The Royal BC Museum plans to share more of its massive collection and knowledge with the farthest reaches of the province, by making more travelling exhibits.
Kate Kerr, travelling exhibits coordinator at the RBCM, says she loves visiting small and remote communities with the museum’s portable presentations.
“So we’re so fortunate at the Royal BC Museum to have literally millions of artifacts and so much information and knowledge that we want to share. I make some exhibits with the team that works there at the museum, and then I load the truck and I hit the road and I take it out to communities all around the province.”
There are currently several exhibits on the road right now. Kerr says a new phase started at the museum in 2016 with an exhibit about the First World War.
“There are three versions of ‘Our Living Languages’. It’s about Indigenous languages in B.C.,” says Kerr. “B.C. is a hotspot for indigenous languages. There’s a lot of communities that are working really hard to revitalize the language. It’s got the background of why languages are endangered.”
Kerr adds, the ‘Gold Mountain Dream!’ exhibit is also touring the province, which is about the Chinese immigrant experience in the gold rush in British Columbia.
There are many challenges when building exhibits that can withstand tough travel to remote communities of the province.
The museum’s newest exhibit, showcasing edible mushrooms of British Columbia, had a test run in Saanich at the Swan Lake Nature House.
“What I like to do as a travelling exhibits coordinator is to take [the exhibits] somewhere a little closer to make sure that it works well in a space that it holds up in a truck because I’m literally driving these things over bumpy roads. I need to make sure that they can last and that I can set it up, just me, arriving at a venue and that it looks great,” says Kerr.
The museum has plans to create more travelling exhibits, which can be booked, over the next few years.Kerr must travel a lot in her job but says she enjoys it.
“One of the great parts about my job is I do get to go out to all these communities. I get to set it up and then the best part is I get to see people interacting with the exhibits, which really makes it special. A lot of my coworkers don’t get to see that.”