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Featured Exhibit

Protecting Our Coast: The Shifting Role of B.C. Lighthouses

Lighthouses and their keepers’ original role has been to protect vessels travelling along the coast from crashing into dangerous shoreline. As technology and society continues to change, so too has the role of the lighthouse. Over the years, lighthouses have been put to different roles, depending on the needs of society. In the late 1800’s they served to support colonial development on the coast; in WWII they helped establish a defense system; and now, a new trend has started to rise. As we’ve become increasingly concerned with the state of the natural environment, lighthouses in B.C. are shifting into becoming ecological reserves or are gaining an environmentally-related protected status, with their keepers becoming the guardians of their stations’ landscapes and the surrounding wildlife.

This exhibit explores this cultural shift through a timeline approach, questioning what is has meant, and what it now means to protect our coast.

 

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