New Westminster Museum serving up tasty exhibit

Spotlight on: New Westminster Museum

What’s happening?

The New Westminster Museum and Archives is focusing on food for its latest exhibit. You Are What You Eat: Community Food Security is running until Oct. 20 at the museum that’s located in Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St.

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“Food is about more than just meeting nutritional needs,” said Deanna Tan Francoeur, Fraser Health’s public health dietitian, who was involved in the development of the exhibit. “Not only does it nourish people but it connects people. I hope that visitors will think about food differently, more holistically. That they will think about what is the impact of food, not only on themselves as an individual but on our community as a whole.”

Why the focus on food?

Developed with an advisory group that included member of New West Community Food Action, Fraser Health and New West Farmers Market, the exhibit traces stores from the past and present to show how people in the community eat.

“One of the core messages of the exhibit is why food security is an issue in the city. One in seven New West residents live in poverty,” states a press release from the museum. “Other questions from the exhibit are: have you ever had trouble finding the foods you need to keep emotionally and physically well? When you find them, are you ever shocked at their quality, cost or availability?”

Tell us about the exhibit:

Along with historic photographs, the exhibit includes colourful vintage food packaging – and even a retro stove and fridge. The exhibit also features a small cookbook library, hands-on multicultural cooking utensils and a play garden.

As part of the exhibit that runs until the fall, the New Westminster Museum is working with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, family Services of Greater Vancouver, the New Westminster Community Gardening Society and Social Forum Hope to create some short films about eating in the city. In addition, a series of associated programs are being organized to enhance this exhibition. These include:

* Bugs ‘n Bees: Pollination Workshop. The UNIBUG program at Douglas College is leading this workshop, where attendees will explore the heritage gardens at Irving House and learn about identifying and counting pollinators, conducting garden surveys and understanding the benefits of garden insects. This all-ages program is on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. It’s free but registration (code 23295) is required.

* Face Value – Caffeine Skincare. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll be able to explore natural skincare using coffee and make an exfoliating coffee and coconut sugar scribe, a coffee and cream soap bar, a coffee butter lip balm and a replenishing, toning body oil – all to take home. All supplies are included in the $38.80 cost. It’s on Thursday, July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Anvil Centre. Register (code 22822) at 604-527-4640.

When can I check it out?

You Are What You Eat: Community Food Security runs until Oct. 20 at the New Westminster Museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m.) in Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. Admission is by donation. For more info, call 604-527-4640 or go to


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