Museum of Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) (formerly the Vancouver Museum and prior to that the Centennial Museum) is a civic history museum located in Vanier Park, Vancouver, British Columbia. The MOV is the largest civic museum in Canada and the oldest museum in Vancouver. The museum was founded in 1894 and went through a number of iterations before being rebranded as the Museum of Vancouver in 2009. It creates Vancouver-focused exhibitions and programs that encourage conversations about what was, is, and can be Vancouver. It shares an entrance and foyer with the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre but the MOV is much larger and occupies the vast majority of the space in the building complex where both organisations sit as well as separate collections storage facilities in another building.

The museum was founded by the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver (AHSA), which formed on April 17, 1894, with the objective of cultivating "a taste for the beauties and refinements in life." Shortly after its inaugural meeting the AHSA opened its first temporary exhibition ('Paintings and Curiosities') in rented premises on the top floor of the Dunn Building on Granville Street, Vancouver. This exhibition triggered a series of donations to the new museum's collections which were mostly natural history or ethnographic in origin. The first recorded donation to the collection was of taxidermy - a stuffed Trumpeter Swan which was donated by Mr Sydney Williams in 1895. Regular purchasing of artefacts for the collections of the AHSA began in 1898 and acquisitions were eclectic and multi-disciplinary reflecting the interests of the decision-makers rather than any strategic approach to collecting.

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