November 30 & December 14

What’s a Bug?

The ‘bug light’ has been used since the turn of the century in North Vancouver and around North America.

A ‘bug light’ is made from a stump of candle inserted into a tin can. Haywire is attached for the handle. One might call this a very popular and a rather cheap version of a flashlight for North Vancouverites. The holes punched in the back of the can form initials which identify the light’s owner.

The 1930s were the heyday of cabin culture on Mount Seymour (near Vancouver). People would hike up 6.5 km and stay overnight in ramshackle cabins they had built. At one point, over 200 of these structures dotted the upper slopes. People walking in the intense mountain darkness would use ‘bugs’ or ‘bug lights’ — homemade contraptions of candles rigged in tin cans. Some were kept in a tree and borrowed on an honour system.

‘Bugs’ have lit hikers’ trails to the mountain tops, shoppers’ treks home through Moodyville, and when nature called, paths to nearby outhouses. So if you’re afraid of cougars, bears, and the dark (oh my!), grab yourself a ‘bug light’ to guide your way through the night.

The North Vancouver Museum and Archives presents ‘bug light’ demonstrations and workshops at special events throughout the North Shore. We wish to thank the North Vancouver businesses and volunteers who have helped through the donation of cans and time to make this possible.

Upcoming Bug Light Workshops:
Christmas Festival Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 3pm – 7pm at The Shipyards
Carol Ships Shoreside Celebration Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 from 7:30 pm to 10 pm at Panorama Park North Vancouver [More


NVMA’s Virtual Exhibits

The Museum & Archives has a great menu of virtual exhibits.  Sit back and enjoy a host of topics!

Unlocking History features the story of Burrard Drydock, Moodyville, the Wilderness in Our Backyard, and the Lions Gate Bridge.  More

Climbing to the Clouds showcases BC’s mountaineering stories.  Hear first hand from some of our climbers and skiing enthusiasts. More

Voices and Views is unique.  Meet some of your neighbours and hear their stories.  More

There are many more exhibits about mountain photography, logging, and Lynn Valley’s Walter Draycott’s experiences overseas during World War I. Look for the full menu here.

NVMA’s Social Media Program

The Museum & Archives is active on a host of social media platforms. Each platform features different information. To learn about what is happening with the NVMA or to explore a few North Van stories check Facebook. It is great to read how long time North Vancouverites react to those posts. Look to Instagram for photos of what is happening and for unique archival images related to community interests and topic. On Twitter you will find short news feeds from this community and in the arts. Our Pinterest account provides educators with updates on our programs for schools.