VICTORIA, BC—The Royal BC Museum’s spectacular feature exhibition about orcas, originally scheduled to open on May 15, 2020, will be pushed back until 2021.
The Royal BC Museum decided to postpone the launch of Orcas: Our Shared Future until May 21, 2021 as a way to include more people in the experience, expecting that visitors, local museum-goers and museum staff alike will appreciate this time to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Orcas exhibition is directly relevant to contemporary challenges such as climate change and ocean biodiversity loss,” said Royal BC Museum CEO Prof. Jack Lohman. “Illustrated with significant cultural and scientific treasures, this deeper understanding of the orca explores our associations with ancestral traditions, grief and loss, and, ultimately, hope for the future.”
As a major player in BC’s cultural sector and Victoria’s tourism industry (and a perennial star attraction on TripAdvisor) the Royal BC Museum has a role in supporting BC’s economic recovery.
The museum is working in alignment with the Province and Destination BC’s phased approach to opening up the visitor economy and welcoming tourists back when the situation is safest and most beneficial for all concerned.
Orcas: Our Shared Future is a deep dive into the stories and science that surround the magnificent orca. Through the exhibition, visitors will follow the currents of ecological activism, popular culture and Indigenous beliefs to gain a new appreciation of these sophisticated animals, the emblematic mammal of BC’s wild coastline and apex predator of all oceans.
The postponement until 2021 will also allow the museum to fine-tune elements of the exhibition that were designed pre-pandemic, modifying engagement points and updating how it controls the flow of crowds.
In the meantime, the orca-fascinated public can enjoy the Royal BC Museum’s most recent publication, Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History, which brings together the work of marine biologists, Indigenous knowledge keepers, poets, artists and storytellers. Spirits of the Coast is available through local bookshops, the Royal Museum Shop and online at rbcm.ca/books.
The book’s emphasis on three different, but interconnected ways of viewing the orca—through Indigenous cultural traditions, science and popular culture—reflects the tripartite perspective of the 2021 exhibition.
The Royal BC Museum will continue sharing news of orcas (and of the Orcas exhibition) on its social platforms: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About the Royal BC Museum: The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC–onsite, offsite and online–taking pride in our collective histories.