Image Credit: Turnagain Nugget. Largest existing gold nugget from BC. RBCM 990.65.1.

Gold Rush! El Dorado in BC

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 Cnadian 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.

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