Cities are the ultimate conglomerations, existing as both the collections of people, institutions, and locations that currently compose them as well as the memories of all of the bygone inhabitants that came before. Without some concept of that past, current-day residents are hard-pressed to really understand their present. Fortunately, the historians at Museum of Vancouver keep visitors in the know with expertly curated exhibits revealing the unforgettable events that shaped the city's character. Rotating exhibits each year showcase introspective works. 2014's feature exhibit, Rewilding Vancouver, explores humankind's relationship with nature through the lens of Vancouver's historical ecology. Complete with area taxidermy specimens, 3D models, soundscapes, videos, and photo interventions, visitors encounter Vancouver's dominant species, fish-bearing streams underneath city streets, and a life-sized creation of the now-extinct Steller’s Sea Cow. Additionally, the Museum of Vancouver’s history galleries tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s through the late 1970s.
Helmed by Artistic Director Leila Getz, the Vancouver Recital Society has drawn internationally acclaimed artists to British Columbia for more than three decades. Over the years, the society has dazzled audiences with concerts by celebrity cellist Yo-Yo Ma and recitals by violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. With recitals spread across four of Vancouver’s most esteemed venues, the Vancouver Recital Society packs every season with esteemed and seasoned luminaries, while introducing audiences to future generations of classical royalty.
240 East Cordova Street used to be the address where Vancouver’s police officers, morticians, judges, and dead converged. The building, which was built in 1932, served as the city’s coroner’s court and morgue until the 1980s and the city analyst’s lab until 1995. Countless toxicology tests and several high-profile investigations have taken place between the building’s walls, including the Castellani Milkshake Murder and Errol Flynn’s autopsy. Fittingly, given the building’s significance to Vancouver's criminal-justice history, it is now home to the Vancouver Police Museum.
To date, the museum staff has curated a selection of approximately 20,000 historical artifacts, including confiscated weapons, counterfeit currency, photographs, paperwork, and vintage police vehicles. Currently, 40 per cent of the collection is on display in the museum’s several exhibits, one of which allows visitors to explore a coroner’s forensic lab. The museum also offers educational programs such as walking tours and a two-hour forensic-science program. During this program, guests scour a faux crime scene for clues and try to prevent the brash, young rookie cop from running off into the night to find the perpetrator.