Opinion: Making museum entries free could benefit everyone

Right now the average cost to visit a museum in Vancouver is roughly $20 but people shouldn't have to pay for educating themselves about art and culture


By Missy Johnson

Museums have the ability to bring communities together. They teach, inspire and explore meaningful societal events. Museums should be a right to everyone.

When I was young my dad often took me to the museum in my hometown, Port Alberni. It was something fun and interesting we were able to do together.

One afternoon, we went to the museum and they had a small exhibit examining the tsunami that had hit our town in 1964. One of the pictures was of my dad’s father, who had passed away when my dad was young.

We went to the front desk to tell them we knew someone in one of the pictures. They provided us with a copy of it for free and it hangs in our living room to this day.

Museums are important for members of a society to understand their own history. Knowing one’s own history is beneficial for a better understanding of one’s culture, language and current social issues.

The average cost of entry to museums in Vancouver is roughly $20. Some have a discount for students which would save them a bit.

The Vancouver Art Gallery charges $24 for an adult entry, with students who are able to show valid ID only having to pay $18. On Tuesdays, from 5 to 9 p.m. entry is by donation.

In other cities, there are museums you can visit for free, such as in Paris and London. Some are free on certain occasions.

For instance, the Musée du Louvre, which offers free admission to youths under the age of 18, individuals with disabilities and art teachers. Entry is free for anyone under the age of 26 every Friday after 6 p.m. and free for anyone on the first Saturday of each month after 6 p.m..

The first museums were originally only meant for the wealthy, but an understanding of one’s society, history and culture shouldn’t have a cost.

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