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School Programs

We offer fun and educational programs that work with the provincial curriculum to make history and art come to life for your class!

“Touchstones [Nelson] has a beautiful exhibit and as teachers we feel so lucky to have this rich resource in our community!”
– Lauren Smith and Tamara Martin, LVR

Book a tour or school visit:
For current fees or to book a tour please call 250 352 9813 or email us at programming@touchstonesnelson.ca. You can download our school Tour Booking form which you can fill out and return to our programming coordinator.

Docent-led Museum Tours

 Our permanent museum features exhibits on Indigenous Communities, Early Explorers, Mining, Transportation, Hydropower, The Queen City, Culture and so much more. Our trained docents (volunteer guides) help bring history and art to life for your students, so to truly get the most out of your visit we recommend you book a guided tour. Docent-led tours are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, dependent on volunteer availability. Stay tuned for more information on docent tour options.

Volunteer Docent Kathy Letham with a group of visiting students.

Gallery Tours: Visual Arts in Nelson and Beyond

Touchstones Nelson also features two galleries displaying art and history exhibitions that change quarterly. Contact us to ask about current exhibition programming including docent-led tours and rotating visual art activities based on the changing shows in our first-floor galleries. You can also visit our current exhibitions page to find out more.

Curriculum links:

  • Explore identity, place, culture, and belonging through arts experiences
  • Explore relationships among cultures, communities, and the arts
  • Creative thinking through the use of different art mediums and style

Archive Tour: History Coming to Life

Collections Manager and Archivist JP Stienne with students

Working with primary resources in the archives, examining archived copies of the Nelson Daily Newspaper, students will explore early 20th Century history, particularly World War I & World War II.

Indigenous History and Culture

Touchstones Nelson is fully committed to meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. Along with the Canadian Museums Association and Library and Archives Canada, we will strive to review and update our museum policies and best practices in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, specifically the Sinixt and Ktunaxa communities of the Kootenay region.

Educational programming and community engagement with collections is vital to the reconciliation process for museums and archives, but we will ensure that engagement is spearheaded by Indigenous communities themselves. In the coming school year our Indigenous programming will be guided by the reconciliation process, shaped by a series of special guest Elders from the Indigenous communities of our region. School classes will be invited to take part once dates are established, and registration will be limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Self-Guided Tours

Come and explore our permanent museum exhibition and our gallery spaces at your own pace. Students can enjoy interactive displays in the museum, and scavenger hunt sheets can be picked up at the front desk for a self-directed activity.

More Information:

Docent-led tours of Touchstones Nelson usually take 1 to 1.5 hours depending on your chosen activity and other factors. To get the most out of your visit, docent-led tours must be booked two weeks in advance, which gives you time to speak with our programming coordinator about preparing for your visit. Self-guided visits should be booked one week in advance to prevent double bookings.

While we prefer class size to be no more than 25 students we can accommodate larger groups when the tour is booked ahead of time and dependent on volunteer availability. Touchstones Nelson’s Child Protection Policy requires one chaperone for every 5 to 7 elementary school aged children. There is no charge for chaperones.

For current fees, more information or to book a tour or school visit call 250.352.9813 ext. 266, or email Programming Coordinator Stephenie Campbell at programming@touchstonesnelson.ca. Please download a PDF version of our school booking form and fill out to request your tour.

Please review this code of conduct with your students before their visit, to help maximize your enjoyment of your tour.

Code of Conduct for Students