A new and modern Royal BC Museum (RBCM) is planned for Victoria and comes with a whopping $789-million price tag, according to the provincial government.
On Friday, BC officials announced the RBCM on Belleville Street, across from the BC Legislature, will close come September 6th to make way for a state-of-the-art, seismically safe building.
Province-wide travelling exhibitions and a local interactive walking tour will launch amid the closure, with IMAX Victoria, the RBCM gift shop and neighbouring food trucks staying open into early 2023.
With a scheduled 2030 completion date, officials say museum construction will bring “significant economic and social benefits” to the capital region, supporting more than 3,000 jobs along the way.
New museum to serve as BC’s flagship historical centre:
For decades, people from BC and beyond have flocked to the RBCM to learn about local history, notes Premier John Horgan.
“For just as long, the stories told here have failed to accurately reflect our colonial history or include everyone, and priceless collections are now being put at risk in an aging building,” said Horgan.
“That’s why today, we are making this historic investment to build a safer, more inclusive and accessible modern building,” he added.
“Once complete, the new museum will be a flagship destination for tourism and a place where generations to come will learn about the richness and diversity of BC’s history.”
BC officials say the new museum will reflect the experiences and perspectives of all who contributed to the province’s history, providing a cultural legacy for generations to come.
Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, echoes these comments, saying the building will serve as the province’s “flagship historical centre.”
“Museums are more important than ever to be a canvas for our history and inspiration for our future,” said Mark.
“Our partnership with the local First Nations to guide us to this stage is truly reconciliation in action. From the exhibits and programs to the employees and building itself, we are bringing the people’s museum into the 21st century.”
Last year, the RBCM announced its plans to phase out its First Peoples and Becoming BC galleries to decolonize exhibits and move towards truth and reconciliation.
The third-floor galleries later closed for good on January 2nd, 2022.
Then in late February, Alicia Dubois took over as RBCM CEO, more than a year after her predecessor stepped down amid repeated allegations of discrimination and racism at the museum.
“The work to modernize the [RBCM] is a legacy project that will enrich, inspire and continue to benefit British Columbians and Indigenous Peoples for generations to come,” added Dubois.
- Royal BC Museum will phase out their First Peoples and Becoming BC galleries
- Victoria’s Royal BC Museum welcomes new CEO Alicia Dubois