School Programs

School Programs

What we are offering:

As with all Parks Canada visitor sites, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site has re-opened with limited capacity. All  group bookings and in-person programs are cancelled until further notice.

If you would like to join our contact list to be notified as soon as we are able to offer programs on site again, please fill out this  form  or contact us to discuss what options we may safely offer to suit your needs.


Virtual field trips: 
Can’t get here in person? Check out our online resources including the From Tides to Tins virtual exhibit and Ebb and Flow documentary film. 

Machines at Work (Grades 4-6)

Program: This Unit includes an online workshop and activity kit. 

  • Part 1 includes an activity with wooden tools to investigate simple machines.
  • Part 2 is about compound machines and an assembly line (the canning line) introduced through a workshop led by Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site programming staff.
  • Part 3 is a classroom activity. Using their knowledge of simple and complex machines, students will design and draw their version of an assembly line.

Key topics:

  • Simple machines are the building blocks to complex machines
  • Complex machines work in tandem to produce products
  • Everyone and every machine have a part to play

Program Fee: $6.40 per student (taxes included) for a minimum of 15 students. 
Offered in English and in French 

What’s included in the Program Unit:

  • Complete Unit design (no need to add any extra work)  
  • Connection with Social Science and the BC curriculum  
  • Kahoot! quiz  
  • Word search  
  • Multiple activities  
  • Two scavenger hunts  
  • Historical photos and videos  
  • Instructions for the Wooden simple machines activity  

What’s included in the Program Fee:

  • An entire unit planned, a physical kit and all the instructions sent online   
  • Support from Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society staff
  • Each student receives a 10% discount for one adult admission to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site (Youth under 17 are free)   
  • 15% off for any other school program at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHS, booked within a year by the same teacher. 

How to book the Machines at Work Online Program:

  • Contact Johanna Trapier at  or 604.664.9234
  • Set up a time to pick up the kit, and choose a date for the workshop (within a week of the kit pick up)
  • Kits to be picked up at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site 7 days a week, between 10am to 5pm, or shipping to be arranged at own expense.
  • All instructions and activities will be sent one week in advance
  • Return the kit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

Please check back for more online programs coming soon. 

What you should know:

  • Programs are delivered both in French and in English. 
  • Payment may be made by cheque (exact amount), debit, or MC/Visa.
  • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the program date will be charged a $50 fee.
  • Our programs can be customized to meet your grade level and learning objectives.  
  • Teachers can preview the site for free! Just show your teacher ID to receive one free admission and to learn more about our programs (not applicable during Special Events). 
  • For further information and bookings, contact Johanna Trapier at:  or 604.664.9234 or complete the form below.

School Programs (currently not offered due to COVID-19)

Sea to Me
(Ages 3-6)
In this engaging  hands-on program, discover the steps to canning salmon through storytime and puzzles. A scavenger hunt along the canning line helps students work cooperatively to follow the process of canned salmon from the ocean to their dinner plate.  Click for more details

Fishy Business: A Century of Change
(Grades 2-3)
The relationship between people and the environment is explored through the investigation of the West Coast fishing industry. Students compare past and present fishing methods and discuss the economic and cultural importance of fishing to coastal communities. An interactive fishing activity inspires students to consider how human activity contributes to the sustainability of our oceans while they discover different fish species.Click for more details

Salmon People: Coast Salish Fishing
(Grades 3-5)
Indigenous people have fished along the banks of the Fraser River since time immemorial. Using object-based inquiry, students investigate replica fishing tools and discuss fishing techniques.  This program surveys how First Nations’ skills and expertise contributed to the West Coast fishing industry. Click for more details

Cannery Stories
(Grade 4-5)
What was life like for the people who lived and worked in one of BC’s cannery towns?  After a tour of our canning line exhibit, the cannery’s general store serves as the backdrop for a history mystery. Students will work in teams to discover the identity of six cannery workers.  Conversations with store clerks, documents, and artifact replicas provide the clues that reveal the personal story of these workers and highlight their treatment in BC’s fishing industry.  Click for more details

Machines at Work
(Grade 5)
Students investigate how machines work together along a 1930s to 1950s salmon canning line, including a demonstration of the working machines. Using their knowledge of simple and complex machines, students will design and draw their version of a machine that will increase the efficiency of the canning process.  Click for more details    Pre & Post-Visit suggestions: Check out these fun activities from the Museum of Science + Industry Chicago’s website on Simple Machines. Click here for link. 

Save our Salmon 
(Grades 6-8)
It is 1918, four years after the devastating rockslide at Hell’s Gate that blocked millions of Fraser River salmon from reaching their spawning grounds. The low salmon stocks are threatening the future of the fishing industry. In a mock commission, students will use their communication skills and creative thinking to save our salmon. The 1914 Hell’s Gate disaster provides an example of the complexities of natural resource management that is still relevant today.  Click for more details

Discovery Tour 60 min.
(Grades 4-7)
This Discovery program includes a tour of the canning line, a canning line machine demonstration, and a 15-minute film Journey Through Time about the West Coast fishing industry and more about the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

Discovery Tour 90 min.
(Grades 8-12)
This guided tour of the cannery includes a 25-minute documentary film Ebb and Flow, a 45-minute tour of the canning line machine demonstration, and time to explore the cannery on your own.

Make it a day trip to Steveston! Combine a school program at the Cannery with a visit to one of the other many heritage sites located in our neighbourhood. Please contact us for local options. 

    Please fill in the form to book your program, tour or party.

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    Our programs incorporate the new BC Curriculum

    The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site’s hands-on learning experiences allow students to learn by doing. Using curriculum directed content, students participate in various activities in order to come to a greater understanding of concepts, of themselves, and of others. Students gain competencies in communicating their findings in different ways, through interaction with guides, teachers, and peers. They gain understanding through observation and play, drawing their own conclusions through the exploration process.

    Know-Do-Understand Curriculum Model

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