Community museums, historical societies, heritage groups and cultural organizations form the foundation of the diverse cultural heritage fabric of British Columbia.
These volunteer-driven community groups give their time and expertise to preserve and share local history, culture, and heritage in all their manifold forms. From Atlin to Aldergrove, these small organizations form the multi-tentacled ecosystem of public history in the province.
Small public history providers — especially rural ones — work hard to stay solvent. The sector is powered by passion, tremendous flexibility, and the ability to glean revenue from a range of sources: fee-for-service from municipal governments, support from granting agencies, revenue from donations, memberships and admission fees, and through the creation of local products, experiences, and history books.
During times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, these local history and heritage groups are in danger of losing tributaries of their revenue streams. Even the smallest bits of income impact whether a group will be able, for example, to print their lure brochure, to host their heritage tea, to engage with Indigenous Elders, to rent meeting space, to pay the heating bill of their small museum space.
The “Buy Local, Give Local” awareness campaign provides a venue to showcase the products and services of BC’s historical and heritage societies. We are challenging consumers to be mindful of where their dollars are going. The campaign endeavours to create a public understanding of how individual purchases support the health of the heritage community.
In the month of November, we’ll be promoting this campaign on our website and social media. We have teamed up with four UBC students who will help to share this messaging.
Want to participate? You can learn more about the campaign and find a group in your local area from our membership directory on our webpage: