The Port Coquitlam Heritage
and Cultural Society
150-2248 McAllister Avenue
Port Coquitlam, BC
Our MISSION is to engage the public through offering informational and enjoyable programs and displays that highlight the unique and special history of Port Coquitlam and surrounding area.
Our VISION is that visitors will feel enriched and more deeply connected to the roots of Port Coquitlam.
We are Port Coquitlam's multi-use heritage facility, incorporating a museum space, community archives and program/presentation space. We are located in The Outlet at Leigh Square, adjacent to City Hall, main access off McAllister Street.
See our Events Calendar for Current Open Hours.
The Museum and Archives is operated by PoCo Heritage, a registered not for profit society. We offer two to three different exhbits per year. Most of our exhibits are geared towards Port Coquitlam and area history in the context of broader events. We are all about researching and telling the stories from our past hence we call ourselves the place "Where Stories Connect". We also highlight our First Nations and Natural History.
The next exhibit in our "PoCo Stories" series. We are starting to put together profiles of some of Port Coquitlam's great athletes, teams, venues and events. Stay tuned for more...
The next installment in our popular Natural History series. Stay tuned for more details.
Our main display area includes semi-permanent and rotating exhibits and displays that tell various aspects of the story of Port Coquitlam and area. Main features;
Our volunteers are always happy to try and accomodate tours of our Museum and Archives. We may be small but we pack a lot of good information into our little space. To date we have co-ordinated tours for school groups, seniors groups, immigrant/ESL groups as well as other service groups. The feedback so far has been great! Sometimes we can even combine historic downtown walking tours with our museum tours. Our exhibits typically change 2-3 times per year so theres always something new going on. Admission is free however for co-ordinated tours we may ask for a small donation on a per-person basis. Generally speaking we can accomodate no more than about 15 people at one time in the museum space. To request a group tour please Contact Us with the details of your group.
Our volunteers also maintain the official community archives for Port Coquitlam. These archives are comprised of photos, newspaper articles, official city records, artwork, artifacts and other historical items. Over time, and as budgets permit, many of these items are being digitized so that they can be easily reproduced as images and can be searched on our website. Soon we will be adding a public research area where members of the public can access some of this content through a computer workstation and a small library of books and magazines. When volunteers are on-site they can assist with research requests. A small fee may be charged for these requests.
Our space in The Outlet contains a small central open area that will be used for programs and presentations, such as our "Evenings at the Museum". When this space is not in use for programs the "Kidz Zone" will be available. This area will offer heritage themed games, books and art projects for children 4 and older. When volunteers are available parents can browse the museum while their children enjoy the Kidz Zone. Just look for "Redd" the salmon with his conductor hat.
Subject to change as new exhibits are introduced.
To combine the existing community archives space with the currently vacant space in the Outlet building of the Leigh Square Community Arts Village and create an engaging, heritage focussed space that will fulfill our mission and vision.
To facilitate a connection between the story tellers and the audience for those stories.
We will do this not only through creation of content which helps to tell the story but also by the creation of programming which helps to create that connection, and by bringing the stories out to the community at large.
For many years it has been the goal of The Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society (PoCo Heritage) to operate a high calibre heritage centre within the community of Port Coquitlam. As our organization has evolved and new members have brought specific skill sets to our society we have been able to put team structures in place towards this goal. Fundraising efforts specific to operating a heritage centre were begun four years ago. This was in addition to, and segregated from, our normal fundraising to support operations.
In February of 2009, our new mayor Greg Moore heralded a change in direction for the role of heritage within our city when he made the following declaration at a heritage fundraising event. "Tonight, I am pleased to announce a new directive that will foster a new philosophy to help the City preserve our community's heritage assets -- it is called Heritage First." The mayor went on to say "...together we can work towards the goal of opening the Port Coquitlam Museum on March 7, 2013."
In 2010 and 2011 the City of Port Coquitlam in conjunction with PoCo Heritage, the public and other community partners, held a series of public workshops and information sessions around the city's Heritage Strategic Plan. These sessions were facilitated by one of the area's most authoritative experts on heritage resource management. The outcome of these sessions is being used as part of the basis for our displays, exhibits and programming.
In early 2011 a space (approximately 1,000 sq ft.) became available immediately adjacent to, and in the same complex as the existing Community Archives, which are already operated by PoCo Heritage. The City of Port Coquitlam put out a request for expressions of interest for this space and shortly after that PoCo Heritage filed a comprehensive submission. The motion to move forward on our EOI submission was subsequently approved by city council in November of 2011.
The budget and (ten year) Partnership Agreement were approved by city staff and passed by Council on May 28, 2012. This paved the way for the project to proceed. Demoltion work began in November of 2012 and was completed in early January 2013. In September of 2012 we received confirmation of a significant contribution agreement from the Department of Canadian Heritage as part of their "Building Communities through Arts and Heritage" program, under which we were approved to receive approximately $97,000 in matching funds to support the project.
Over the space of the next few months the all-volunteer project team worked with dozens of artists, craftsmen, fabricators and other parties to get the new facility ready for the grand opening to coincide with Port Coquitlam's 100th birthday on March 7, 2013. The team put in well over 3,000 hours of volunteer time in order to bring this vision to reality. Heritage at Leigh Square opened on schedule to rave reviews in the community.
Our Government understands the importance of celebrating this country’s rich historical heritage, which helps define who we are as Canadians and is important to our communities, our identity, and our economy.
This is why we are proud to be a part of the new Port Coquitlam Heritage Centre. This exciting project, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the city’s incorporation, is helping create a lasting legacy for future generations. As we approach Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, we have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate everything that makes Canada such a remarkable country. In 2013, Port Coquitlam will not only look back on 100 years of proud accomplishments, but also set a course for the future.
On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I would like to thank the Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society and everyone who helped make the new Port Coquitlam Heritage Centre a reality.
|PoCo Heritage recognizes that in order for a facility of this type to be successful in today's world it needs to be about more than just telling the story of our community through static displays and exhibits. The other key ingredient is the programs and activities we can offer, both at the facility as well as through community outreach. A key part of this strategy will be to, as much as possible, work with local schools to come up with programming that is of interest and educational value to our children. Well in advance of this we will work in consultation with other groups, to determine the types of programming they would like to see, as well as the optimum scheduled times and locations for this programming. Some of these groups could include (but are not limited to);|
In addition, as part of the Leigh Square Community Arts Village, there is potential for many synergies between Heritage and the Arts, Culture and Leisure departments, as well as groups organizing community festivals. One example could be a program where children could learn about local history and culture and then participate in art workshop where they could create artwork from their own cultures and family backgrounds. Significant efforts will be made to increase our reach beyond our traditional audiences to offer programs and events that will appeal to other demographics.
If you or your local group is interested in working with us on programming ideas, please contact PoCo Heritage.
Aggie Park bandstand, based on original artwork by Arlene Connolly
Mission: Our mission is to engage the public through offering informational and enjoyable programs and displays that highlight the unique and special history of Port Coquitlam and surrounding area.
Vision: Visitors will feel enriched and more deeply connected to the roots of Port Coquitlam.
Values: We recognize and appreciate that our strength and sustenance as a not-for-profit organization is derived from our volunteers, our members and public support. We hope that by continuing to enthusiastically pursue our mission we will contribute to the overall enrichment of the community at large.
Hours and Admission
The centre will be open to the public the same hours as the Outlet within the Leigh Square Community Arts Village.
Admission to the facility will be free to everyone however we will gladly accept donations in our strategically located donation box. Special programming and events may be subject to fees, in order to cover our costs.
Staffing and Volunteers
Displays and exhibits will be designed to be secure with minimal oversight by volunteers or staff, however even when volunteers or staff are not present there are city staff present within the building. Initially, we have committed to have volunteers available at the facility approximately 30 hours per week. Details of the schedule are in progress. At some point, if operational funding can be secured we hope to employ a staff person to handle the day to day administration of the facility. If you, or someone you know may be interested in volunteering with PoCo Heritage please let us know.
As discussed above displays and exhibits will be designed with an eye towards flexibility and sustainability. We recognize that in order to create repeat visits the facility has to offer new and exciting content on a regular basis. The goal would be to have visitors, on every subsequent visit, always discover something they have not seen before. We will achieve this in part by utilizing movable panels and re-configurable displays as well as active and fresh multimedia content. In addition, an area will be set aside for seasonal or special exhibits. This location will have high visibility from the street and may even from time to time include active displays such as arts and crafts projects in progress.
Programming will continue to be an active part of what we do - connecting the story tellers to their audiences. We have a fair amount of experience in this area and will continue to involve new members who have connections to other community groups, as well as work within the existing, arts, culture and leisure groups to create and take advantage of synergies where they may exist. We will look to obtain feedback from visitors and audiences and review this feedback on an annual basis to ensure we are meeting the needs of the community.
This project owes its success to a long list of sponsors and volunteers. We have tried to list as many of them as possible here;
Corporate and Organizational Donors
Some donors have requested to stay anonymous and we are deeply appreciative of their support as well as that of many others who have supported us through our fundraising efforts over the years.
Volunteer Project Team
Morley and Gerry Deans, Margaret Follis, Norma Gillespie, John Hansen, Eurilda Larsen, Ray Melville, Bryan Ness, Ann and Bill Pratt, Fritz Radandt, Linda Sliworsky and Pippa Van Velzen