While in Prince Rupert, a variety of cultural experiences are easily accessible to visitors. Superb museums and outstanding attractions defy our small population and remote location. From the rich First Nations history, to the dramatic history of the more recent period, there are definitely several opportunities to learn about the wealth of history on BC's Northwest Coast.
Start at the Museum of Northern British Columbia, known internationally for its exceptional collection and quality of exhibits. At the museum, you will discover the legacy of archeological artifacts, unique works of art and oral history that portray thousands of years of Northwest Coast history and Culture. You will also encounter history of the more recent period: the fur trade, the construction of the railway, the development of the fishing industry and the creation of modern day communities. Be sure to visit the Museum’s spectacular gift shop, which offers original works by Northwest Coast artists in wood, argillite, and other media, Northwest Coast jewellery, and a wide variety of other souvenirs.
From the museum, walk down to the Kwinitsa Railway Museum, located in Prince Rupert’s waterfront park. The Kwinitsa Station Museum provides adults and children alike with an exciting journey into the history of Canada’s railway and the many small stations like Kwinitsa on its route.
Then, carry on along the waterfront path that connects to Cow Bay, where you will find interpretive panels at locations of significance to the waterfront industry in Prince Rupert history. Many of these buildings have been converted into shops, restaurants, and office space.
In the afternoon, head out to North Pacific Cannery, a designated National Historic Site by Parks Canada. Located approximately 22 Kilometers from Prince Rupert, the Cannery is accessible by road. Public transit is available to the Cannery. Please check with the Visitor Centre for more details. The cannery is unique among surviving sites; it was established in 1889 and is the oldest remaining fish cannery on the West Coast of North America. Operating continuously for almost 100 years, the cannery is almost entirely intact. As a visitor to North Pacific Cannery, you will be in awe of its remarkable river settings on the Inverness Passage, and wondering amongst the buildings set on woodpiles, you will be transported back to the hectic days of cannery life. Tours, exhibits, historic photos and interpretation set against its historic backdrop will bring to life the characters and the story of North Coast salmon canneries.
Upon returning to Prince Rupert, spend the evening at one of many fantastic local restaurants, and indulge in some local cuisine.
Other opportunities exist to learn more about our culturally diverse community. The Fire Hall Museum displays a variety of local firefighter and law enforcement memorabilia, including a 1925 R.E.O Speedwagom Fire Engine. The Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives was established in 1980 and their mandate is to acquire and preserve records and documents related to the history and culture of Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Port Essington, Port Simpson, Anyox, the surrounding area, and its people. The archive's holdings consist of 25,000 photographs, manuscripts (such as minutes, letter and diaries), maps, newspapers, sound recordings, and historical reference material. Contact the Visitor Centre for more information about these attractions.