About the Bulkley Valley Museum
Welcome to the Bulkley Valley Museum!
The Bulkley Valley Museum has been in operation since 1967. We are located in the heart of the Town of Smithers, British Columbia at the corner of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) and Main Street in the historic Central Park Building.
The Museum is open year round, and is operated by the Bulkley Valley Historical and Museum Society. Click on the “Visiting” page for our hours and directions to get here.
Admission is by donation. The Museum is fully accessible, has ample on-site parking for cars or RVs, and is kid-friendly!
Mission of the Bulkley Valley Museum
The Bulkley Valley Museum collects, preserves and presents items of historical and cultural significance from Smithers and the Bulkley Valley, with the purpose of making our local history exciting and engaging.
About the Society
The Bulkley Valley Museum and Historical Society is incorporated under the Society’s Act of British Columbia. It is governed by a Board of Directors, who are responsible for establishing vision, policy, and resources for the Museum.
The Society and the Board are governed by the following mandate:
1.To maintain and operate a museum to house and display said artifacts
2.To provide access to archival materials for research purposes
3.To encourage preservation of historical landmarks, including buildings and monuments
4.To facilitate learning
Individual support through membership is vitally important to our Society and the operations of the Museum. Membership fees go directly towards the Museum’s exhibits and other programs and activities, enabling us to continue to share and preserve the history of our Valley. Members are strongly encouraged to volunteer with the Museum.
Our individual membership fee is $15 and family memberships are $20. Membership benefits include quarterly newsletters, borrowing privileges from our reference library, a gift shop discount, and the ability to participate in the Society’s Annual General Meeting.
About the Collections
Since 1967 the Bulkley Valley Museum has built up a permanent collection of artifacts and archival materials which comprises the social and technological development of the Bulkley Valley. The Museum’s artifact collections have strengths in the areas of mining, forestry, and agriculture. The Museum’s archival collections include family and corporate fonds, microfilmed editions of the Interior News and other newspapers, as well as a collection of several thousand photographs depicting Smithers and the surrounding Valley from the early 1900s to present.
The Museum’s Collections Online website is your portal to discover our artifact and archival collections, including several thousand historic photographs depicting Smithers and the Bulkley Valley. Users can share their favorite items on social media, as well as create and save or print PDF lists of items. Our Collections Online site was made possible through funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program.
Curator Kira Westby was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. She received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and History from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2010, and a Masters in Public History from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Prior to moving to Smithers she worked at the archaeological collections repository Sustainable Archaeology: Western in London Ontario for three years. Kira moved to Smithers in 2014.
Museum Administrator Betty Campbell immigrated to Canada from England with her family in 1967. She has lived and worked in several communities in western Canada, including Calgary, Vancouver, and Terrace. She has lived in Smithers for 10 years. Betty has significant experience in book keeping and office administration, and has completed training in Archival practice and management.
Archivist Manda Haligowski is originally from Winnipeg, MB. She completed a Bachelors in Fine Arts, in 2012, at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. In 2015, she received a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from McGill University in Montreal, QC. She has worked in a variety of places, including the Health Sciences Centre Archives/Museum in Winnipeg, MB, the Jewish General Hospital Archives in Montreal, QC, and the International Federation of Red Crosses and Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Bulkley Valley Museum receives regular operational funding from the Town of Smithers, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Province of British Columbia. The Museum applies for additional funding for special projects or programs as required. To learn more about our funders and the projects or programs they have supported please contact the Museum.
The Bulkley Valley Museum also receives significant support for its activities and programs from local businesses in the community either through direct donations or corporate memberships. For a complete list of our current corporate sponsors, or, to become a corporate sponsor or obtain a corporate membership for your business, please contact the Museum.
The BV Museum is always looking for new volunteers to work in such areas as artifact registration, research, exhibit design, public programming, event planning, and fundraising. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Museum!
Museum staff are happy to assist with research requests that utilize our archival or artifact collections. Contact the Museum to receive a copy of our Research Request Policy or to discuss your research project.
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