What is SMOC



“The purpose of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume is to establish and operate a museum that will collect, preserve, study, display, and interpret historic and contemporary fashion, ethnic costume, and other textile and fabric arts for residents of and visitors to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.”

SMOC was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in 1992, originally under the name of ‘Original Costume Museum Society’. The name was changed to Society for the Museum of Original Costume in 2012.  It has the status of a registered charitable organization, which enables it to issue tax receipts when donations of goods or funds are received. 


We’re popular. 

 SMOC is the go-to organization for all things related to the history of fashion. Members have developed and contributed to exhibitions at:

–      Museum of Vancouver

–      Royal British Columbia Museum

–      North Shore Museum and Archives (North Vancouver)

–      Irving House Museum (New Westminster)

–      Delta Museum and Archives

–      Nanaimo Regional Museum

–      Fort Langley Centennial Museum and

–  Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre


We share.

 SMOC produces essential, entertaining, educational programs on the history of fashion.  Lecture series and historic fashion shows are held regularly at Hycroft. Other notable venues are:

–      Museum of Vancouver

–      Frederic Wood Theatre (University of British Columbia)

–      Vancouver Academy of Music

–      Performance Works (Granville Island) and

–      Vancouver Museum Auditorium



We’re in demand.

Society members lecture at local colleges, universities, and trade schools such as:

–      Vancouver Vocational Institute

–      University of British Columbia’s Continuing Education Program

–      Kwantlen College

–      Capilano College

–      University College of the Fraser Valley

–      John Casablancas Modeling and Acting Studio


We play nice.

 Society members have presented lectures and historic fashion shows that have raised funds for charitable and service organizations, such as:

–      Canadian Cancer Society

–      Vancouver Ballet Society

–      Probus Club

–      Native Daughters of British Columbia

–      Optimists Club

–      Daughters of the Nile

–      Canadian Diabetes Association



We’re your neighbour.

We love the community and the community loves us. The proof is in the number of volunteers who are the backbone of the organization. We depend on a corps of dedicated individuals who oversee the society’s administration, acquisition of the collection, and coordination of educational programs and outreach opportunities.  An annual gala has provided significant operational funding since 2008.

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