Here's why you'll want to head to the New Westminster Museum

Spotlight On: New Westminster Museum

What’s happening?

The New Westminster Museum and Archives is opening its latest exhibition, The Heat Is On: Keeping Warm Then, Keeping Cool Now, on Thursday, Nov.7.  The opening reception, taking place at 6 p.m., features tours and a no-host bar.

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What’s the exhibition about?

This new exhibition looks at how we dealt with cold weather in the past – and how we can prepare for a hotter future. The Heat Is On: Keeping Warm Then, Keeping Cool Now runs until May 3, 2020.

“Co-curated with iconic fashion historian Ivan Sayers, the exhibition shows off winter wear alongside the warming gadgets of long ago, from stoves and clay pigs to ice boxes to some things better left in the past,” said a press release from the city. “Keeping warm was something you worked at in the old days. Back in those days, it was normal for little children to wield axes as they chopped wood, for your bedside glass of water to freeze overnight, and for fleas to infest your sawdust burner.”

The exhibition will also look at different ways that people around the world have for keeping warm or cool, asking how we can do a better job of keeping cool in light of climate change.

How does this exhibition tie in to climate change?

A series of associated programs are organized to enhance this feature exhibition, includingtwo Philosophers’ Café evenings about climate change. Climate Change and Recycling will take place on Jan. 13 and Climate Change and Cars will be on March 9. Stay tuned for more details.

Is the museum planning any other special events around this exhibition?

On March 5, Outtakes from the Heating Exhibitwill feature some of the fascinating stories that didn’t make it into the exhibition. On March 30, there will be a chance for folks to make their own environmentally friendly home-cleaning and garden products.

“The biggest highlight will be Ivan Sayers’ fashion show, Heartwarming, on Feb. 15 for Valentine’s Day weekend,” said the press release. “This lighthearted show will illustrate how women over the last century have dressed to keep warm or stay cool, but still remain chic. We will show everything from flannelette bloomers, miniskirts, and ski suits to dresses for the holiday escape.”

Further programming is being confirmed and will be updated on the museum website.

Details, please:

The New Westminster Museum is located in Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with extended hours on Thursdays to 8 pm). Admission is by donation. For more information, call 604-527-4640 or go to

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