Royal BC Museum's Living Landscapes


Living Landscapes was created by the Royal British Columbia Museum as a regional outreach program involving intensive cooperation with other museums, First Nations, educators, naturalists, and other agencies. The goal was to encourage and facilitate the exploration and appreciation of the human and natural history of British Columbia from regional perspectives.

The Royal British Columbia Museum approached this goal through a focus on particular regions of B.C. and integrating stories and research locally generated with both research knowledge and descriptive information from the collections and curatorial staff at the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Living Landscapes' initial focus for in-field programming was the northern, central and southern interior of British Columbia. With the successful completion of the Northwest region in March 2006, they achieved their goal of facilitating the exploration and appreciation of the human and natural history of the northern, central and southern interior of the province.


Memories of the Project

Memories of the Project was Kitimat Centennial Museums (now Kitimat Museum & Archives) contribution to the Northwest human history segment of Living Landscapes.

Unknown Publication, Fritz Wurster Collection. 

Approximately thirty individuals associated with the Kitimat Project of the 1950s were interviewed by the Kitimat Centennial Museum in late 2005 and 2006. At the time of the Project - to create the world's largest aluminum smelter in Northwestern British Columbia - the interviewees were in their twenties and early thirties. Now in their late seventies and early eighties, time is of the essence to capture their memories of an important event in BC history. As very few oral histories on the topic of the Project exist, this oral history collection is unique, telling the Kitimat Project story through quotes, highlighted with photographic images and artifacts. The Museum retains the interview collection in compact disk format and available to the public.

The interviews capture the spirit of the Project - stories of daring do, innovation, struggle, the feverish pace, the activities, the people encountered, the early days of the town and smelter, and first-hand impressions of the Project. The people in construction were creating something innovative and world class. Those who remained to work in the smelter and make Kitimat their home felt proud of their new planned community. Spirit in pride of accomplishment and pride of place is recorded.

Thank you to the following people who very graciously agreed to be part of this oral history project:

Noel-Lewis Watts June DeLory
Hans and Grethe Larsen Dick and Mary Hermann
Mike and Margaret Kinnear Lorne Duncan
Fred and Bev Rodrigo June Coultan
Scotty Grieve Adam and Sheila Charneski
Wilf Thebes Harry McLellan
Russ McKone John Kendrick
Jack Cummer Cathy Baxter
Peggy, Gerald, and Kay Burbidge Adam E. (Dutch) Vrooman
Terry Voitchovsky Hilda Prause
Bill and Betty Moore Roy Ruddell
John and Evelyn Pousette Ron Whyte
Brian and Joan Quinlan