Discover Vancouver

The MLA Annual Convention provides a host of ways to discover and share research, connect with colleagues, explore the newest offerings in the exhibit hall, and develop professionally. In addition to attending some of the nearly 800 presentations and events, be sure to schedule in some breaks to discover what makes Vancouver so special. We have developed a variety of excursions to help you explore Vancouver’s history, culture, and cuisine. You can sign up for excursions when you register for the convention, or you can write to Michael Reilly if you have already registered.

First Nations in Vancouver

As noted in Margaret W. Ferguson’s blog post, “Negotiating Sites of Memory in Vancouver,” the city is home to many First Nations communities, whose languages and cultures existed in the area long before George Vancouver visited in 1792. The Museum of Anthropology excursion provides a curator-led preview of an exhibit that explores the Musqueam Nation’s identity and worldview, as well as a visit to the museum’s Oral History and Language Lab. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art  excursion examines one of Canada’s most famous indigenous artists, Bill Reid, and includes a conversation about the Haida language and culture with his granddaughter, Nika Collison (Jisgang), curator at the Haida Gwaii Museum.

International Art Exhibits

Vancouver is home to many world-class galleries and museums. Join a private morning tour of two exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery that focus on Chinese art: The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors, a showcase of nearly two hundred treasured objects from the collections of Beijing’s Palace Museum, and Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art, featuring works by Chinese artists who examine tradition’s influence on visual culture in China.


Discover why the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library is the busiest public building in the city. Join a librarian-led, behind-the-scenes tour of the building, which was designed by Moshe Safdie; the tour offers access to the special collections and highlights by the collections’ experts.


What better way to explore a city than through its food? On Thursday, join the morning excursion for a tour of Granville Island, followed by a three-course lunch at Bistro 101, prepared and served by the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ chefs in training. On Saturday afternoon, you can join the wine expert Jaime Kowan and Italian Kitchen’s executive chef, Mark Greenfield, for a two-hour tasting that pairs wines from British Columbia with a selection of small plates and canapés.