Protecting our Coast: The Shifting Role of BC Lighthouses
Opens at the Maritime Museum of BC
Lighthouses and their keepers’ original role has been to protect vessels travelling along the coast from crashing into dangerous shoreline. As technology and society continues to change, so too has the role of the lighthouse. Over the years, lighthouses have been put to different roles, depending on the needs of society. In the late 1800’s they served to support colonial development on the coast; in WWII they helped establish a defence system; and now, a new trend has started to rise. As we’ve become increasingly concerned with the state of the natural environment, lighthouses in B.C. are shifting into becoming ecological reserves or are gaining an environmentally-related protected status, with their keepers becoming the guardians of their stations’ landscapes and the surrounding wildlife.
This exhibit explores this cultural shift through a timeline approach, questioning what is has meant, and what it now means to protect our coast.
“Lighthouses on our coast have such fascinating stories,” said Brittany Vis, Associate Director. “When we started research for this exhibit, it became clear that lighthouses have served additional roles in society than simply as navigational aids. We hope visitors will walk away from this exhibit with a better understanding of the evolving role of lighthouses and how they are being used today.”
Exhibit Dates: October 31 – May 14, 2020
634 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC
- 10am-4pm, Thursday-Friday
- 10am-5pm, Saturdays