It's been a long road but we're finally here.

After being closed for two summers, the St. Roch's shelter restoration project is finally complete. Replacing skylights, in itself, seems like a reasonable and potentially easy project. Place those skylights above a National Historic Site… and things get complicated. Without the hard work of museum staff, City of Vancouver project managers, consultants and contractors, this project would not have been possible.

Now, the St. Roch exhibit is once again open to the public! We're so excited about welcoming visitors onboard the St. Roch again that we're having a celebration to mark the occasion.

On May 31st, you can join us at VMM for Raise the Sails & Ring the Bell which is sure to be one of our best events of the year. But don't just take my word for it.

Here are the top 4 reasons to come celebrate with us on May 31st:

4. The St. Roch is a national treasure

This ship went through the Northwest Passage - twice! It was the first to make the crossing in a single season: a feat that it accomplished in only 86 days. What makes all that even better is that the famous crossings were made during the Second World War. We now know that the St. Roch was on a secret mission! How neat is that?

Plus, as if that wasn't enough, this ship sailed through the Panama Canal in 1950, making it the first vessel to circumnavigate North America. To quote a previous ED of VMM:

[The St. Roch] is more than an artifact. St. Roch is an embodiment of important values: sacrifice, perseverance, teamwork and pursuing a dream despite the risks and the potential cost... The vessel looks exactly the way she did during the 1944 voyage, with clothing hanging from the hooks, reading material on bunks, supplies in the hold, a calendar on the engine-room bulkhead and the tent and belongings of Joe Panipakuttuk and his family on the hatch cover... Enshrined ashore beneath glass, St. Roch no longer plows the Arctic seas. Yet she offers all who visit her a firsthand look at a unique vessel, her contribution to Canadian and world maritime history and the men who served aboard.

- James P. Delgado, Arctic Workhorse: The RCMP Schooner St. Roch, pg. 52.

3. Can we say fun activities for the whole family?

Okay, but what if you don't care about amazing old ships and incredible history? 

Well, Raise the Sails & Ring the Bell is going to be so much more than just a look at the St. Roch. We're going to be bringing together some of the best and most popular activities from events past, including airbrush tattoos from our famous Tattoos and Scrimshaw exhibit, a real-life Bare Knuckle Bill from our infamous April Fools Joke this year, a Mountie and his dog for you to take pictures with, fun crafts for little ones (and big ones!), a real RCMP Patrol Boat for your family to explore, great food from vendors, and much more! 

Plus, you can explore everything that the Museum has to offer, including the Heritage Harbour, the Children's Marine Discovery Centre, and the Komagata Maru exhibit!

2. Your little sailor could help raise the sails

To sweeten the deal, we're even offering a once-in-a-liftime chance for your little sailor to help raise the sails of the St. Roch. In between dignitaries, staff and members, your child will get the authentic experience of being a part of history as the hoist the sails on this national icon. 

Plus, mom and dad will get a nice new digital camera to capture that and many moments in the future.

Enter today!

But what's the number 1 reason that you should join us on May 31st? 

1. The three F's: Free, Fun, Family

It's the perfect combination: you bring your family, we bring the fun and together we celebrate all day!

Let us know that you're going to be joining us by RSVP'ing on Facebook.

See you May 31st!