Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC

MAY 13 – NOV 1, 2015

In 1858 word of gold rang out in the Fraser Canyon, setting off a dramatic migration of people and propelling this once remote region of western North American into the modern age.

Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC brought this fascinating era of history to life again.

Through interactive displays, rare artifacts and an international perspective, this fascinating exhibition showcased the far-reaching impact of the gold rush, as class and racial barriers were broken down and people seized the extraordinary opportunities that glittered before them.

Visitors marveled at the dazzling Turnagain Nugget, the largest existing gold nugget from BC at 1,642g (52 oz.), saw a real stagecoach on loan from the Historic O’Keefe Ranch, and witnessed the cultural influences of gold through the Bill Reid gold box, just a sampling of the more than 400 objects.

Gold Rush! included the exclusive North American engagement of Allure of Gold, a companion exhibition of pre-Hispanic gold art, on loan from the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, Colombia. This remarkable collection showcased the central role this sacred metal occupied in the life of indigenous people in Colombia. Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC was the only opportunity in North America to see these objects together, some of them on tour for the first time outside Colombia.

Also on display was a rich array of historic and contemporary treasures from partner institutions, such as 2010 Olympic Medals from the Royal Canadian Mint and gold awards, from Grammys to a Nobel Prize, from lenders.

Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC brought visitors face-to-face with the real history of gold in BC and beyond.



Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia is organized by the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC, Canada, in collaboration with Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, QC, Canada / Ruée vers l’or! El Dorado en Colombie-Britannique est réalisée par le Royal BC Museum, Victoria, Colombie-Britannique, en collaboration avec le Musée canadien de l’histoire, Gatineau, Québec.







National Gallery of Australia  |  National Library of Australia  |  Oakland Museum of California  |  San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park  |  David Foster Foundation  |  Crocker Art Museum  |  Bank of Canada Museum, National Currency Collection  |  Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation / Société des musées de sciences et technologies du Canada  |  Land Title and Survey Authority of BC  |  BC Museums Association  |  Barkerville Historic Town  |  Barkerville Brewing Co. | O’Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society  |  Quesnel & District Museum & Archives  |  South Cariboo Historical Museum Society  |  Yale and District Historical Society  |  City of Victoria  |  Downtown Victoria Business Association  |  Art Gallery of Greater Victoria  |  Government House  | The Bay Centre  |  Grant Keddie  |  Kate Kerr  |  Keith Scott  |  Reg Beck  |  Jim Erickson