigenous pieces and ask them how best to rematriate them. Then you could have exhibits about how colonization stole a lot from First Nations, including pieces that used to be in the museum, and now RBCM is part of the story of giving back what was stolen.

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    [-] Robert

    I’d like to see more of the history of communities. You treat First Nations as anthropology by not as nations with history. What about our stories of the gods, our epic wars and battles, the fortified villages, our legends – if this were truly out country, the museum would rep those.

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    [-] Cynthia

    By having a modern and well-staffed Archives from which the stories are drawn.

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    [-] Jacqueline

    I think that the museum should tell the stories of B.C’s ecological communities as well, because not only are they extremely important in their own right, but they also help shape the communities where people reside.
    B.C. contains a high number of species and unique ecological communities, and many of those are at risk. The story of this natural legacy needs to be told as well.

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    [-] John

    Again, use technology… link in / make available the on-line resources of digital newspapers, so people can research stories of their communities. Switch up the artifacts! We know you have tons tons of material hidden away. Every museum is like the end scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark…. endless miles of shelves with rarely any seeing the light of day to tell a community story. Sad. Actively work with those communities to LOAN your artifacts for display in THEIR community. FIX your Collections search with actual relevant details and images of what you have… “firearm booklet” means what?! There is no other info! There is no story in ambiguity!! IF the Capital Region actually created its own regional museum, would you give / loan artifacts? I had to loan a USA museum 23 of my artifacts because neither the Smithsonian nor FIT would help them!

    ERROR… identify below is not optional if only a fixed YES NO answer. Not impressed.

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    [-] Klimaszewski

    The display still probably is the easiest and most effective way to reach a broad audience. It can be static or active, focused on young or all ages. Good display leaves long lasting memories and is good for education. Museums are educational institutions and play important roles. More active involvement of people in museum life would be good for both. People could be involved in research on particular subject and involved in real publications. Help is needed in curation of collections and selected people could help curators to expand collections. Museum could produce colour books and flyers on many subjects of interest to the public.

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    [-] Jacqueline

    A travelling roadshow which would travel the province would introduce many to the museum. A well developed and engaging online presence is also vital. Ask people to send in stories of items they have discovered e.g., (dinosaur footprints) or family stories of how they came to settle in BC. This would bring a human connection and give people a sense of ownership in the museum. Perhaps some local museums could team up with the RBCM on special displays which items or events which have impacted their community.

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    [-] Hume

    To tell our stories now and in the future we need to know how British Columbians live, what the land we live on is like today, and what species share our lands and waters.

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    [-] Rhiannon

    By inviting the community in to tell their stories, and by leaving the Museum walls to collect and share these stories.

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    [-] Victoria

    The Royal BC Museum is a treasure that has great opportunity. The Province could consider really focusing its museum-related resources into making one EXCELLENT museum in BC’s political capital (Victoria BC) that really shines and stands as a landmark public asset that is known across the province and the country.

    Idea 1: One step in effectively telling stories involves attracting an audience – leverage greater opportunities to engages bc residents and visitors, drawing them into the space and exposing them to unexpected opportunities to learn and appreciate the museum’s artifacts, such as:
    -Late nights at the Museum: Saturday nights, (or if that’s too much, perhaps the first two Saturday nights of a new exhibit) – keep the museum open late (8-11pm for instance) and establish a bar and music (could be live music stationed on each floor) to make it a classy but accessible/inclusive experience that becomes a destination that adults across bc seek out and look forward to returning to.
    -Greater use of flex spaces for adult-focused presentations, lectures, workshops by artists/researchers/featured community members

    Idea 2: Another idea involves immersive spaces.
    – One of the most loved sections of the current museum is the landscapes of BC. There is something so haunting and beautiful about this, and how amazing would it be to be able to expand this into more – like an indoor immersive Cathedral Grove that inspires that sense of beauty, calm as the real place dose? And that could lead you into another area that makes you feel you’re walking through arid ranchlands in the northeast? Many places across BC are hard to access and large distances away. Can we create an immersive microcosm of BC within the museum itself? The First Peoples area of the museum also has this immersive quality in some parts, as does the old town (though it can seem tired) – my point ultimately, is to leverage this current character strength of the museum and elevate it further.
    – Can consider having a space that is devoted to a new community in BC, and that community gets directly involved in planning what it could look like for X months, with budget/expert minds at the museum who can make it happen. Imagine if that space was temporarily “Kitimat BC transforming”, and other places that we want to share and appreciate…

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    [-] Rj

    Oh what a great question! having people, elders, from those communities present their experience, tell their stories. Elders may be, but need not be, first nations members. In fact, to have two members tell stories of the same time from different perspectives would be very cool.

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    [-] Katharine

    Displaying items that bring the communities past and present to life including video and audio clips of interviews with former and current residents from all walks of life. Install a digital map that people could interact with to access demographic, economic, environmental and historical information on each community. Install a recording booth where visitors could record their own stories about BC communities to enhance knowledge and add a personal touch to the exhibits. Have a small theatre where videos about all aspects of BC history, culture, arts, industry and peoples are shown. This would double as a rest spot for people with mobility challenges and for parents with small children.

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    [-] Andrea

    By allowing those communities to tell their own stories. This is crucial.

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    [-] Sandra

    Modernized museum experience: like past ones. Dont throw millions of visitors’ good experiences out to chase techno-wizardry.

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    [-] Sandra

    With actual physical settings and artifacts. i.e. not digital ones. Real rooms recreated from history, and display real objects of scientific research interest. These convey atmosphere as well as information. Computer bells-and-whistles are just distracting. Make it “low-tech” not high-tech please. People can go online at home. Make museum immersion different.

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    [-] Richelle

    I think a good balance of technology and object is the Indigenous language museum. This is the use of technology to good use. It’s not bells and whistles. My 7-yr-old loves this exhibit and why? There are different engagement tools for her to use depending on her literacy level and her attention. That’s true for all levels. And the smart use of technology helps augment holdings. If it wasn’t for the interactive computers in this exhibit, she wouldn’t have been interested in the recording devices and what they were used for. This can be done with balance.