Neighbourhood Speaker Series

Explore a range of historical and cultural topics by local speakers virtually. Community members are invited to bring and ask questions of the speakers during these interactive free online sessions. Presented in partnership by Burnaby Village Museum and Burnaby Public Library

To participate, join us on the Burnaby Village Museum Facebook page or on Zoom on the event date and time. Click the meeting links below, or dial toll free 1-855-703-8985 and enter the webinar ID. You can also register in advance through the Burnaby Public Library at or call 604-436-5400. 

Online Speaker Series

What is

Tuesday, September 29, 7-8pm

Join us for this interactive session about how to use the City’s free online resource: Learn how to search more than 100,000 records including photographs, video, council minutes, maps and archival records – all about Burnaby.

Please bring your research topics and interests to this session, as Catharine and Kate will be taking requests to get you started on your research.  Alternatively, you can submit your Burnaby-focused research questions in advance to We will take up as many as we can cover in the allotted time.

Presenters: Catharine McPherson, Museum Registrar, and Kate Petrusa, Assistant Curator at Burnaby Village Museum

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Thoughts on Decolonizing Heritage

Thursday, October 1, 7-8:30pm

How do we come to know our communities? What narratives and sense of place shape our connection to the lands we live upon? In this presentation, we will look at how dominant colonial narratives are embedded into the built environment, place names, heritage landscapes, and the very planning of our cities--contributing to exclusion and erasure of the local hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking people, who have lived on their unceded territories since time immemorial. How has “Heritage” contributed to colonial harms and erasures? And what will it take to decolonize and re-Indigenize the stories, landscapes, and understandings of the places we call home? 

Presenters: Kamala Todd, Indigenous Community Planner, Filmmaker, and Adjunct Professor at SFU

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Untold Histories: The Legacy of the Chinese Community on Deer Lake

Thursday October 8, 6-7pm
In partnership with Burnaby Art Gallery

The site of the Burnaby Art Gallery and surrounding Century Garden are rich with stories of early settlers. Through the discovery of a ‘Pak Chu’ gaming piece, this presentation highlights the unseen presence of a Chinese community that is equally profound in its connection to this historic place.

Presenter: Nathan Lee, Lead Designer and co-founder of Contexture Design

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Prisons & Reformatories in Early Burnaby

Thursday October 15, 7-8pm

Early 20th century Burnaby was home to several institutions that sought to reform their residents, including the Oakalla Prison Farm, Home of the Friendless, and more. Learn about the people in the institutions, and consider what these places tell us about the early history of BC.

Presenter: Lisa Codd, Heritage Planner for the City of Burnaby

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The Fecundity of Food and Family: A Natural Niche for Chinese Canadians in Burnaby

Tuesday October 20, 7-8pm
In partnership with UBC Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies

Learn from four UBC students about their research on Chinese Canadian involvement in food and farming in early Burnaby. Hear how their research has deepened our knowledge of Burnaby’s Chinese Canadians, and what this exciting experience has meant to them as budding researchers.

Presenters: UBC students and graduates of ACAM 390A and HIST 482: The Heritage of Chinese Migration

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Burnaby Streetcars and Interurbans

Thursday October 22, 7-8pm

Take a virtual tour of Burnaby’s early electric railway system, including visits to locations where physical traces of the railway can still be found. Lisa will be the tour guide for this talk illustrated with maps, photographs, and video to tell the story of the B.C. Electric Railway transportation routes that shaped Burnaby.

Presenter: Lisa Codd, Heritage Planner for the City of Burnaby

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Eating your way through Burnaby: A look at Chinese Canadian history through food

Tuesday October 27, 7-8pm

Chinese Canadians have played a key role in supplying food to Burnaby’s community through their participation in the local market gardening, green grocer, and restaurant industries. Denise will share maps, photos and stories from her recent research on the 1960s-1970s period in Burnaby’s Big Bend and Capitol Hill neighborhoods.

Presenter: Denise Fong, Planning Assistant for the City of Burnaby

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