Dr. Joost Schokkenbroek to leave the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM) Executive Director Dr. Joost Schokkenbroek will depart from Canada’s largest port city at the end of January 2021 to take on the role of director at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM).

Under Schokkenbroek’s leadership for the past three and a half years, the reputation of the VMM as cultural institution with strong narratives and authoritative programming has flourished. Museum visits grew steadily until Covid-19 hit and turned worlds upside down, and the organization has strengthened connections with communities.

Peter Bernard, chairman of the board of the Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, says “we are sad to see Joost leave, as he has brought ambition, creativity, professionalism and people management skills to the VMM. He is a likeable guy, greatly dedicated to the causes he serves. I guess our colleagues in Hong Kong found this out as well. We wish him the very best of success in his new role as museum director in yet another great port city.”

About his time with the museum Joost Schokkenbroek says, “from the outset I realized the potential of the VMM – with its great and talented staff and its expansive group of loyal stakeholders. My team and I have worked very hard to harness that potential. Our endeavours resulted in, among other things, being selected as the second-best museum in Vancouver by the Georgia Straight readership. Also, we have successfully improved the VMM’s financial base; expanded the range of offerings; and – extremely important – established relationships with new and frequently underserved communities.”

While Schokkenbroek has enjoyed his time at the helm of the VMM, he says, “I very much look forward to taking up my role at the HKMM. Considering the strong ties between these two cities – bookends of the Pacific Ocean – I may occasionally find myself back in beautiful Vancouver and B.C.”

The board will be seeking a new executive director to replace Schokkenbroek. In the interim, Curator Duncan MacLeod will assume additional responsibilities at the VMM.