A deer pokes through the gardens at Beacon Hill Park. The Royal BC Museum is asking residents for submissions about their observations of nature and wildlife during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

The Royal BC Museum (RBCM) wants British Columbians to share their observations on nature during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submissions will become part of the museum’s COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time, a project launched in April seeking resident-submitted photos, objects and perspectives capturing the legacy of the unprecedented global pandemic and its impact on people, places and society at large.

The museum’s latest request asks the public to consider two questions: “Since the pandemic reached British Columbia, what are you seeing in nature that’s changing? What has been your personal experience of nature during the pandemic?”

To submit answers, residents can use the museum’s online submissions form at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

RBCM CEO Jack Lohman says the project highlights perspectives from ordinary people as they live through “extraordinary times.”

“As a museum of human and natural history, we welcome British Columbians to share their experiences of nature during the pandemic,” he said in a statement.

RELATED: Royal BC Museum asks for pandemic stories, photos for COVID-19 exhibit

Since its first call-out, RBCM has received hundreds of tales, thoughts, photos and videos from across the province. A selection of those submissions can be viewed online at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. RBCM says it will continue to archive pandemic stories as B.C. moves through its Restart Plan.

And as submissions pour in for the long-term project, the museum presents a new display in its Pocket Gallery, highlighting the province’s intercultural history and the resilience of those who built legacies on B.C. soil.

The exhibit, called A Tale of Two Families, chronicles two families – one Chinese-Canadian and the other French-Canadian – as they struggle and thrive from the gold rush era onward into the Great Depression and times of Chinese exclusion. The Louis-Seto and Guichon families are known in the province for roles in politics and business.

“This inspired exhibition fills a significant gap in our province’s historical accounts,” Lohman said. “Due to historical exclusion and colonial record-keeping practices, few non-Indigenous families from minority groups can trace their family histories across multiple generations.”

The exhibit is free to visit and is on display in museum’s main hall. It comes on the heels of a Fan Tan Alley exhibit celebrating Victoria’s Chinatown – the oldest Chinatown in Canada.

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RELATED: First Canadian porcupine fish highlights Royal BC Museum rarities


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