Press Room

Online Portal

Friday, September 25th, 2015

On Friday, September 25th Touchstones Nelson launched an online portal into the Society's permanent collection. Providing unprecedented public access to the collection, the online portal can be used by anyone to research more than 5000 artifacts and artworks currently posted online. 

"The online collection portal represents our commitment to making the collection more accessible to the public and to highlight the quality and scope of this significant community asset," commented Touchstones Nelson Executive Director, Leah Best.

Viewable records include an object photograph, a brief description, the date, and the history of the object when available. Portal users can send feedback on individual records to museum staff. "In effect," explained Archivist and Collections Manager, Laura Fortier, "the online portal allows us to open source the information we have on the collection. We understand there's room for improvement and we hope the public will help us in that process."

To access the online portal go to:

The online portal project was made possible with support from the Department of Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program and the Columbia Basin Trust.

Cowichan 2008 Spirit Pole:
Nelson residents have an opportunity
to carve a moment in history

Nelson residents will be able to take part in a unique art project as part of the celebration for the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games. To commemorate the rich history of British Columbia's Aboriginal peoples and share the story of the international multi–sport games, a Coast Salish artist will transform a 20–foot western red cedar log into a traditional story pole. Nelson Spirit of BC committee spokesman and Chamber of Commerce manager Tom Thomson says the Cowichan 2008 Spirit Pole Tour is really an amazing and unique project! With the log visiting more than 45 communities over a 13–week tour and under the guidance and supervision of the carver, Carey Newman, the Spirit Pole will take shape. In each community, people will be invited to try their hand at carving the log while learning about traditional carving methods and aboriginal history.

The Cowichan Spirit Pole will be in Nelson Thursday June 5th. The Spirit Pole will be set up between 11am and 3pm in the Nelson and District Community Complex parking lot. The 20–foot Western Cedar is transported throughout the province on a flat deck that transforms into the central focus staging and carving area.

Also as part of the experience there is an education exhibition that highlights BC rich First Nations diversity and history. There is also a demonstration carving area and an area for cultural performances.

The event kicks off with a special welcome ceremony. Then people are invited to try their hand at carving, with the guidance and supervision of the carving team. People will also be able to experience and enjoy the exhibit, demonstration carving area and the many other features of the event. It is expected that by the time the spirit pole is completed, as many as 10–thousand people will have contributed.

The Spirit Pole will eventually make its way to the coast and be integrated into Tribal Journeys, a celebration of Indigenous nations' maritime heritage and one of the most prominent cultural events associated with the North America Indigenous Games.

The Cowichan Valley will welcome more than 9–thousand Aboriginal Athletes and cultural participants from across North America, as the region plays host to the 2008 North American Indigenous Games August 3rd–10th.

The Spirit Pole is one of several initiatives and community celebrations taking place throughout the province as part of the BC 150–Years program, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of British Columbia as a Crown Colony.

New Board Members Elected at Touchstones Annual General Meeting

Nelson, BC – On April 9, 2008 the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society held its second Annual General Meeting since the opening of the new Touchstones facility. Approximately 40 members attended the meeting chaired by Board President, Tim Pearkes.

The agenda was comprehensive and included messages from the Board President and Executive Director, Leah Best, each of whom described a successful year in 2007 both in terms of financial activity and community support and programming. Board Treasurer, Alan Ramsden, presented the audited financial statements for the Society, which reflected a modest surplus of revenue over expenses. The last of the capital grants received by the Society for the renovation of the new facility at 502 Vernon Street were expended in early 2007, which resulted in some additional GST claims by the Society.

The nomination committee presented its slate of candidates for six available 2–year director positions. Ed Mannings and Don Lyon stood for re-election and were acclaimed by the membership. Four new candidates were presented for the members' consideration. They included: Joan Jordan, a retired CIBC account manager with over 42 years of banking experience; Ramona Maddix, a planner with the RDCK who specializes in community development; Susan Andrews Grace, a working artist and writer and one of the founders of the Oxygen Art Centre; and Angus Graeme, Dean of Instruction, School of Health and Human Services, School of Renewable Resources, Kootenay School of the Arts, Selkirk College. The impressive slate was quickly acclaimed by the members.

To wrap up the evening several presentations were made including gifts and kudos for outgoing Board Members, Frances Welwood, Stephanie Fischer, Iris Steffler and Greg Scott and special guest, Garry Anderson, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook, spoke on the history of the railroads that link the East and West Kootenay.


Each article opens as a in a new window.

 Articles about Us

Oct. 12, 2006, Nelson Daily News
Countdown to the Celebration Grand Opening

Oct. 5, 2006, Nelson Daily News
Countdown to the Celebration Fun and Festivities

Sep. 28, 2006, Nelson Daily News
Countdown to the Celebration Inside the Box

Sep. 21, 2006, Nelson Daily News
Countdown to the Celebration A Building Transformed


Articles by Us

Apr. 14, 2006
Canadian Museum Association Award of Outstanding Achievement for Philanthropy

Mar. 9, 2006
Jim Pattison donation of $10,000 for Shawn Lamb Archives

Jan. 16, 2006, Nelson Daily News letter
NO extra cash for Nelson Museum, Archives and Art Gallery Project

Dec. 5, 2005
Construction at 502 Vernon resumes

Oct. 27, 2005
MAAG 50th Anniversary Party


Historica Featrue Articles Published in the Vancouver Sun

Jan. 12, 2008
BC at 150 Historica Article #1

Feb. 9, 2008                                                                                                                                                               BC at 150 Historica Article #2

March 15, 2008                                                                                                                                                       BC at 150 Historica Article #3

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