Museum brings Gold Mountain Dream! to Vernon

Greater Vernon Museum & Archives hosts travelling exhibit from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria

  • Oct. 4, 2017 5:30 a.m.

The Greater Vernon Museum &Archives is about to strike gold, thanks to the opening of a travelling exhibit from the Royal B.C. Museum, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History.

Gold Mountain Dream! opens Oct. 21 and runs to Feb. 24.

“It is a fascinating account of adventure, heartbreak and social upheaval,” said Denise Marsh, marketing and communications coordinator at the Vernon museum. “See how the gold rush not only changed the landscapes and lives in B.C., but how this monumental event changed China, as people flocked to a rugged land in search of fortune.”

The British Columbia gold rush of 1858 is a significant event in the creation of a province and the unification of a country, but its repercussions stretched far beyond the borders of what was to become Canada.

The Gold Mountain Dream! exhibition explores how the gold rush not only changed the landscapes and lives in B.C., but how this monumental event changed China, as people flocked to a rugged land in search of fortune.

Gold Mountain Dream! tells the personal stories and sacrifices of Chinese migrants in the 1850s as they landed on British Columbia shores in search of gold.

“This is an extremely significant chapter in both the history of B.C. and the history of Guangdong Province,” said Royal BC Museum CEO Jack Lohman. “This exhibition brings to life this shared history for a new generation, and is a fitting tribute to the courage and tenacity of our ancestors.”

Through archival photographs and detailed storytelling, Gold Mountain Dream! tells the story of how everything changed during this era, as class and racial barriers were broken down and people seized the opportunities that glittered before them.

Previously, Gold Mountain Dream! was displayed at the Guangdong Museum of Chinese Nationals Residing Abroad in Guangzhou, China, as part of a series of cultural exchange activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the twinning relationship between B.C. and Guangdong Province.

Gold Mountain Dream! is made possible through the support of the Government of British Columbia, the Francis Kermode Group, Tourism Victoria and the Royal BC Museum Foundation. The B.C. government contributed $200,000 to this exhibition and to other projects related to the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative. This exhibition was proudly supported by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver.

Gold Mountain Dream! will be on display Oct. 21 to Feb. 24 at the Greater Vernon Museum &Archives, 3009-32nd Ave. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is by donation. For more information, please call 250-542-3142.

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