Winter holidays a final opportunity to visit MOA before temporary 2023 closure

Cory Dawson | MOA (2014)
Cory Dawson | MOA (2014)

Arts & Humanities

Erik Rolfsen

The upcoming winter holidays present a final opportunity for visitors to explore the Museum of Anthropology at UBC before it closes for much of 2023. This temporary closure is to complete the seismic upgrades of its famous Great Hall and accomplish other work on the building.

The popular feature exhibition currently on view at MOA, Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soņadores + creadores del cambio has been extended until Jan. 15. It showcases contemporary works by over 30 artists of Mexican American heritage who self-identify as Xicanx. The museum’s permanent collections and exhibitions also remain open until Jan. 15.

After Jan. 15, MOA will be closed until late 2023 to accelerate the completion of the seismic upgrades to the Great Hall and conduct other building improvements. The innovative seismic project has been under way since 2021 to ensure that visitors and the Indigenous collections housed in this space will be protected for the future. The Great Hall will retain its original appearance, preserving Arthur Erickson’s architectural design while state-of-the-art base-isolation technology will protect the structure and the collections in the event of an earthquake. Other improvements include new lighting, carpets, skylights, fire detection and landscaping.

The museum had hoped to continue to remain open throughout the Great Hall upgrades, but has since determined that a closure will expedite the timeline for visitors to return and enjoy the full museum experience without disruptions.

Though the building will be closed, MOA will continue to facilitate access for Indigenous communities to the collections. The museum will also offer on-site behind-the-scenes tours, special virtual events, digital school programs, and other exciting initiatives for the public to enjoy throughout the year. Likewise, the museum’s teaching, research and exhibition work will continue, in preparation to welcome visitors back in late 2023 with a revitalized museum experience.

During the closure, MOA will also continue to work with Northwest Coast Indigenous knowledge holders, artists and other community members to re-envision the displays of massive carvings and poles in the Great Hall.

MOA is considered one of renowned Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson’s masterpieces. The building has become an iconic and beloved place of world arts and cultures since it opened in 1976. The museum’s special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of B.C. has made it a major tourist destination and a vital place for teaching and research.

To celebrate this milestone in the monumental construction project, MOA will be offering discounted $10 museum admission for all visitors on the closing weekend, Jan. 14-15 (admission for Indigenous people is always free). Museum hours until Jan. 15 are Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open late on Thursdays until 9 p.m.

Find other stories about: , MOA closure , Museum of Anthropology , Seismic upgrades