The Project Overview:

Follow our journey as we begin major redevelopments built around and featuring the St. Roch National Historic Site.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is excited to announce a project to revitalize the St. Roch exhibit.

The St. Roch was the first ship to traverse the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940-42), the first to complete the passage in one season (1942) and the first to circumnavigate North America. The exhibit, which includes the dry-docked ship, has had minimal changes since it was opened in 1974 and holds so much nostalgia for so many.  

This revitalization will serve to enhance the charm and authenticity of the artifact that is the St. Roch and provide more opportunities to engage with the stories that surround its famous journeys through the Northwest Passage. 

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is a much-loved local institution. Many Vancouverites remember visiting the iconic oceanside a-frame building, home to the National Historic Site the St. Roch ship, on school field trips. The museum is a hub of local history, holding countless local stories that make up the rich heritage and cultures of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic.

Phase One, the groundwork of designing and planning the revitalized exhibit, is now completed with Phase Two installation scheduled to begin in 2024 aiming to open in fall 2025. More details on any temporary changes to visiting the St. Roch exhibit will be released soon. 

Phases One and Two are fully funded, with contributions from the Destination Development Fund, Gaming Commission, BC Arts Council, and Parks Canada, and the VMM Strategic Projects Fund. Fundraising for Phase Three is underway, with more details to be released this fall. Phase three will be the final piece of the project and is estimated to be completed in 2026. 

Excited about this project? Click here to donate! 

“Bringing Indigenous perspectives to the foreground and upgrading the exhibit’s presentation to modern standards will be the biggest upgrade to the museum since the St. Roch exhibit opened in 1974. This project will upgrade the stories being told and the technology we are using to tell them.” 

David Jordan, Executive Director - Vancouver Maritime Museum

A revitalized St. Roch exhibit is a key part of the vision for the future of the VMM. The renewed exhibit will centre Indigenous experiences aboard the St. Roch and use immersive elements such as installations, projections and sound to share stories with visitors.

The project is being designed in consultation with internationally acclaimed, Vancouver-based design firm Aldrich Pears and Inuit consultants Maarta Kyak and Deborah Kigjugalik Webster. 


We are Canada’s most experienced firm dedicated to interpretive planning and exhibit design. APA is an internationally recognized, award-winning firm specializing in interpretive planning and exhibit design for museums, science centres, visitor centres, and parks. We support mission-driven organizations that preserve cultural assets, provide educational experiences, encourage community involvement, and honour the environment.

We maintain two studios, one in Vancouver, BC, and the other in Dartmouth, NS. Together, these locations allow us to support projects around the world. We work collaboratively to create extraordinary experiences that inspire people to connect with the world around them.