Spotlight on: New Westminster Museum and Archives

What’s happening?

The New Westminster and Museum and Archives has unveiled its latest exhibition, Be/Longing, which blends five immersive artworks with community-selected artifacts and stories to explore the layered meaning of home and belonging in contemporary New Westminster. It’s running at the museum until Oct. 7.

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What is home?

“Home exudes more than a place where we sleep, eat and keep our things,” said a press release from the museum. “Home can be a place of belonging, where safety, security and identity are upheld. At a time of increased immigration and displacement, home might be a new and challenging place. Home may also be on unceded territories. As part of the Canada 150 anniversary, the City of New Westminster brought together a collection of cultural projects centred on the concept of home.”

What’s included?

Projects in Be/Longing include Emilie Crewe’s Tributaries, Michelle Williams’ Home is Where the Heart(Beat) Is, Annie Briard’s Pop-Up Home, Beverly Walker and New Works’ Home Cabaret, as well as works from the Your Story: Write, Draw, Share and Show workshop led by Surrey poet laureate Renee Sarojini Saklikar and New Westminster poet laureate Alan Hill.

“New Westminster is absolutely my home base because I lived there for so long,” said Sarojini Saklikar, who was also interviewed for the project. “And yet for me, home is this amorphous, shifting, complex being-state, that is really linked to place, both physical and what we bring with our imaginations.”

A series of programs aimed an enhancing this exhibition include a walking tour in the summer.

Tell me more:

A press release states that each artist and community member involved in the exhibition drew upon everyday items, from wind chimes to woven blankets, to illuminate complete patterns of being and belonging.

“This exhibition shows how everyday objects and images have the latent power to tell us more about who we are,” said guest curator Kate Petrusa. “It also shows how to better understand big ideas like identity, inclusion, discrimination, and injustice, in a colonial society.”

Details, please:

The New Westminster Museum is located in Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (and until 8 p.m. on Thursdays). Admission is by donation. Info at 604-527-4640 or

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