Coal, Conflict and Community: Exhibit Opening and Talk at the Cumberland Museum and Archives

“Who wouldn’t fight if there were laws for the safety of the miner and they were not enforced? How’s you like to go into the bowels of the earth if you wasn’t sure at what minute an explosion might come?” (Anonymous, Vancouver Morning Sun, 12 Feb 1913).   

The Cumberland Museum and Archives invites you to explore our new permanent labour history exhibit: Coal, Conflict and Community. Join us for an opening reception on January 31, 2019, from 6pm to 8pm. A curatorial talk takes place at 7pm, featuring this unique history, and some of the challenges and lessons learned from exploring this part of the community’s past.

The exhibit spans over one hundred years of working and labour history through interpretive panels, music, artwork, and illustrations. Highlights include an original mural created by artist David Lester, and inspired by Cumberland’s diverse communities. An illustrated labour history timeline created by the Graphic History Collective places Cumberland and local labour events within a larger Canadian context.

Those with a special interest in the story of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin can review interviews, inquest testimony and other hard-to-access documents through Ruth Masters’ The Shooting of Ginger Goodwin, a leather-bound compendium on Goodwin’s life and death.

Learn about the Big Strike of 1912-1914, the history of Miners Memorial, unresolved questions and controversies, and more.

 “Over the years working people and their families have formed the backbone of much of Cumberland’s history and its character today, including its proud rebellious spirit” says Robin Folvik, Job Creation Partnership participant. “Having the opportunity to undertake research at the Cumberland Museum and Archives over the last seven months has both answered questions and revealed new ones for future research.”

For those unable to attend the opening on January 31, Coal, Conflict and Community will be on permanent display at the Cumberland Museum and Archives.

This project is made possible by the Employment Program of British Columbia, funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.