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U'mista Cultural Centre

#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
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Review Highlights
Very informative

This wonderful musuem style center is beautifully done. There is loads of historical and cultural... read more

Reviewed September 2, 2017
breadandbutta
via mobile
Amazing up close interaction with west coast indigenous culture. So interesting and informative.

The cultural centre was an outstanding aspect of our visit to Alert Bay. The stories told... read more

Reviewed August 27, 2017
prairiecities
,
Montreal, Canada
Read all 163 reviews
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U'mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artifacts not only provided U'mista's name ('the return of something important'), and sparked a general trend toward repatriation of First Nations and cultural artifacts, it caused the creation of a physical facility and human resources infrastructure which have been successfully operated for over two decades.U'mista now operates a modern museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay. Their operations include the museum, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes. The facility hosts international scholars, and supports researchers in a range of disciplines.
  • Excellent83%
  • Very good14%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“gift shop” (14 reviews)
“first nations” (22 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
CONTACT
Website
+1 250-974-5403
Write a ReviewReviews (163)
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All reviews
"residential school"
in 15 reviews
"gift shop"
in 14 reviews
"first nations"
in 22 reviews
"big house"
in 9 reviews
"cultural treasures"
in 4 reviews
"world class"
in 3 reviews
"bc ferry"
in 3 reviews
"lovely building"
in 3 reviews
"local art"
in 4 reviews
"original artifacts"
in 2 reviews
"these items"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful collection"
in 2 reviews
"worthwhile stop"
in 2 reviews
"story telling"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful learning experience"
in 2 reviews
"interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"mask collection"
in 2 reviews
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11 - 20 of 147 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2017 via mobile

This wonderful musuem style center is beautifully done. There is loads of historical and cultural information and an interactive area for children and adults wishing to touch/try on clothing items. The entrance fee is reasonable and there is a gift shop here as well.

Thank breadandbutta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2017

The cultural centre was an outstanding aspect of our visit to Alert Bay. The stories told throughout the museum were very interesting. We spent much time reading up on the history of the island, the people, and about each mask kept in the centre's big...More

Thank prairiecities
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2017

Very tastefully done with amazing artifacts and descriptions to back them up. I just lost myself in the artifacts and write ups. Very cool

Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 25, 2017

Cormorant Island is living history and culture of the Namgis First Nation, and their cultural centre was superb. The art of their masks, weavings, prints are beautifully presented. The Potlatch room and other displays told the story of these people and the return of their...More

Thank copilotpreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2017

Very friendly community from random locals on the street, ferry workers, staff at cultural centre and shops. Cultural centre is a beautiful building with very nice displays of local native art and traditional regalia. Display by Dawn of medicines from the forrest was great!

Thank tqmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2017 via mobile

The U'mista Cultural Centre is a very interesting place: a museum to visit but also to live with its many interactive activities. Really instructive. A jump in the past. Unmissable!!!

Thank Basky68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2017

The collection of artifacts that were confiscated when potlatches were banned is stunning. I preferred the display and intimate setting over what I have seen at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. The staff there are bright and cheerful but we could have used a...More

Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2017

This unassuming place is more cultural center than museum in that it's mission seems to be about preserving, teaching, and respecting rather than simply displaying. With only a few hours in Alert Bay, I decided to walk here and I'm so, so glad I did....More

1  Thank kleic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2017

The museum is small yet full of great collections of local art and culture. We spent over 1.5 hours to soak into this wonderful learning experience. The video about the tradition of the Potlatch is very well done. Don't miss this museum!

Thank Agnes L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2017 via mobile

Beautiful space in a beautiful location and an incredible collection of local art and cultural artifacts. We were fortunate enough to participate in a Cedar weaving workshop and noticed that there were different offerings throughout the summer!!! Great stop! Will definitely visit again!!!

Thank TofinoSeaDreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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