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North Vancouver's new museum MONOVA sets opening date

Museum exhibition space on Esplanade has been decades in the making
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North Vancouver's historic Streetcar 153, fully restored, sits ready for MONOVA, the Museum of North Vancouver's, first visitors.

It’s been a long time coming. MONOVA, the Museum of North Vancouver, is opening its doors to the public on Dec. 4.

“We’re excited to welcome the community into this incredible new museum,” said MONOVA director Wesley Wenhardt in a release. “I look forward to strengthening and building new relationships in the community, especially those with the Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh and Səlí̓ lwətaɬ Nations. I’m excited to learn more about the community of North Vancouver and honoured to work with the Museum and Archives team on the launch of North Vancouver’s newest cultural attraction.”

The museum’s collection includes more than 9,000 artifacts, carefully curated to be relevant to the area’s past and future.

The showpieces at the main entrance are North Vancouver’s historic Streetcar 153, which has been meticulously restored, and a cedar carving of Sch’ich’iyuy (The Two Sisters) by Squamish Nation carver Wade Baker.

Permanent exhibits include an Indigenous welcome circle featuring Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh artifacts, women in wartime and a history of the North Shore’s shipbuilding industry, a section dedicated to residential school survivors and their families, our outdoor recreation culture, sports history, and interactive displays targeted at kids.

A feature exhibition gallery is expected to open early in 2022.

Plans for a new museum have been in the works for decades. In 2016, the City of North Vancouver struck an agreement with developer Polygon to include 16,000 square feet of space in a new building on Carrie Cates Court exclusively for the new museum.

When it opens at 115 West Esplanade, MONOVA will be a major component in the City of North Vancouver’s cultural hub in The Shipyards district.

“Showcasing our rich culture and history in today’s modern, vibrant, and dynamic community is important for all people,” said Mayor Linda Buchanan. “MONOVA represents another important addition to the cultural precinct in Lower Lonsdale that the city has committed to fostering. A tremendous amount of work has brought us to this grand opening and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

For the winter months, the museum will be open from Thursday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission will be free on the first day. After that, it will cost $10 for youth, $12 for seniors and $14 for adults. Annual passes and family tickets are also available.

The community’s archives will remain at their current location in the Community History Centre on Lynn Valley's Institute Road.

Funding for the $7.6-million MONOVA, came from the city, the province and the federal government with the Friends of the NVMA Society’s Comprehensive Campaign, raising $1.5 million in donations.