Mandate from Enabling Statute
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.
Mission, Vision & Values
We are a museum that is accessible to every British Columbian regardless of age, ethnicity or geography.
We envision a province in which all people respect each other and the environment in which they live.
The Royal BC Museum is committed to the following values:
- Accountability is being responsible for our decisions and actions, which are answerable through honouring our commitments, taking ownership according to our professional standards and meeting our common goals with pride.
- Community is developing and maintaining networks within and outside the museum and archives through supportive, responsive and active collaboration which is thoughtful and informed. The goal of community involvement is to create a vibrant, sustainable, respectful and caring community, internally, provincially and beyond. A strong, healthy internal community is the essential foundation for all.
- Creativity is the commitment to supporting an environment that nurtures and encourages creativity. All are empowered to bring new ideas forward; take an innovative and imaginative approach to problem solving; and turn new ideas into reality.
- Diversity is demonstrated by sharing scientific and cultural knowledge which embraces the rich diversity of the people and environment of British Columbia. We respect this diversity by reflecting and responding to the rights and differences of the people we serve; and by being champions of environmental sustainability. Foundational to this Value is the philosophy and understanding that each staff member, volunteer, and Board member will ensure that the Royal BC Museum upholds its principles of equity, diversity, ecological sustainability, and inclusiveness in all its practices, including when carrying out their various roles within the Royal BC Museum and as representatives of the museum and archives in public.
- Partnership requires a commitment to collaboration, both externally and internally. We understand the importance of connecting and cooperating with a clear purpose to a mutually beneficial outcome. We respect the contributions of all and share in the credit of our accomplishments. Our partnerships enable us to achieve an extraordinary level of success that will grow and continue for the greater benefit of all British Columbians.
- Service is the means by which we provide a world-class customer experience. The delivery of great service requires clear, consistent, timely, accountable and appropriate actions. Great service creates trust and goodwill through authentic, mutual respect. Great service is established from the inside out and encompasses everybody—from peers to the public. Great service places organizational objectives ahead of personal goals.
The Royal BC Museum’s strategic priorities are supported by four organizational streams, each responsible for a number of business areas.
- Collections, Research and International Programs Division, VP and Deputy CEO Joanne Orr
- Operations Division, VP Gary Lacey
- Advancement Division, VP Mischelle vanThiel
- Corporate Finance Division, VP and CFO Melissa Sands
Benefit to the Public
The Royal BC Museum is an internationally renowned centre of learning and education about British Columbia, its peoples, its systems and its environment. We are an important economic contributor to the province, drawing visitors from around the world and supporting an array of tourism-related jobs and businesses. By advancing and communicating knowledge about BC, we help shape our province’s reputation locally and globally.
The Museum contributes to many different areas in the provincial government: providing curriculum-based interactive education materials online, strengthening relations with BC’s First Nations and by providing information and advice to ministries that make up BC’s natural resource sector. We act as a depository for fossils and archaeological permits and work with BC Hydro on environmental reviews. In partnership with the BC Vital Statistics Agency, we provide an online platform for data on BC births, deaths and marriages.
For nearly 130 years, the Royal BC Museum has preserved, interpreted and celebrated BC’s heritage. Our natural history and social history artifacts and records—from mammoths to masks to moving images—enable us to tell the widest possible range of stories: of land and people, of place and movement.
Museum experts bring together, care for and interpret the Province’s collections. They share their knowledge, providing context and uncovering new layers of understanding. Much of what we now know about BC, we owe to research on our carefully preserved heritage resources, and much scientific study going forward depends on data held in research collections like ours.
The Museum shares stories through exhibitions, displays, education programs, public talks, events, websites, publications and social media. In this way, the Royal BC Museum establishes our province’s place in the past, present and future for all British Columbians.
Partners, Clients & Stakeholders
The Royal BC Museum is accountable to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
Partners, Clients and Stakeholders
- Federal, provincial and local governments
- Local, regional and international businesses
- BC tourism groups and services
- BC First Nations groups
- Cultural communities of BC
- Local, national, and international museums and archives
- Research and academic communities
- Donors, sponsors and strategic partners
- Employees, volunteers and Board members
- The Friends of the BC Archives
- Our visitors—citizens of BC and Canada, families and children, students and tourists from all over the world
To accomplish our mission, the Royal BC Museum provides six key functions:
- developing and maintaining a provincial collection of historical material (specimens, artifacts and archives) related to BC;
- exhibiting our collection or making it available for exhibition by others;
- exhibiting material not in our collection that relates to BC’s past, and providing an occasional “window on the world” by presenting touring exhibitions from international museums;
- conducting or assisting in research relating to BC human history and natural history;
- disseminating information relating to BC’s history, and to the museum and archives and their functions;
- developing and implementing opportunities for community investment to support the Museum including philanthropy, sponsorships and commercial activities.
The combination of all these activities enables the Royal BC Museum to fulfill its leadership role and to deliver programs and services to the people we serve.
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The Royal British Columbia Museum’s collections, exhibition galleries, archives and administration are at 675 Belleville Street, on Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
Online address: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.