The museum accommodates more than 40,000 ethnographic samples from the Southern Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In addition, there are also 535,000 archaeological objects stored in the museum building.
The ethnographic collection contains a total of 15,000 objects from Asia, almost 12,000 samples from Northern America, among which 7,100 samples can be found deriving from the indigenous inhabitants of British Columbia, 4,300 from South and Central America, 4,000 from the Pacific isles and finally 2,300 objects from Africa.
Over 6,000 samples exhibited are textiles.
The museum is often home to changing special exhibitions, covering topics like Afro-Cuban or Mexican art.
Visiting the museum
In the museum, you'll find a café, where you can have a rest and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, and a shop, where you can buy yourself a pretty souvenir to remember your visit at the MOA.
Founding the museum
The Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (MOA) was founded in 1947. It started out with samples from the Pacific as well as 60 other samples from the Northwest coast and some archaeological artefacts, all donated by Frank Burnett.
The collection with objects from the Northwest coast were complemented by samples of H.R. MacMillan. A huge part of the 2,000 McMillan objects are directly derived from indigenous families, among which 800 came from the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe. Therefore, the collection strongly documents the history of the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe in the 20th century. Later, further collections were added.
How to get there
The museum is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, 20 minutes away from Vancouver's city centre. Via the Hemlock Street you get on the W 4th Ave and continue towards the Chancellor Blvd. You then turn left into the NW Marine Drive. Turning right into the W Mall, you'll immediately see the museum on the right-hand side.
You may park your car in the street the museum is located in, just by the Rose Garden Parkade.
By public transport
You take a bus until the UBC bus loop. From here it's only a 15 minutes walk away to get to the museum. You walk along the Westbrook Mall way up to the Chancellor Blvd, then turn left and follow the Chancellor Blvd into the NW Marine Drive until the museum appears on your right-hand side.
If you find the walking distance to be way too long for you, then it's better to get on either bus C18 or C20 at bay 15 near the UBC bus loop. Both buses will take you to the NW Marine Drive. The little journey takes up to 10 minutes. All buses operate in a 20 or 30 minutes rhythm.