Bulkley Valley Museum

May 3, 2017

“Canada 150+ What’s Your Story” Workshop Series

Celebrate Canada 150+! The Smithers Art Gallery and Bulkley Valley Museum have teamed up to offer a fantastic series of workshops that will help participants explore their history and illustrate their story of Canada.


Figural Watercolour Basics with Arlene Ness
Friday May 5, 6.30pm-9:30pm & Saturday May 6, 10:00am-1:00pm
(2-day workshop)

Fee: $20, materials supplied
Location: ‘Ksan Historical Village & Museum, Hazelton
Register with Arlene Ness:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | (250) 842-3113

Workshop details: http://smithersart.org/index.php/workshops-classes/workshops/figural-watercolour-basics


Mixed-Media Collage with Mo Hamilton
Saturday May 6, 10:00am-3.30pm Sunday May 7, 10:00am-3.30pm
(1-day workshop, Saturday’s workshop is repeated on Sunday)

Fee: $20, materials supplied
Location: The Old Church, 3704 1st Ave, Smithers
Register: at Smithers Art Gallery, or by phone with a credit/debit card: (250) 847-3898

Workshop details: http://smithersart.org/index.php/workshops-classes/workshops/mixed-media-collage-with-mo-hamilton


Preserving Your Past with BV Museum Curator Kira Westby and Archivist Manda Haligowski
Saturday May 13, 11:00am-1:00pm

Location: The Old Church, 3704 1st Ave, Smithers
No registration required

Workshop details: http://smithersart.org/index.php/workshops-classes/workshops/preserving-your-past

Image Transfer with Perry Rath
Sunday May 28 & Sunday June 4, 1:00pm-4:30pm
(2-day workshop)

Fee: $20, materials supplied
Location: The Old Church, 3704 1st Ave, Smithers
Register: at Smithers Art Gallery, or by phone with a credit/debit card: (250) 847-3898

Workshop details: http://smithersart.org/index.php/workshops-classes/workshops/image-transfer-with-perry-rath


Home Movie Day with the BV Museum staff
Saturday June 3, 11:00am-3:00pm

Location: The Old Church, 3704 1st Ave, Smithers
No registration required

Workshop details: http://smithersart.org/index.php/workshops-classes/workshops/home-movie-day

October 4, 2016

Second Annual Cemetery Walk

July 21, 2016

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.



April 8, 2016

History At Your Fingertips

Now available: Our brand new Collections Online website!

The Bulkley Valley Museum is thrilled to announce the launch of our Collections Online website!

Miners P1332 

To start your discovery of our local heritage, visit http://search.bvmuseum.com/

Our new website is your portal to discover our collection of several thousand historic photographs of Smithers and the surrounding Bulkley Valley, as well as our documentary heritage and artifact catalogues.
Users can share their favourite items to Facebook and Twitter, and generate PDFs or print lists of items they are interested in. Users can also provide direct feedback to the Museum via email on specific photographs and records. We hope to start crowd sourcing more information about some of our photographs, which often picture people whose names have been lost to history. 

Our new website is part of the Museum’s ongoing efforts to make its collections more accessible to our local communities, enabling users from anywhere in the Bulkley Valley, or anywhere in the world to learn about our local history.

The BV Museum’s Collections Online portal was made possible through funding from the Government of Canada through the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program. 
For more information on the web portal or accessing our collections contact us!

March 1, 2016

Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP).

The Bulkley Valley Museum is pleased to announce that it has received funding for its Collections
Accessibility Project from the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities
Program (DHCP).

The $15,000 grant received by the Bulkley Valley Museum will be used to develop a web based search
engine and online interface that will provide direct public access to our collections, including our collection
of approximately 4000 digitized historic photographs. The new system will put the history of Smithers and
the Bulkley Valley at the fingertips of the public, greatly increasing the accessibility of our holdings, and
ensuring their continued relevance in the digital age. The new system will be available online in the spring
of 2016.

The DHCP was created in 2015 to provide financial assistance for activities that augment the visibility of
and access to materials held by Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions. It also aims to
increase the capacity of local institutions to sustainably preserve the country’s documentary heritage.

Read the full press release from the Government of Canada here:

For more information please contact the Curator, Kira Westby at 250-847-5322 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Le Musée Bulkley Valley est heureux d’annoncer qu’il a reçu un financement pour son projet
d’accessibilité Collection du Programme des collectivités du patrimoine du documentaire par
Bibliothèque et Archives
Canada (PCPD).

La subvention de 15.000 $ a été reçu par le Musée Bulkley Valley et sera utilisé pour développer
un moteur de recherche basé sur le Web et l’interface en ligne qui offrira un accès direct du
public à nos collections, y compris notre collection d’environ 4000 photographies historiques digitalisés.
Le nouveau système mettra l’histoire de Smithers et la vallée de Bulkley à la portée du public,
augmentant considérablement l’accessibilité de nos participations, et d’assurer leur pertinence à l’ère
numérique. Le nouveau système sera disponible en ligne au printemps 2016.

Le PCPD a été créée en 2015 pour fournir une aide financière pour des activités qui augmentent
la visibilité et l’accès aux documents détenus par les institutions locales du patrimoine documentaire
du Canada. Il vise aussi à accroître la capacité des institutions locales à préserver durable du
patrimoine documentaire du pays. Lisez le communiqué de presse du gouvernement du Canada ici:

Pour plus d’informations s’il vous plaît communiquer avec le curateur, Kira Westby au 250-847-5322
ou .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

October 2, 2014

Salmon Trails Website

Visit our new Salmon Trails Website.  The Bulkley Valley Museum has united the museums of the North West of British Columbia.  On the website click on the town you are going to visit and see the places that are less explored.  Have you seen the Smithers “Shoe House” or Hazeltons First Nation Village of Ksan with the long house full of history. 

May 30, 2014

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)

February 14, 2014

B36 bomber crashes February 14th

At around 3:00 AM on Valentine’s Day, 1950, a U.S. B36 Peacemaker bomber, the largest production plane the U.S. has ever made, crashed into Mt. Kologet in the Kispiosk about 100 km north of Hazelton B.C.. It was on a training flight from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to its home base at Carswell, Texas. The flight of the Peacemaker still causes controversy to this day. The plane dropped its cargo of a Fat Man atomic bomb in the Hecate Strait between Haida Gwaii and the B.C Mainland coast due to engine failure & fire in 3 of its 6 pushprop engines. According to official U.S. reports, most of the crew survived bailing out over Canadian land and on its own, the unmanned plane changed direction to fly northeast and crash in the Kispiox. Was someone left on board? The U.S. has always said ‘No’. Who knows for sure? But the director of the Bulkley Valley Museum has a very plausible scenario as to what may have occurred on the side of a lonely mountain in the Kispiosk, February 14th, 1950.

Sixty four years ago they were just a bunch of flyboys hoping to get home to their wives & families & girlfriends in time for a Valentine’s Day dinner in Carswell, Texas. What happened?

Today, the BV Museum in Smithers, B.C., maintains a permanent exhibition detailing this memorable flight which includes photos and artefacts and a set of 20 mm machine guns from this downed Peacemaker.

If you require further information regarding this Valentine’s Day fascinating topic, please do not hesitate to contact me.

May 22, 2013

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! 

April 9, 2013

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.

July 30, 2012

Bus Tour to Fort St. James

Join the Bulkley Valley Museum for a bus tour to Historic Fort St. James on 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

July 17, 2012

Kindness of Strangers

Some fantastic tourists headed to Prince Rupert gave the BV Museum Staff ice cream cones!
It’s a TERRIFIC Tuesday!

June 20, 2012

Old Church Garden Work Bee

Hello Everyone!
It is time for the annual Old Church Gardens Work Bee!
Join us next Wednesday June 27th at 9am for a morning of planting and garden renewal.
Hope to see you there!

June 19, 2012

Smithers Exploration Group Geo Crawl

Smithers Exploration Group Geo Crawl

Take an educational tour of downtown Smithers at your own pace.  Locals, tourists, families, individuals and school groups are encouraged to participate.
Use your GPS/mapping skills to walk, bike or drive to 12 locations in the downtown Smithers area where you will learn how rocks, minerals and mined products are used in our daily lives. There will be a question for each location to answer when you get there.  Answer all twelve questions correctly and enter to win a GPS unit in the Smithers Exploration Group annual fall draw! 
Pick-up and drop off completed Geo Crawl brochures at the Bulkley Valley Museum (1425 Main St) or Smithers District Chamber of Commerce (1411 Court St). 
The tour will take approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete by foot.
**Bring a pen, GPS unit (or use the map provided), and comfortable footwear.

Learn more here

June 18, 2012

Photos from the Driftwood Canyon Lecture

Many thanks to the Driftwood Canyon lecture team!
Thank you Dr. Bruce Archibald, Dr. Jaelyn Eberle, Dr. David Greenwood, and BC Parks!

Here are some photos from the night

June 7, 2012

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

May 28, 2012

2012 Culture Crawl Brochure Now Online

The 2012 Culture Crawl Brochure is now online. Get ready for this season’s crawl!


Culture Crawl 2012

Smither’s Culture Crawl- “I Came, I Saw, I Crawled!”


May 25, 2012

Joseph Coyle Lives On

The Globe and Mail have included Joseph Coyle in
“The Innovators: A Monthly Multimedia Feature on Great Canadian Inventors”
Read the full article here Canadian inventor cracks the case of the broken egg

May 18, 2012

International Museum Day

It’s International Museum Day, so get out there and support everyone who preserves and displays our natural and cultural histories!


May 10, 2012

A Sign of Summer

Despite the poor weather and a dusting of snow, the Smithers Fire Department installed the
Dutch and Swiss Flags for the upcoming Smithers Culture Crawl.  Many thanks to the Smithers
Fire Department for their fine work!


May 9, 2012

Mother’s Day

Only 4 days till Mother’s Day! Looking for a last-minute gift that your mom will love?
We’re sure you’ll find something special in the Museum Gift shop. Need inspiration?
Here’s a selection that we prepared earlier

April 5, 2012

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

March 23, 2012

BV Museum now on Facebook

Good News Everyone!
The Bulkley Valley Museum is now on Facebook.
Hop on the trolley and “Like” us to stay up-to-date
with exhibition news, behind-the-scenes pictures, and upcoming events.
Click on the link above or here to check us out -> Bulkley Valley Museum


May 20, 2011

A Northern Alpine Valley

The Bulkley Valley in Northwest BC is a profusion of natural beauty, adventure and history.

An alpine paradise called the Bulkley Valley lies between the Hudson Bay and the Babine mountain ranges. It is located midpoint between Prince Rupert and Prince George on the highway 16 corridor in northwest BC. The highway runs through this alpine valley providing a panorama of stunning natural beauty and a multitude of opportunities to experience the joys of rural lifestyles in northern B.C..

This valley is home not only to pristine alpine meadows, world famous salmon bearing rivers, cross-country, downhill and heli-skiing, big and small game hunting, eco-hiking, river rafting and music festivals. It is also home to family farming, large and small scale forestry and mining operations, idyllic small towns and villages and a century of history waiting to be discovered by curious visitors.

Continue Reading…

December 9, 2010

BV Museum Receives Inaugural Tourism Excellence Award


Press Release: October 26, 2010

SMITHERS: The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the Bulkley Valley Museum was the inaugural winner of the Tourism Excellence Award, presented at the Community and Business Awards held Saturday, October 23 at the Aspen Inn in Smithers. This award is sponsored by Tourism Smithers and the BV Museum was announced the winner for its contribution to Cultural Tourism in the Valley, both for the unique exhibits developed and on dis- play at the museum annually, and for its expansion of the exhibits to include moving the displays to local businesses in the creation of the highly successful Smithers Culture Crawl.

Chamber president George Whitehead said, “All of this year’s finalists have contributed to a highly successful year for the area’s tourism industry. Smithers has established itself as a leading northern British Columbian tourist destination and the Chamber recognizes the high value cultural tourism plays in attracting visitors to our area. We are honoured to present the preservers of our history, and the creators of new opportunities to showcase our cultural uniqueness, with this pres- tigious award.”

“Finalists should be justifiably proud of their achievements and the Chamber of Commerce is privileged to organize an event and evening that pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of major contributors to our tourism industry. Congratulations to the Bulkley Valley Museum on be- ing this year’s award winner in the Tourism Category.”

February 8, 2010

Normal Leach Lecture Tour Announced


In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Feb 14, 1950, crash of the U.S. B36 bomber in the Kispiox, north of the Hazeltons, the Bulkley Valley Museum is hosting a lecture tour by the celebrated Canadian historian, author and U. of Calgary lecturer, Norman Leach, who has written the seminal account of this aviation disaster, “Broken Arrow – America’s First Lost Nuclear Weapon”. Norman will give a lecture on the crash of the B36 and the controversy of its Fat Man atomic bomb payload at 7:00 pm on Saturday, Feb 13th, at the Old Church.

Norman has won numerous awards for his books as well as working as an historical advisor on many TV documentaries (including History Channel programmes) and the Canadian feature film Passchendaele on which he collaborated with the famous Canadian producer and film star, Paul Gross.

“Norman is an easy going, low-maintenance kind of guy” according to BV Museum director, Fergus Tomlin. As proof, Fergus cites how Norman agreed to participate in a silent auction fundraiser for the BV Museum. The winning family of the BV Museum’s silent auction will host Norman Leach as a dinner guest on Sunday evening, Feb 14. Imagine inviting your friends and your children’s friends over for dinner with one of Canada’s famous historians.

Fergus will escort Norman to speak in high schools, libraries and museums between Houston and Terrace. This is all part of the BV Museum’s policy of putting the spotlight on our engrossing local history.

For further information, contact the BV Museum at:
Phone No: (250) 847-5322
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Norman Leach’s resume:


“Canadian Battles – Canada’s Victories on Land, Sea and in the Air”
“Passchendaele – Canada’s Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders” (Canadian Best Seller, Saskatchewan Book Award Winner)
“Broken Arrow – America’s First Lost Nuclear Weapon”
“Peacekeepers”  (Crystal Award Winner)
“Great Military Leaders” (Crystal Award Winner)

“Hitler’s Stealth Fighter” Producer, Michael Jorgensen
“Passchendaele” Producer, Paul Gross
“The Road to Passchendaele” Producer, Kevin Krist
“Hunt for the Mad Trapper” Producer, Michael Jorgensen

Sponsors of the Norman Leach lecture tour:

Bulkley Valley Credit Union
Steakhouse on Main, Smithers
Oscar’s Source for Sports
Sunrise Hotel
Interior News, Black Press
Hoskins Ford Sales Ltd.
Harley Davidson of Smithers
Town of Smithers
Bulkley-Nechako Regional District
BC Arts Council
Frontier Chrysler

February 8, 2010

BV Museum celebrates 2010 Olympics with new skiing exhibit



A retrospective look at the introduction and evolution of skiing around Hudson Bay Mountain in the heart of the beautiful Bulkley Valley.

This exhibition features the contribution of Swedish and Norwegian immigrants to the sport of skiing and the construction of the first ski jumps in Smithers. Using homemade skis and poles, these pioneer skiing men and women fostered a passion for skiing in northern B.C.

This exhibition tells the story of the role of a special mountain in the winter sports culture of northern B.C.

Jan 15 to May 7, 2010

9 – 5pm, Monday – Friday
Admission by donation
Tour groups welcome

Bulkley Valley Museum, Smithers
Ph: (250)847-5322
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Website: http://www.bvmuseum.ca

February 8, 2010

Enter the silent auction to win Norman Leach as your dinner guest

Enter the silent auction to win Norman Leach as your
dinner guest on Sunday evening, Feb 14, 2010.

Share your guest, Norman Leach, acclaimed Canadian Historian
and author, with your family and friends for a
Valentine’s dinner.

Contact the BV Museum: Email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone:  (250) 847-5322

July 3, 2009

Museum Launches New Web Site

The BV Musuem, with the support of The Heritage Legacy Fund of BC, has commisioned the design of a new web site.  This site will be used to showcase current exhibits and cultural events at the Museum and within the Bulkley Valley.

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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!