The Museum Act (2003) sets out the purposes, powers and governance of the Royal BC Museum, establishing it as a Crown corporation. Under the Act, the Corporation is responsible for the provincial museum, the provincial archives, Helmcken House, Thunderbird Park, Mungo Martin Big House (Wawadit’la), St Ann’s Schoolhouse and the Netherlands Centennial Carillon. Under Section 4 of the Museum Act, the purposes of the Corporation are:
(a) to secure, receive and preserve specimens, artifacts and archival and other materials that illustrate the natural or human history of British Columbia;
(b) to hold and manage the archives of the government;
(c) to increase and communicate knowledge of the natural and human history of British Columbia by research, exhibits, publications and other means;
(d) to serve as an educational organization;
(e) to develop exhibits that are of interest to the public;
(f) to manage, conserve and provide access to the collection;
(g) on the request of the government, to manage cultural and heritage facilities designated by the government;
(h) to perform functions usually performed by a museum and archives.
Although its main buildings are in Victoria, the Royal BC Museum reaches every region of the province through its website, exhibitions and services, and is responsible to all British Columbians.