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Facility Rentals

Facility Rentals

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is an art gallery, museum, archives, cold-war Bunker heritage site, and gift shop housed in a beautiful heritage building in downtown Nelson, BC.

Touchstones Nelson’s exhibitions, programming and events take priority and will determine the availability of the facility for private rentals. Touchstones Nelson is available to rent for small private functions, not public events or programs. Depending on what is on display at a particular time, food or drink may not be allowed in the gallery spaces. The organization reserves the right to decline any rental request due to conflicting schedule, staffing demands, or requests that conflict with Touchstone Nelson’s public mandate.

Rental spaces and building details: 

502 Vernon Street

Touchstones Nelson is located in one of Nelson’s most significant heritage buildings. The lot, situated on the southeast corner of Ward and Vernon Streets, was purchased by the Federal Government for $11,000; in 1902 the building was constructed as a facility for the Postal, Customs and Inland Revenue services. This composite Chateauesque-Richardsonian Romanesque style building attractively combines granite, Kaslo marble, local common brick and pink brick from Spokane, Washington. 

  • The building capacity is 200 people
  • the building is wheelchair accessible
  • The safety and security of the artwork is paramount 
  • Food and Wine are permitted only if all the work is glazed and/or the exhibiting artists are in agreement – this will be up to the artists and curatorial/collections team on a per-exhibition basis
  • all catering must be self-sufficient and may not use the in-house kitchen for food preparation or warming.
  • all catering supplies, including tables, linens, etc. must be provided and set up by the caterers at the expense of the renter
  • The possibility for sit down meals will be at the discretion of Museum staff and on a per-exhibition basis based on exhibition layout and security/safety of artwork 
  • Microphone and speakers can be rented in Nelson, BC and will not be provided by the Museum 
  • parking is on the street only
  • smoking is not allowed in or within 7 metres of the building
  • no pets are allowed inside the building

Gallery A  

A stunning purpose-built 1500 square foot gallery space with professional exhibition lighting. 

Availability is dependent on the exhibition specifics, artist requirements, safety and security of the artwork and programming. Artwork will not be relocated within the space or removed from the gallery.

Seating capacity: 50 | Standing capacity: 100 | Rental price per hour: $250

Gallery B

An intimate purpose-built 500 square foot gallery space with professional exhibition lighting. 

Availability is dependent on the exhibition specifics, artist requirements, safety and security of the artwork and programming. Artwork will not be relocated within the space or removed from the gallery.

Seating capacity: 25 | Standing capacity: 40 | Rental price per hour: $100

Gift Shop/Lobby

The Museum lobby and gift shop is a lovely space filled with local art and intriguing architectural details. This space is available for smaller functions and only available when the building is closed to the public. 

Seating capacity: 25 | Standing capacity: 40 | Rental price per hour: $100

Full Building

Rental fee to close the full building to the public (both galleries, lobby and museum) is $3,000/day (7 hours).  Rental fee to take photographs inside building, including wedding photographs, is $100 per hour. Special permission is required to take photographs in the gallery spaces. Staff supervision is required. 

Bunker 

A cold-war era bunker commissioned by then Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker in the early 1960s. During the height of the Cold War, in the 1950s and 1960s, nearly 50 bunkers were constructed across Canada. Their purpose was to shelter up to 8,000 officials in the event of a nuclear war, and they were commonly found in secure locations in a well-constructed federal building, such as the Nelson Post Office located at 514 Vernon Street. The Bunker is an exceptional and unique space and as such, has limited capacity for rentals due to extra security requirements to ensure the safety of the space and the permanent collection of Nelson and Area housed within the space. Rental availability is at the discretion of Museum staff. 

Seating capacity: 45 | Standing capacity: 50 | Rental price per hour: $350

No food or drink permitted in the space at any time.

Other rental fees that may apply:

Special Occasion Liquor License – $75 minimum depending on number of occupants

Chairs (up to 50 available) – $1 each or $3 each with covers and sash 

6 foot tables (up to 8 available) – $2 each or $5 each with linens

All rentals require 1 staff member on site which is included in rental price. For rentals where it is determined by Touchstones that 2 staff members are required an additional fee of $30/hr will be charged.

If it is determined that extra cleaning will be required after a rental a minimal additional fee of $50 will be charged.

Insurance – included

Prices do not include taxes.

Booking information 

Please email info@touchstonesnelson.ca with the following information 

  • What space are you interested in renting
  • Desired dates and the time of your booking
  • Description of your event
  • Please include: how many people you expect, do you wish to have food or drink, do you have a caterer,  and do you need a liquor license, do you need tables or chairs. 
  • Do you require chair or table rentals? How many

Contact for general rental enquiries: info@touchstonesnelson.ca 

For book launches please contact the shop directly at: shop@touchstonesnelson.ca 

Seated and standing capacity varies and is determined by gallery and/or shop layout.

Rental duration includes a minimum of 30 minute set-up and 30 minute take-down.

All rentals must conclude by 12 midnight (including take-down).

Any rental that goes over time will be charged $50 per 10 minutes.