About the BCMA

Supporting, empowering, and advocating for the BC cultural community since 1957

Founded in 1957, the British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) supports a thriving arts, culture, and heritage sector through collaboration, networking, advocacy, innovation, and professional development.

Since our founding, the BCMA has grown to include more than 450 members in every corner of British Columbia including museums, art galleries, science centres, Indigenous cultural organizations, First Nations, heritage sites, botanical and zoological gardens, cultural centres, conservation institutes, grassroots arts organizations, exhibition galleries permanently maintained by libraries and archives, and nature reserves.

The BCMA supports the professionals and volunteers who work in BC’s cultural sector and we aim to improve the cultural literacy of all British Columbians. The BCMA collaborates with arts, culture, and heritage partners to engage with all levels of government to share stories and make them aware of the true impact our sector has in communities large and small across the province.

Our Vision

Create space for BCMA members to engage in meaningful, courageous dialogue, and equitable actions.

Our Mission

Through bold advocacy and collaborative leadership, the BC Museums Association supports the arts, culture, and heritage sector to thrive.

Our Values

Accountability Accepting responsibility with integrity, transparency, and openness.

Bravery Using position, voice, and privilege to support a more just future.

Equity Listening to underrepresented voices and supporting social justice.

Innovation Redefining what is possible to spark transformative change.

Relevance Demonstrating leadership within our community and the global cultural sector.

Respect Cultivating humility, listening deeply, honouring diverse voices.

The BCMA provides a unified voice for the institutions, trustees, staff, and volunteers who make up BC’s diverse museum sector, advocating with partners in all levels of government for the critical impact our sector plays in the lives of British Columbians.

A Council elected from our membership governs the BCMA. Councillors and volunteer committees set policy and strategic priorities for the Association while services are delivered by a dedicated staff and network of professional support. The BCMA is a provincially incorporated society and a registered charitable organization.


Living Wage Certified Employer

The BCMA has committed to pay their direct staff and contracted workers a Living Wage. Learn more here.

When we say “museum” what do we mean?

BC Museums Association embraces a broad and inclusive definition of museums. In the BCMA Bylaws, a “museum” is defined as:

Institutions created in the public interest. They must engage their community, foster deeper understanding, and promote the enjoyment and sharing of authentic cultural or natural heritage. Museums work to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of people and their environment.

The definition of “museum”  includes the following: museums; art galleries; archives; heritage and cultural centres; Indigenous cultural centres, Friendship centres, and bands/council; universities and/or local governments responsible for stewarding arts, culture, and heritage; natural, archaeological and ethnographic monuments and sites and historical monuments and sites of a museum nature; institutions holding collections of and displaying live specimens of plants and animals, such as botanical and zoological gardens, aquaria and vivaria; science centres and planetaria; conservation institutes and exhibition galleries permanently maintained by libraries and archive centres; nature reserves; such other institutions as the BCMA Council determines in its discretion.

Want to learn more about the BCMA?


Learn about our Staff, Council, and Committees

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Read about the BCMA’s ongoing commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion

BCMA History

Learn more about the history of our organization

BCMA Bylaws

Review our bylaws - last updated October 2021

Want to help?

Support the BCMA and our members by becoming a sponsor or making a charitable donation

BCMA in the News

Explore recent news about the BC Museums Association