Bulkley Valley Museum

Canada Day Culture Crawl

Get your Canada 150 celebration started with local historian Harry Kruisselbrink and Museum Curator Kira Westby on our historical walking tour of downtown Smithers! Learn about interesting events from Smithers’ past, and the history of our oldest buildings. The walk begins at 10am at the BV Museum/Central Park Building (1425 Main St.).

This is a free event! Donations in support of this and other community events are greatly appreciated. Ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes, and have sunscreen, hats, water, raincoat, etc. as needed by weather conditions.

Heritage Speaker Series: Early Widzin Kwah & Bulkley River Bridges

Our Heritage Speaker Series is back! Join local historian and former Smithereen Alan Pickard for his talk on June 22nd, 7pm at the Old Church. Alan will present local history and events centred around the history of bridges that have spanned the Widzin Kwah/Bulkley River. Admission is free, donations in support of this and other community events is greatly appreciated.

2nd Annual Cemetery Walk

The second annual cemetery walk was held October 29th and again this year was a great success..  Kira Westby, of the Bulkley Valley Museum, was the guide and narrator as the crowd wended their way through the cemetery learning about passed residents of Smithers.  Kira spoke about several of the older graves, all pre 1930.  Although it was cloudy it did not rain and people was able to learn about our cemetery.




Things that Exist or are Enjoyed for a Short Time Only

The word “Ephemera” is used to describe items that were not intended to be saved, but instead were made to be discarded after they were used. These “documents of everyday life” include birthday and Christmas cards, movie tickets, letterheads, menus, posters, programs, stamps and calendars.  It can also include three dimensional objects such as medical or food packaging, pens, matchbooks. Our new exhibit examines different types of ephemera from the Museum’s collection, including many items used by Smithers businesses for advertising over the past 100 years.

Second Annual Cemetery Walk

Culture Hunt

Heritage, Architecture — Excursion, Hands-On Activity

The Culture Hunt is a self-guided tour around Smithers (approximately one hour) collecting interesting and fun historical/cultural facts about our town.

Culture Hunt clues & map will be available to pick up at the library and museum before and during the Culture Days weekend (September 30th – October 2nd).

Submit your completed form to the library or museum by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3rd. All completed forms will be entered into a draw to win one of two great prizes: $50 Daddio’s Restaurant gift certificate or an Android Tablet!


Old Church & Garden 10th Anniversary

August 20th was the 10th Anniversary for the Old Church and Gardens.

It was very well attended with standing room only.  Klaus Mueller was the MC and spoke of the history of the Old Church and the renovation, thanking the volunteers who poured so much time and effort into the work.  Peter Haines and George Stokes sang and played guitar.  They are both excellent performers.  After there were refreshments and a wonderful anniversary cake, made by Safeway.  Safeway assisted in the expense of refreshment and cake.

Thank you to every one who came out.  It really was a wonderful time.



2nd Annual Canada Day walk

The Second Annual Canada Walk was held July 1st.  Around 50 people came out for a tour of the historical building and sites around Smithers.

Harry Kruisselbrink was the speaker and guide with Kira Westby, the Curator of the Bulkley Valley Museum.

Be sure to join us next year for the Third Annual Canada Day Walk>

The Culture Crawl Brochure is Online

Smithers Culture Crawl

Come to the Bulkley Valley Museum today and get your culture crawl brochure!

Starting at the Bulkley Valley Museum, the crawl takes visitors on a remarkable and fascination stroll. Our Culture Crawl explores the stories of the older building in Smithers. The Old Church,was the first Church and first wooden structure built in Smithers.  You will see the unique Aladdin and Eaton kit homes. Schimmel’s Cafe, Sawyers Heavenly Cafe and Safeway feature a continuation of the main exhibit in the Bulkley Valley Museum. At the far end of town you will find the Railway Station which was proclaimed a heritage building in 1990.

Join us for the Smithers Culture Crawl and learn some of our history.

View and download the Culture Crawl brochure (PDF format)

Book Launch of Smithers: A Railroad Town by Harry Kruisselbrink

In 2008, the Bulkley Valley Museum published the first edition of Smithers: A Railroad Town by Harry Kruisselbrink thanks to the financial support from Heritage Legacy Fund, BC150, and the Town of Smithers.  In honour of the 2013 centennial celebration, Kruisselbrink has expanded on the original to include more details about the arrival of the GTP and the development of the Town of Smithers. 

You are invited to the Old Church on Wed, June 5th at 7pm for the launch of the revised edition of Smithers: A Railroad Town. The book is available at: Bullkley Valley Museum, Mountain Eagle Books, Heartstrings, Hudson Bay Lodge, and Speedee. Hold the history of the Bulkley Valley in your hands! 

First Train Through Smithers

imageOn April 8, 2013, a huge crowd of retired CN workers and community members gathered at the Old Church to celebrate the anniversary of the “first train through Smithers,” which chugged through 99 years ago on April 8, 1914. The last spike was driven in Fort Fraser on April 7, 1914, and the train then proceeded westward to Smithers and Prince Rupert. The first train to actually arrive in Smithers was a track-laying work train that arrived on October 4th, 1913. The Autumn 1913 issue of BC Magazine stated:

“Probably the most remarkable welcome ever given to a new railroad in British Columbia was extended at Smithers to contractors and workmen when the steel of the Grand Trunk Pacific reached there a few weeks ago. Unbounded enthusiasm was shown by Bulkley Valley residents, who have waited for years for the sight of a railway locomotive. When the track-laying machine rounded the curve east of Smithers and poked its nose out on the long tangent that passes through the town, it was a signal for a big demonstration.”

To celebrate this milestone, Doug Donaldson, MLA for Stikine, partnered up with the Bulkley Valley Museum to host a celebratory luncheon with archival displays and a presentation from local author and former BV Museum curator, Jane Stevenson. Prizes were given away and several stories were shared. Pat McCammon announced that her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hann, were there in 1914 to meet the first train. Several retired CN workers were also in attendance at the event, and after polling the room, we discovered that Ted Huntington was hired on earliest… in 1946!

Another railroader, Axel Peterson, arranged a fascinating display of artifacts and archival materials related to the railroad. From conductor’s caps, to log books, to a silver tea service from an old dining car, the history of the railroad was made tangible.

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the first train through Smithers. Here’s to another century of the railroad continuing to connect the communities across the Bulkley Valley.

Bus Tour to Fort St. James

Join the Bulkley Valley Museum for a bus tour to Historic Fort St. James August 16th

Leaving at 7am the bus will make its way down to Fort St. James.  With purchase of ticket, you get a small snack in Burns Lake, lunch at Fort St. James and a tour of the historic site. Space is limited so get your tickets early! Contact BV Museum for tickets (250) 847-5322

Photos from our adventure to Fort St. James

Driftwood Canyon Lecture Series

Come out for a fascinating night of lectures on Driftwood Canyon.

Special Guest Lecturers include, Dr. Bruce Archibald, Dr. Jaelyn J. Eberle, and Maria Brown.
The program will feature:
• How the Red Queen and the Court Jester changed the fossil lacewings of Driftwood Canyon by Dr. Bruce Archibald
• Ancient mammals in a 52-million year old Arctic rainforest by Dr. Jaelyn J. Eberle
• Driftwood Canyon Tells a Story” Plants of the British Columbian Interior during the Early Eocene by Maria Brown

7pm at the Old Church (corner of King and 1st)
Admission by donation
Presented by
BC Parks and Bulkley Valley Museum

Titanic: Classical Music Event

The Bulkley Valley Museum Presents:

An evening of music with Roxi Dykstra on viola.
Accompanied by Sharon Carrington and Stefan Bichelmaier

Highlights will include the hymn, “Nearer, My God, To Thee”,
which the Titanic’s orchestra was said to have played as
the ship sank to her watery grave.

Join us April 15th
7pm at the Old Church

Admission by Donation

The Normal Leach Lecture Tour


To learn more about Norman Leach and his published work, visit here:
Norman Leach & Associates

The Old Church Support Your Museum Sign Our Guestbook

BV Museum Newsletters

Museum News

May 3, 2017 | “Canada 150+ What’s Your Story” Workshop Series

October 4, 2016 | Second Annual Cemetery Walk

July 21, 2016 | Old Church & Garden 10th Anniversary

April 8, 2016 | History At Your Fingertips

Corporate Supporters

    The Museum is generously supported by many local community businesses and associations. For a full list visit the About section of our website. Thank you to all of our community supporters!