Posted by: Gala Milne on January 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Take Down The Giant Sign Now – a demand, yes, but also the name of a very concerned group of residents urging for the removal of the bright and blaring 1500 sq foot signs outside newly minted BC place. At MOV, it sounds very reminiscent of the storyline of our current exhibit, Neon Vancouver Ugly Vancouver. Except we probably won’t be celebrating the anniversary of digital signs in the same nostalgic way we look at Vancouver’s chic old neon signage. Happy birthday, neon tube!

In other land-use matters, things are heating up in Mt Pleasant too. The Rize development is hearing a lot of negative feedback from neighborhood residents worried about the future of affordability in the eastside; a frustration which, apparently, dates back centuries in our fair city.

Token words? A small, yet audacious, mayor and council on Vancouver Island is challenging the current legislation and casting a broad political net for the decriminalization of marijuana. We’d love your thoughts on this! While you’re debating the challenges and benefits, take a listen to up-and-coming, Pleasure Cruise, a brand new local indie-surf rock band. One thing's for sure, this city doesn’t lack artistic merit.

And neither does this museum in London, which is unveiling the world’s largest pieces of cloth made from spider silk.

MOVeum-related event: Re:generation – How we Move our City, Wednesday January 25.

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 17, 2012 at 2:07 am

If you’re anything like us, this week your social media feeds are full of black and white images of Dr. Martin Luther King II, and segments of the “I have a dream” video. At MOV we’re happy to celebrate the birthday of this influential man with the re-posting of an interview with Vancouver’s Derrick O’Keefe and a colleague of Dr. King’s, Jack O’Dell.

Our own living legend, David Suzuki, keeps the fight for equity alive in a letter to the federal Conservatives regarding the northern pipeline project, being pushed through without proper environmental assessment and community collaboration. A controversial issue in a city heavily populated by both industry workers and environmentalists.

…And arts-&-culture-workers! At the MOV we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the provincial Liberals as the decisions over gaming grants and their allocation to arts groups develops. I wonder… would gaming grants cover the costs for a gondola to the museum? Probably not, but it’s a neat (and expensive) idea for the ever-burgeoning life atop Burnaby Mountain.

Participants of a CUP student journalism conference in Victoria drummed up some good material this past weekend, as many were affected by a norovirus outbreak!

Apples to apples? A great podcast from This American Life this week, exposing the inner-workings of your iphone.

And if you’re looking for a way to get to know the Year of the Dragon, Sun Yat Sen gardens has a special exhibition of water dragon artifacts on now.

At the MOVeum: This week: BuiltCity Lecture Series: Nature, Urban Space & Biomimicry – Thursday January 19 // On the radar: History of the Drive – January 26

Posted by: Gala Milne on January 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Horse and buggy illustration (old school transit)New years resolution? Maybe do go for that jog and get your bum muscles prepared for some cycle commuting. Seems BC transit wants to increase our already ridiculously high bus fare rates, while elsewhere, innovative small businesses are figuring out ways to implement a bike sharing system in Vancouver that is conducive to our mandatory helmet laws.

Or – you can just take your laughs while you still can, and ride around public transit with your pants off until they listen!

It might even help you swing some romance in the so-called ‘cruel’ dating world of Vancouver. A recent article in VanMag has facebook and twitter alight with cat vs. dog understandings of what it’s like to find love in the city of glass. Reminds me of those videos we made a few years back citing the MOV as the perfect place for a date. What are your thoughts?

Up North, BC First Nations in Kitimaat Village, Hartley Bay, The Dogwood Initiative, and other so called “radical environmentalists” (as named by the Tories this week), are standing up for the future of their communities and the environment by participating loudly in the Northern Gateway hearings.

Down to the lower mainland, Vancouver Coastal Health is strongly considering the addition of supervised injection services at a number of its clinics.

Lastly, for a touch of mid-week inspiration, check out this rather inspiring list of the top 5 life wishes people regret during palliative care.

At the MOVeum: Come check out Neon Vancouver/ Ugly Vancouver!

(photo credit: B.C. Electric files at the Vancouver Archives.)

Posted by: Hanna Cho on December 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Originally slated to close on October 23, 2011, the coming close of on January 1, 2012, is bittersweet.  As one of the longest running exhibitions at the MOV, we'll be sad to see this beautiful and rich feature, disassembled.

Launched on May 5, 2011, Vancouver’s Bhangra Story was the culmination of over two years of collaborative research, a mini exhibit (April 2010), two community consultations, and hundreds of hours of primary research. was a collaboration with the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration, and was co-curated by community researcher Naveen Girn and MOV's Curator of Contemporary Issues Viviane Gosselin

Beginning with an unforgettable opening party on May 4, 2011 where over 500 people joinedVancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson plays the dhol special guest performers - including Mayor Gregor - in a vibrant celebration of this groundbreaking exhibition.

The research and collecting phase helped generate the first historical interpretation of Bhangra’s significance in Vancouver, and demonstrated its role as a cultural tool for inter-cultural bridging during labour disputes, challenging gender roles and re-imagining the definition of Canadian identity.

What the research, design, and curatorial team hoped to accomplish, was not just mount a beautiful exhibition displaying artefacts, but to use the exhibit itself, and related programming in order to catalyze new understandings about intercultural relations, hybrid identities, and strengthen community ties with(in) the South Asian community in Vancouver.

We're honoured to have Bhangra story mapworked with such amazing people, met so many great Bhangra fans, and we look forward to continuing to see, hear, and share Vancouver's bhangra stories on the Storymap!

For those of you who haven't seen the beautiful touchscreens inside the exhibition, this is one piece of the exhibit, that will live on, indefinitely.  We invite you to add your story to the map, by uploading a photo, anecdote, to what we hope will become the next natural gathering place for Bhangra fans around the world!

Representing another first for the Museum of Vancouver, this hybrid Drupal/Silverlight powered storymap was a collaboration made possible by a community sponsorship from Microsoft Canada, in particular the Open Platforms crew, lead by Nik Garkusha.  A neat mobile version of the storymap was developed for W7 Phones by Redbit.

In all, with just a week left in what has been a truly remarkable journey, we hope you'll come check it out here at MOV, listen and dance, tell us what you think, and continue the conversation online.

Balle balle!

Posted by: Gala Milne on December 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

It’s five days before “the big day” and you’re traveling home, cooking feasts, and franticly overspending on the perfect gift. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some kind of alternatives?Vancouver tool library

Folks in New York are sharing a few thrifty secrets with us: toy-sharing, tree-loaning, and tool-lending  are all the rage this year. Luckily for you, Vancouver has it’s own tool library.

Never really warmed up to the idea of tofurkey? Still looking for a holiday-bird alternative? Some careful digging on The Tyee tells us that 2012 might be the year we look forward to Schmeat, meat of the future. Once you realize how tasty it is you’ll be saying…

“All I want for xmas is my two front teeth!” However, the Federal government has just announced an early gift to Canadians: reduced health care transfer to the provinces! Ontario claims this will remove $21 billion in health care funding over the next 10 years and 8.2bn for Ontario alone. Maybe we’d better stay away from those shortbreads for a while.

For those of us who aren’t skipping town this week, this fantastic 1960’s Vancouver tourism video will have you know that Vancouver was the most happenin’ place for a date. On the other hand, maybe you’re stuck with a household of sibling rivalry this winter. In which case we’ve selected a podcast on “Nemeses” from This American Life to stick under your tree.

From the MOVeum: All the best and see you in the New Year!

Posted by: Gala Milne on December 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Moon cycleChocolates and shortbreads aside, we’ve selected a few tasty stories for you to chew this week as many of us prepare for winter hibernation in Vancouver. Unless, of course, you’re one of the many who aren’t so keen to kick it in this increasingly unlivable city. Vancouver is now deemed the 22nd ‘most livable’ city in Canada in ratio to family income. With the giant sea turtles washing ashore in Tofino and bears getting caught in our urban spaces, it seems even our wildlife can't survive long in the city.

Last refuge: space! For those of us awake Saturday morning at 5am, you might have been lucky to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse.

As forewarned, bright and early Monday morning, Occupy The Ports was carried out to varying degrees from Oakland to Portland to Vancouver, without the support of labour unions, and without much disturbance to regular port traffic in Vancouver

Calling all birders. Bird photographers are out in force and capturing their imagination is the impressive number of snowy owls that have made their appearance at Boundary Bay. Some 18 have been spotted at one time perched on logs and in the grasslands. It’s tough to see snowy owls any time of the year, let alone 18 in one place. They’ll be around all winter, but better to catch them now while they’re being seen.

Near the MOVeum: Migrating birds dropping in on Vancouver are at their height in December. A walk around Vanier Park (in Kitsilano) or Stanley Park will offer a lot of diversity, more so than any other time of year. Come visit the last weeks of while you're in the neighborhood, and maybe you'll spot the eagle that enjoys sitting on our roof!

[photo credit: "9//365", by Jeremy Saunders; "Winking Snowy Owl", by Pandamon via flickr]


Posted by: Gala Milne on December 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm

"All good things come to an end..." or do they?

The interactive storymap project has marked exciting new directions for the Museum of Vancouver in realizing the multiple ways in which we, as a community, can deepen our connections to one another.

For government, arts and culture organizations, and technologists alike, the challenge of storytelling has become more complex as we transition from the town square and into a web-based world. After the colourful walls come down at the end of December, wrapping up an extremely successful 7-month exhibition, the interactive storymap means that we are able to continue sharing personal tales of bhangra culture in Vancouver.


Borne of a conversation between the MOV's curator of audience engagement, Hanna Cho, and Nik Garkushka from Microsoft, a strong desire was hatched to bridge new forms of web-based and mobile tools with civic conversation around bhangra history in Vancouver. From there, the challenge would be developing the resources, knowledge and connections necessary to bring the storymap to life.

Lucky for us, Nik had a strong interest in using (excuse the jargon) MSFT tools around Silverlight to be inter-operable with Drupal and Open Source platforms, and commissioned Mark Arteaga of RedBit, and Aaron McGowan to create the customized map. Wildly exceeding our expectations, they not only created the online interface that drives, but they also developed the standalone mapping application that has been displayed inside the built exhibition space.

We are sincerely thankful to Nik, Mark, and Aaron for their finely tuned dedication to this project as well as the donation of the two touchscreen monitors that have been mounted in the exhibition.

The art of storytelling: revitalized

The next part of the storymap was completely up to you, as participants, to share your tears, laughter, and secret dance moves with the rest of the world. And you did! From mobile videos to written stories, photographs and slideshows of your personal moments with bhangra culture throughout its interesting history in the Northwest, we saw an entirely new form of social and historical connection take place at the Museum of Vancouver. A connection which saw you, the museum-goer, as directly involved in the make-up of the exhibition, as well as part of the greater cultural landscape that makes Vancouver so unique.

The MOV's first ever exhibition on the history of south-asian folk dance may be coming to a close, but your ability to share reflections, romances, and realities on your personal history with bhangra will continue to live on through the interactive online storymap.

Posted by: Gala Milne on December 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Enbridge mapWith the controversy surrounding the Gitxsan First Nation and the non-unanimous handshake with Endbridge in Northern BC, our thoughts this week at the MOV have a key focus on environmental justice.

As the Gitxsan community outlines, more frequently the language of apathy is turning to the language of uproar when it comes to the environment. As Hanna pointed out, teachers are speaking out against the “Catch $25” wherein public schools are increasingly financially immobilized by BC’s carbon neutrality goals in ways that local government, the private sector, and corporations are not.

Even The Muppets (yes, Kermit and Miss Piggy), are having their say on our global oil addiction in their latest movie, much to the chagrin of US FOX news broadcasters who state the Muppets are ‘brainwashing’ your kids with their liberal agenda!

All this action makes for exciting times, and in case you need some extra encouragement, here is a well-articulated TEDx talk about the Antidote to Apathy. Ultimately, this video asks us to stand up, and speak out – which is exactly what Michaelle Jean wants women to do in the effort to end violence against women on this 22nd anniversary of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.False Creek map

Concrete jungle – be gone! The City of Vancouver announced winners of the re:CONNECT urban viaduct design contest last week with entry no.71, a parks-and-public-places entry, as the most popular choice.

At the MOVeum: You’re invited to participate in the MOV’s public forum on food resiliency this Wednesday. In partnership with Vancouver Food Policy Council and Village Vancouver Transition Society, From Here to There: Food, Energy, and Resiliency in Vancouver starts at 5pm!

Posted by: Gala Milne on November 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Ever dreamed of exhibiting your photos at the MOV? Now is your chance.

The Museum of Vancouver is partnering with SPARC BC for a special exhibition of your photos on Vancouver’s “working world”. From tough trades, to tall towers, Working World: Diversity and Employment in Metro Vancouver, will showcase your unique perspective on this city’s intersection of work and diversity. The aim of the photo contest and exhibition is to cause people to reflect on what diverse workplaces and workplace diversity means to them, and what they see as key issues, strengths, new ways of thinking.

Working World by SPARC BCWHY: To challenge, support, and broaden the conversation on diversity in and of the workplace in Vancouver. Plus you could win $100- $1500 for your contribution.

WHO: Your photos as curated by members of SPARC BC and the Museum of Vancouver.

WHAT: A photojournalistic, documentary style approach to workplace diversity. Send one sample photo by January 6th. If your photo is selected, you will be asked to submit 15 additional photos on the same theme.

WHERE: Photos will be showcased in the community gallery at the Museum of Vancouver. Previous exhibits in this space include “Post No Bills: Vancouver’s Punk Family Tree” a collection of posters, LPs & photos from Vancouver’s early punk rock era. The community gallery achieves high viewer traffic as it is free and open to the public.

RCMPWHEN: Your submission of one photojournalistic style image, photo description, CV, and artist statement are due by January 6, 2012 at 4:30pm. Once your sample photo is selected, photographers will be asked to submit 15 additional photos by mid-February. Selected images will be on display April 2012.

Contact: Katie McCallum at
Info + Submission Guidelines:

Photos: Brett Beadle

Posted by: Viviane Gosselin on November 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm
Sex Talk in the City exhibition blog
We had a great meeting last week with the Sex Talk in the City Advisory Committe. It was packed with action and thinking. Now I'm asking members of the committee to contribute to the blog and share their thoughts on the development of the exhibition.
Here is an idea from Greg Smith, Executive Director at Options for Sexual Health, that meeting participants were quite responsive to:

I’d like the people who come to write down a hang-up they have about sex — quite literally on one of those paper-covered hangers we get at the dry cleaner’s — and hang it up in a kind of closet at the door. Anonymously, of course.  If they still have the hang-up when they leave the exhibition, they’ll be encouraged to take it home.  Otherwise I’d like them to leave it behind. Read the full post.

Join in the conversation on Twitter: @xtalkinthecity #xtalkMOV




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