Nikkei National Museum Redevelopment – May Update


NNMCC Redevelopment - May Update


Ever since the Nikkei National Museum received a generous private donation from Yoshiko Karasawa and matching funds from Canadian Heritage, we have held a variety of blue sky sessions, museum team workshops, and community consultations to ensure that we create the best new museum resource that funding would allow.

The first in-house visioning session with architects Grout McTavish & Associates began on July 28, 2017, followed by public information at the Powell Street Festival on August 5 and 6, 2017. A second consultation, this time with members of the Nikkei community, took place at the Nikkei Centre on September 7, 2017. Planning sessions for redevelopment began in earnest from December 6, 2017.  

We received confirmation of Canadian Heritage funds in early 2018, and meetings became more frequent from February that year.  Before we could break ground on museum redevelopment, we needed to relocate NNMCC staff from the main floor. Thanks to a Canada 150 BC Museums Association grant, we were able to combine the cultural team with NNMCC and NPF administrative staff into one large shared space on the second floor by March 31, 2018.  Conceptual renderings of the redeveloped museum archives space, Charles H Kadota Resource Centre, and museum exhibit space under the Karasawa name, have been on display in our lobby for the past year.  We continued to make our plans public at the Powell Street Festival on Aug 4 and 5, 2018.  Construction on the main floor redevelopment began October 2018.


If you have been reading about Nikkei National Museum’s redevelopment updates each month since February 2019 in the Bulletin Magazine, you will already be familiar with our plans for our education programs, museum programs and shop, and archives and research areas.

Next month we’ll give you a preview to our opening exhibit plans, but none of this would be possible without valuable input from folks in the broader community. For the opening exhibit, we conducted an online survey in April 2018, and we engaged the support of professional exhibit designer Doug Munday that same spring. More recently, community consultations in person took place on March 2, 2019 and a second review of that community input took place with a combination of in person and online communications during the month of April.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in these meetings. We received amazing constructive critique of draft exhibit plans and are excited to share the results of our combined efforts to the visiting public when we open our redeveloped space on Saturday July 20.  Save the date!