Here are some ways to celebrate Heritage Week in New Westminster

There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate Heritage Week 2020 in the Royal City.

The city has proclaimed Feb. 17 to 23 as Heritage Week and encourages citizens to celebrate the week by connecting with the natural spaces, experiences and people of New Westminster.

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“This year's theme inspires one to discover all those elements of our community that make its identity unique and its people strong;  its creativity and innovations, its accomplishments and beliefs, its special and natural spaces, its cultural expressions, and its position within a larger urban region,” said Rob McCullough, the city’s manager of museums and heritage services. “These characteristics and many others all combine to make up our city's heritage, and through respecting them we contribute to a more compassionate and inclusive community.”

The theme of Heritage Week 2020 is Bringing the Past into the Future. It’s inspired by a UNESCO statement asserting that "Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and we pass on to future generations" and that, "Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration, our touchstone, our reference point, our identity."

The city’s museums and heritage services department has some suggestions on ways New West residents can celebrate Heritage Week.

* Attend the Coastal Dance Festival from Feb. 25 to March 1 to experience the stories, songs and dances of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast. Many of the performances are at Anvil Centre – www.anvilcentre.com.

* Check out the natural restoration work taking place in Glenbrook Ravine Park and enjoy one of the city’s most beautiful and tranquil spaces.

* Walk upper 12th Street to discover one of the most unique and culturally diverse business areas in the city.

* Attend the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society’s AGM or take a self-guided virtual walking tour that the society has done for the city. Details at newwestheritage.org.

* Visit the New Westminster Museum’s featured exhibition An Ocean of Peace: 100 Years of Sikhs in New Westminster.

* Attend the Global Tea Room with Cassius Khan: Bosnia Music and Tea with Zelko Krakan. It’s at Massey Theatre on Feb. 23 from 3 to 5 p.m.

* Participate in Family Day activities taking place throughout the city on Monday, Feb. 16, including Anvil Centre, River Market and Fraser River Discovery Centre, Samson V Maritime Museum and parks and rec facilities.

* Attend the monthly meeting of the New Westminster Historical Society, which features a Heritage Week lecture. It’s on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the New Westminster Public Library.

* Join teachers from the Spirit of the Children Society at the New Westminster Public Library on Feb. 19 from 2 to 2:30 p.m. for a circle time program featuring stories, songs and drumming.

* Check out the Museum of the Westminster Regiment on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons. It’s located in the Armoury at 530 Queens Ave.

* Attend a Heartwarming Historic Fashion Show, presented by guest curator Ivan Sayers, on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Anvil Centre. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students (register at 604-527-4640.)

* Attend Flight of the Hummingbird, an Indigenous parable being presented at Massey Theatre by Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria. It’s on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. Tickets and info at www.masseytheatre.com.

“I’d like to encourage everyone to come out during Heritage Week to enjoy these opportunities and take in our heritage together,” McCullough said.

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