Welcome back! Changes and new programs at the Museum


Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History re-opened to the public on June 4 after a closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. With new hours and strict health and safety measures in place, staff, volunteers and visitors can once again enjoy the gallery and museum spaces, visit the archives, and purchase wares from over 100 local vendors in the shop (also available online). We are thrilled to welcome you back to our space!

Over the last number of years, the staff and board at Touchstones Nelson Museum have been working hard to create and maintain a space for challenging conversations about art, history, and ongoing injustice and racism, in Canada, and beyond. Through education, programs, exhibitions, speaker series, and discussions, our team works to create change in our community. We always seek to learn and grow, even when – and especially when – it means turning a spotlight on ourselves. We acknowledge that all museums are rooted in colonialism, and that we have a great deal of work left to do in our forward momentum towards a deep and meaningful paradigm shift.

The current political and social landscape has given new urgency to the continuation of the work that had been started prior to the pandemic. We will continue to host exhibitions by BIPOC Canadian artists, offer programs designed by Touchstones Nelson Museum Indigenous Educator Lesley Garlow, in collaboration with local Indigenous Elders and regional Indigenous Nations, and work with community educators to provide students with a deeper understanding of this region’s complex, and often tumultuous, history.

Red Ribbon Round It:
How the Indian Act Enshrouds Local History, Past, Present, Future

One step that we have undertaken is Red Ribbon Round It, an interventionist exhibition currently on display in the Museum Exhibition on the second floor of Touchstones Nelson Museum. The exhibition opened on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, and closes on July 5, 2020.
With this exhibition, the Museum is taking a closer look at the realities of oppressive policies that affected and continue to affect Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike. We take a look at the legislation that Indigenous people live under every day today, specifically looking at the Indian Act and its relationship to our area.

Discuss Hope. For the future. For all of us.

This installation was developed by Lesley Garlow, Museum Indigenous Educator.

We have also launched Community Cabinets, a new program that invites community members to curate a space with their own collections; creating space for expression and exemplifying that a personal collection, developed over years or decades, is as valuable as a collection amassed from a boisterous art auction floor. Read more

To invite more voices into our space, we have expanded the Little Library  to include Storytime in the Little Library, featuring books from Flamingo Rampant, a book publisher who focuses on feminist, racially-diverse, LGBTQ2S positive children’s books. Children are opened minded, creative individuals who want to see the possibilities for their lives and the lives around them reflected in their games, books and stories. Reading beautiful books about a life like or unlike their own creates opportunity for positive growth and reflection. Storytime in the Little Library, is a recorded read-a-long series for children including the following books: “M is for Mustache”; “47,000 Beads”, “It’s a Wild World”, and “Is that for a Boy or for a Girl?”. Each book will also be available for purchase in the Museum Shop. The Museum Shop is now available online!

New Hours:
Thursday: 12-8pm (Free admission 4-8pm)
Friday to Sunday, 12-4pm
The first hour is reserved for the immunocompromised.

Welcome back!

Astrid Heyerdahl, M.A., M.Ed.
Executive Director
Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History

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