10 ways to explore our working roots

Britannia Mine Museum, Squamish
One of the largest copper mines in the British Commonwealth back in the 1930s, now the Britannia Mine is a place to ride an underground mine train, pan for gold, see a 20-storey concentrator mill, and check out a gallery full of minerals and gems. This year’s Copper & Fire Arts event showcasing crafts derived from mined materials “of the earth” is Sunday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with guided tours every 30 minutes.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Richmond
Once the leading producer of canned salmon in B.C. and now one of the few remaining 19th century salmon canneries in the province, the museum explains the history of Canada’s West Coast fishing industry through guided tours and interactive exhibits. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Revelstoke Railway Museum
Housed in a contemporary building that resembles a rail yard back shop with a stylized version of a water tower, the museum has a large collection of artifacts, historical photographs, artwork, and full-sized rolling stock, including a steam locomotive built for mountain work. Open May 1 to October 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Vancouver Maritime Museum
Located in Vanier Park just west of False Creek, the museum’s main exhibit is the St. Roch, an arctic exploration vessel used by the RCMP. The museum also has lots of model ships, a recreation of the fo’c’sle (forecastle) of Captain George Vancouver’s ship Discovery, the NASA undersea research vessel Ben Franklin and the boiler of the Beaver, the first steamship in the Pacific Northwest. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labour Day.

BC Orchard Industry Museum, Kelowna
The oldest fruit packinghouse in B.C. operated until the 1970s. See how women working the packing line loaded 160 boxes a day and learn about packing, picking and growing fruit. Now the Laurel Packinghouse is also home to the BC Wine Museum.
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday (and Labour Day) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Comox Air Force Museum
Celebrating the history of 19 Wing Comox and West Coast Canadian military aviation from 1917 to the present, the museum has a heritage air park exhibiting vintage aircraft. Open daily except Mondays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum, Prince George
With a mix of trains, chainsaws and really big forestry equipment used in Prince George’s early logging days, the museum offers an opportunity to go inside a beehive burner, tour Penny Station and ride on the Cottonwood mini rail. Open year round, hours vary depending on the season.

BC Farm Museum, Fort Langley
The largest collection of pioneer artifacts in Western Canada includes tractors, carriages and small engines plus a textile room with an old loom and sewing machines, working windmills and a large steam engine. On Labour Day, watch a rope-making demonstration, egg grading and tomato sorting. Open through September 30, daily except Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Maritime Museum of B.C., Victoria
Check out the interactive Franklin exploration exhibit developed by Parks Canada, try an interactive knot board and explore the Pacific Northwest through journals of Captain James Cook and Captain George Vancouver. The museum has CPR steamship models, 35,000 ships’ plans, 2,000 maps and charts, and 40,000 photographs plus a fleet of three boats, each with unique historical significance to B.C.  Open daily until September 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

BC Interior Forestry Museum, Revelstoke
Located four kilometres north of Revelstoke, the museum has a replica fire tower plus a large selection of old machinery, including many chainsaws and one of the first snowmobiles. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am. to 5 p.m.