The museum has a large collection of objects which reflect to a large extent the interests of the donors and of the curators who made decisions on acquisitions over the years in a similar way to many museums that were established in this way. The collection is nationally significant but much of it remains in storage due to a lack of exhibition space. The museum shares the building with the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
The museum was founded by the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver (AHSA), which formed on April 17, 1894, with the objective of cultivating "a taste for the beauties and refinements in life." Shortly after its inaugural meeting the AHSA opened its first temporary exhibition ('Paintings and Curiosities') in rented premises on the top floor of the Dunn Building on Granville Street, Vancouver. This exhibition triggered a series of donations to the new museum's collections which were mostly natural history or ethnographic in origin. The first recorded donation to the collection was of taxidermy - a stuffed Trumpeter Swan which was donated by Sydney Williams in 1895. Regular purchasing of artefacts for the collections of the AHSA began in 1898 and acquisitions were eclectic and multi-disciplinary reflecting the interests of the decision-makers rather than any strategic approach to collecting.
The Space Centre contains the Cosmic Courtyard which is a small exhibit space that features a variety of displays primarily related to space travel. These include scale models of space shuttles, rockets and even a genuine space suit. Other displays include one of only 5 touchable moon rocks in the world and you can also try your hand at lifting a real live meteorite.
The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is an astronomy museum located at Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The museum was opened on October 28th, 1968 containing the Planetarium Star Theatre. Today the museum includes an exhibit gallery and demonstration theatre where public lectures and events are hosted.
Outside is a sculpture by George Norris called The Crab. Norris's sculpture won a 1967 competition. The Space Centre originated as the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium until its re-branding in the 1990s when it expanded to include a space exhibit into one of the wings.
- Turn right out of the hostel and walk to Nelson St.
- Turn left on Nelson St until you reach Burrard St and catch bus #2 Macdonald.
- Stay on until you reach WB Cornwall Ave @ Cypress St and get off.
- Walk back towards the bridge until you reach Chestnut Ave and turn left onto Chestnut Ave.
- Follow it down and you'll reach the Space Centre.
Approx ~ 22 mins each way | Transit - $3.10 each way | Space Centre Tickets - $18.90 | Museum Tickets - $21.00