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Public Programs

From Asian Heritage Month celebrations to Yoga in the Museum, family programs, to art workshops for adults, Touchstones Nelson really does have something for everyone.


Please visit our calendar for more information.


MARCH 1, 11 am to 3 pm

Touchstones Museum of Art and History will be hosting Museum Mash – the bi-annual day of FREE family programming – on Sunday, March 1st. From 11am to 3pm the whole building will be open to the public; even the historic third floor will be available for a quiet/ breastfeeding/ colouring and stroller parking area.

Performances include opera singer Rachel DeShon, Dance Umbrella, kids performers, shadow puppets, stamp workshops, card making and so much more. 

Touchstones Museum is partnering with the Nelson Community Food Centre for the March Museum Mash. In support of the work that the Nelson Food Community Centre does through their Harvest Rescue, Food Skills, Garden and Good Food Bank programs, visitors are asked to bring a cash or food donation. 100% of these donations will go to the Centre. Donations of over $20 will receive a tax receipt.

“After the outpouring of generosity that comes in December, support for organizations like ours is particularly welcome in the months that follow,” Andrew O. Creighton, Community Relations Manager for the Nelson Community Food Centre explains. “With our Food Skills and Good Food Bank programs running all year (and the Garden and Harvest Rescue happening for 3-or-so months), support—especially financial—is appreciated year-round.” 

Thanks to grants, donations and volunteers, the majority of public programming offered at Touchstones Museum is free. This programming includes barrier-free events, workshops, performances, artist talks, and demonstrations to the community at large. 

The Museum also strives to support community organizations if they are struggling with putting food on the table and this partnership achieves both. Museum Mash is and will remain free to everyone, but participants are encouraged to support the Nelson Food Community Centre, the work they do and the services they provide.

Bring the whole family to your museum, gallery, and archive for a full day of FREE family programming, for the smallest to the tallest. Look for program detail on the Touchstones Facebook page or sign up for the Museum newsletter at and don’t miss any public programming. 


OCTOBER 17, 7 pm

On Thursday, October 17 at 7 pm, join award-winning author Dr Shepherd Siegel at Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, for an evening filled with singing, listening, dancing, appearing – and disappearing – and discussion of his latest book Disruptive Play:The Trickster in Politics and Culture.

Disruptive Play journeys from ancient folkloric appearances of Tricksters such as Raven and Èṣù-Elegba, to their confined role in Western civilization, and then on to Trickster’s 20th century jailbreak as led by dada, the beats and the hippies. Disruptive Play bears witness to how this spirit informs social progress today, whether by Anonymous, Banksy, Bugs Bunny, or unrevealed mischief-makers and culture jammers. According to Dr. Siegel; “Such play is revolutionary and lights the path to a transformed society.”

Dr. Siegel is a writer, a rock and jazz musician, and educator, earning degrees at UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University, and his doctorate at UC Berkeley. He has over thirty publications, including Career Ladders, and has won numerous awards. He led Career and Technical Education for Seattle Public Schools for sixteen years. He returned to his countercultural roots to write Disruptive Play and spread its message of playfulness and progressive change.


OCTOBER 10, 10 am to 8 pm

We are inviting you to join us celebrating thirteen years at 502 Vernon Street. 

On Thursday, Oct 10th from 10 am to 8 pm the community is invited to enjoy free admission all day, and cake and refreshments at 4:30 pm with musical performances and a tour to follow.

Join staff, board, volunteers, members, and donors as they celebrate the 13th anniversary of the big move in 2006 to their current location. It was a dedicated crew who envisioned transforming the former post office and city hall into a cultural hub that would house the public museum, galleries, and archive collections. Over a decade later, they continue to exhibit extraordinary art by exceptional artists, support local artisans in the Shop, and fascinate visitors with information from the Shawn Lamb Archives and the museum. Happy Birthday!


Join Touchstones Aboriginal Educator Toni Appleby as she leads children through various events at Kokanee Creek Park this week. Sessions run from 10 am to 2 pm; spaces are limited and are first come, first served so arrive early. 

Children younger than 9 years old will need a parent present; children 9 an up can stay unaccompanied for the duration of the session.

Monday: create a pine needle basket. ($20 for materials per basket)

Tuesday: botany walk – see Kokanee like you never have before as you learn from Wildlife Technician and Métis Traditional Knowledge holder Toni Appleby.

Wednesday: feather craft – create a colourful feather garland

Thursday: birch bark knife sheath – bring your own knife and create a beautiful holder for it out of birch bark

Friday:create a pine needle basket. ($20 for materials per basket)

canada day at the park

Join Touchstones Nelson at Lakeside Park from 9am – 3pm for the Canada Day celebration! We will have numerous crafts for people to partake in, including Stix painting on local slate slabs and Dog Bane Rope making with locally harvested Dog Bane, hosted by Toni Appleby our Indigenous Educator. We’ll also have a button maker!

The Touchstones tent will have a list of 150 Acts of Reconciliation posted. Many of these are small, everyday acts that average Canadians can undertake, and all are intended to encourage people to think about Indigenous-settler relationships in new ways.


totem talks: regional wildlife series

Do you love bears and want to know more about them? Did you know we share this area with wolves and cougars? And what do you know about the elusive Mountain Caribou?

Join Touchstones Museum Indigenous Educator and Wildlife Technician Toni Appleby as she shares stories from years studying, tracking, and reporting on regional wildlife and the knowledge she gained. This series is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the wildlife we share this area with from someone who has spent much of her life learning their secrets.

This five part FREE series runs on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 pm and covers four animals in depth. Starting with the bear on Thursday, June 13, followed by the wolf on June 20, the cougar on June 27 and the mountain caribou on July 4. On Thursday, July 11 the discussion continues as Toni discusses the raven.

Toni now works for our local school district with Aboriginal youth as the Cultural Coordinator of Programming and Curriculum Development. She leads classes in Caribou Hair Tufting, Métis flower beadwork, Pine needle basketry, Animal Tracking, Totems and Animal Spirits, and much more.

These presentations are not to be missed if you have a curiosity about our regional wildlife and interest in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).

Youth Arts Hub

Attention youth artists! Please join us for the Youth Arts Hub series, where each month a different local arts organization will be presenting a free workshop for youth 12-18 years old. For more information on the upcoming events go to Or visit the YAH Facebook page at

The Hub is a new collaborative project with Oxygen Art Centre, Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, Nelson & District Youth Centre, Nelson & District Arts Council, Nelson Public Library, Black Productions and Touchstones Nelson – Museum of Art and History.

Check back often or visit us on Facebook for more information about programs.