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U'mista Cultural Centre

#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
Review Highlights
Well Worth a Visit

This unassuming place is more cultural center than museum in that it's mission seems to be about... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Brooklyn, New York
Good collection of masks and historical photos

The museum is small yet full of great collections of local art and culture. We spent over 1.5 hours... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Agnes L
Read all 145 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.
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good13%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gift shop” (12 reviews)
“first nations” (20 reviews)
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
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Reviews (145)
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1 - 10 of 130 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

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

Thank kleic
Reviewed 4 days ago

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
Reviewed 1 week ago 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
Reviewed 1 week ago

The museum has a collection of repatriated masks that are presented beautifully. Historical information is given as well through print and film throughout U'mista. Additionally, the museum brings in artists at times throughout the summer to offer workshops (included with the admission price). We were...More

Thank fromcanada77
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We are really enjoyed the Cultural Centre. The movie at the beginning and the displays thereafter are very well done and one learns a lot about a culture that is so close to most but also very removed from many's daily lives. I felt that...More

Thank BuccaneerDave
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Spent an hour here. Read all the information and immerse yourself in the culture. Wonderful gift shop as well.

Thank JenniferS92
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A wonderful learning experience. Important repatriated First Nations masks. Informative films. Nice gift shop.

Thank issteph
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The U'mista Cultural Centre was the highlight of our visit to Alert Bay. The museum is at the end of the waterfront, a lovely walk from the ferry. There are films playing providing fascinating insights into First Nation cultural traditions like the potlatch ceremony. The...More

Thank Twofortheworld
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I arrived to see a language lesson in session and the instructor was a young woman who used the (TPR) Total Physical Response method of teaching language. She was a master at this and as a retired educator, I was highly impressed. This is one...More

Thank trek1canada
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I enjoy this museum. The mask display is outstanding. I sat in on a language workshop which was interactive and really interesting. Great gift shop.

Thank kayaker3
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