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Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada

Learning Experiences

Welcome to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, a living museum, full of sounds, images and artifacts waiting to greet you. Enter and learn how Canada's West Coast fishing industry developed. A walk through its history will bring you face to face with the Chinese, Japanese, First Nations and European fishermen and plant workers who toiled long hours, side by side, to keep up with the mountains of sockeye which were once processed in the "monster cannery".


With your first steps into the lobby you are surrounded by the sounds of clattering tin cans, the rhythmic hum of long-retired machines, and the voices of once labouring workers. Large archival photographs and fishing nets transport you into the time when workers rushed amongst the loud and steamy galleries to meet daily quotas. Lights on an immense map display the wealth of canneries that once dotted British Columbia's coasts …Don't forget to punch your time card at the old cannery time clock!


Learn about seining, gillnetting, trolling, longlining, trawling and trap fishing, and identify the types of equipment and gear necessary to fish in these ways. Various interactive displays, artifacts and archival photographs set you in the mood to step into the wheelhouse of a commercial fishing troller, then explore the galley, the living space where crewmates spent long hours alternating between frantic activity during fishing times, and sanctioned inactivity in the lull. See the living quarters and listen to personal stories of experienced fishermen. Past and present come to life through an impressive 1900's Rivers Inlet gillnetting skiff and our dynamic Intranet provides up-to-date information on the ever-volatile issues affecting the fishing industry today. This could be your only opportunity to learn about fishing on the West Coast without having to endure the inclement climate of this coast!


Stories of mountains of sockeye come alive among the clatter and hum of machines in the Canning Line Exhibit. Encompassing over 4000 sq. ft., this interactive, multi-media exhibit demonstrates the process of salmon canning on a 1930s - 1950s era canning line. Along the line you can stop at audio stations and hear the personal stories of cannery workers, as they describe life in the steam, noise and odours of fish slime and machine oil.


This once thriving Reduction Plant was in operation until 1979, when it was closed due to modernization of the process and the centralization of the operations. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this 6500 sq. ft. exhibit! You will be amazed how to discover how herring was transformed into fish oil and fish meal. Interactive displays will allow the visitor to experience a "hands on" approach to herring reduction.


Winner of the Excellence in Video Achievement award in 1997, this inspiring movie makes perfect viewing for children and adults alike. BC actor, David Glen Jones, plays the role of a grandfather who narrates the history of the cannery and the West Coast Fishing Industry to his granddaughter.