Rewilding Vancouver at the Museum of Vancouver

This exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver inspired visitors to imagine a wilder city.
April 30, 2014

The Rewilding Vancouver exhibition from February 27, 2014 to September 1, 2014 at the Museum of Vancouver inspired visitors to imagine a wilder city.at the Museum of Vancouver that explores the city’s natural history. The exhibit provides a historical context to the city’s current revitalization plans, like its bold campaign to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.


Listen to a podcast with Debbie Douez, Director of Development & Marketing at the Museum of Vancouver.

Guest curator J.B. MacKinnon, journalist and author of The 100-Mile Diet, invites visitors to explore Vancouver as it was before humans so drastically altered its natural environment. As visitors enter the exhibit, they’ll note some familiar taxidermy specimens, and some not-so-familiar recreations – like “Lumpy,” the 25 foot papier-mâché sea cow suspended from the ceiling. MacKinnon also encourages visitors to imagine a “wilder” city using multimedia soundscapes, videos and playful photo interventions.

“In order to imagine how green a place can be, you really need to understand the natural history or ecological history of a place,” explains Debbie Douez, Director of Development & Marketing at the Museum of Vancouver. “James MacKinnon is helping us remember what our ecological history was, so we can talk about what it might be or what we might want to have back.”

Founded in 1894 by the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver, the Museum of Vancouver re-branded in 2009 with a more focused mandate to tell the history of the city. The museum has also emerged as a forum where Vancouverites can engage with their city’s history and current issues.

“Traditionally museums have been content experts, serving up the content to the public in the way that they feel is best,” Debbie explains. “We’ve turned that model upside down so that now when we do exhibitions, we go through a deep public engagement process where we bring in guest curators, we have advisory committees for every exhibition, and people bring content to us. We want to make sure we’re relevant and reflective of what people want.”

Rewilding Vancouver runs until September 1, 2014. Visit MuseumofVancouver.ca for more information.

Preview the exhibit through the photo gallery below. Photos by Flora Gordon, Museum of Vancouver Attached. Image captions provided by guest curator J.B. MacKinnon.

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