U'mista Cultural Centre

U'mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay: Hours, Address, U'mista Cultural Centre Reviews: 5/5

U'mista Cultural Centre
5
Historic Sites • History Museums
Monday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Friday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
About
Due to Covid19 U'mista will be open for reduced hours and occupancy and no public washroom available at this time. U'mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artifacts not only provided U'mista's name ('the return of something important'), and sparked a general trend toward repatriation of First Nations and cultural artifacts, it caused the creation of a physical facility and human resources infrastructure which have been successfully operated for over two decades.U'mista now operates a modern museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay. Their operations include the museum, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes.
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5.0
224 reviews
Excellent
182
Very good
33
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
1

mezaco
Canada343 contributions
Great museum (disappointed by gift shop)
Sep. 2020
Lovely indigenous museum on Alert Bay, very interesting history of the community, great artifacts, photos and very interesting videos. Definitely a must-see if you are on the island. The only slight disappointment (and surprise) was that most items in the gift shop were rather generic "Made In China" items that I saw in other places around BC. I expected to find more authentic locally made and sourced products specific to that community.
Written January 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ciao chow
3 contributions
An alert bay must see attraction.
Sep. 2020
Do not visit alert bay without a trip to the cultural centre. Wonderful displays in a user friendly atmosphere. The long house room and video really put you in the centre of a potlatch situation. Many masks and native Indian artifacts are all well documented in an interesting format. The gift shop has a large assortment of First Nations souvenirs. A good way to support the community. Within walking distance to the largest totem pole. This is a must see attraction!
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Carli M
Canada156 contributions
Excellent Cultural Centre
Sep. 2020
Well done cultural centre with some beautiful exhibits and some great information. I will say that I'm a big nerd and would have prefered more... facts lets call them. Stories are interested by I also like to see statistics etc. I would have liked to see how much they haven't yet recovered and if they know who has it, etc etc.
You can spend as much of your time here as you want, just depends on your interest. We did at least 1.5 hrs but some people moved through a lot faster than us too.
Like someone previously stated, they do have a great gift shop too :)
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CharlieHawk
Brantford, Canada172 contributions
Good Souveniers
Sep. 2020
The lack of an educated and hospitable tour guide made the trip boring for lack of appreciation of the stories behind the potlatch masks. The staff conveyed an attitude of disinterest in visitors.
Written September 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pamela D
Mississauga, Canada26 contributions
Unique cultural experience, a must-see!
Sep. 2020
WOW - incredible facility. They have done a remarkable job curating their collections, providing the information in an informative, engaging way throughout. I learned so much about the local culture and history of First Nations in BC - they tell their story very well, sharing facts and emotions together. Unique setting on the site of the old residential school. They've done a good job re-opening with COVID restrictions, guiding people through the exhibits in a structured way, and limiting numbers. We spent about 1.5 hours inside, reading most of the plaques, and exploring the fantastic gift shop. It's a must-see when taking a trip to the North Island.
Written September 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kikoenmexico
Courtenay, Canada397 contributions
A reason to visit Alert Bay
Aug. 2020
Excellent collection of masks with good explanations. Well presented. If ou are interested in west coast art it is worth the trip.
Written September 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

smolyn
Vancouver, Canada9 contributions
Nothing like it anywhere in BC
Jul. 2020
Fantastic experience! This is one of the few places where you can see First Nations artifacts that have been returned to their rightful owners. The presentation really helps put these amazing works of art into context, and you can really appreciate the deep historical culture of the Indigenous people of this region.

The stories of the people were fascinating, and I wish I had more time to spend there.

The gift shop has an excellent selection of art and books to boot!
Written August 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Penny R
Chemainus, Canada10 contributions
Wonderful experience. We learned a lot.
Aug. 2020
We took in this wonderful museum for several hours over two days. There is a lot of history to learn and a lot to see and read about. U'mista displays potlach items which were repatriated after being confiscated from the indigenous people of the area in past times. The stories behind the exhibits are informative, pertinent, and very important for us all to be aware of. The gift shop is lovely and they have a lot of beautiful items for purchase.
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter I
Lethbridge, Canada3 contributions
Remarkable centre to celebrate Indigenous culture
Aug. 2020
It was very powerful to visit this outstanding interpretive centre that presents and celebrates Indigenous culture on Cormorant Island and the area. An invitation to explore the local culture and history with respect and consideration. Lots of material to reflect on the work by Franz Boas and George Hunt in the late 19th century. Also lots of emphasis on the Indigenous culture that is alive today. Lots of books and masks for sale.
Written August 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AnnaMacKay
Toronto, Canada35 contributions
Must see in Alert Bay
Aug. 2020 • Friends
What a wonderful cultural centre. Displays are so good, love the story telling way of telling the history. The potlach collection is stunning. The gift shop!!! Amazing art work for very reasonable cost.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about U'mista Cultural Centre

U'mista Cultural Centre is open:
  • Mon - Fri 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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