Royal BC Museum to reopen Friday June 19

May 26, 2020

VICTORIA, BC–Following the guidelines of the Province’s “Restart Plan”, and adhering to a comprehensive phased approach, the Royal BC Museum will re-open to the public on Friday, June 19, 2020.

As we re-open to the public, our primary goal is to prioritize health and safety. Although we are well placed to introduce physical distancing measures, similar to those used by grocery stores, we are taking a cautious approach to re-opening as a number of operational issues need to be addressed first. These include physical changes, including better visitor paths through the galleries, the rearrangement of work spaces for staff, timed entry procedures and the availability of PPE and hygiene supplies for staff, volunteers and visitors,” said Prof. Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum.

Our volunteers are so important to us and a high proportion of them are retirees who are likely to feel vulnerable.  We need to ensure we have considered everything before welcoming them.  The museum galleries will be opened through a phased approach this summer.”

On March 17, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal BC Museum temporarily shut its doors to the public.

While the museum was closed, staff members have worked remotely on numerous projects, including scenario planning for the museum and archives’ eventual re-opening.

Visitors will note numerous physical distancing measures, engineered controls and administrative changes at the Royal BC Museum, all in place to help limit the resurgence of the virus and protect staff and visitors.

These changes include limits to the number of visitors in the galleries, timed tickets, acrylic barriers at all points where visitors and staff interact and a greater number of hand-washing stations throughout the museum. More information is available at   

As it moves towards a “new normal”, the Royal BC Museum will balance the desire for access with the need for safety and will re-open its galleries in phases. Upon re-opening on June 19, the museum’s second floor— including the feature exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Yearwill be open.

The third floor galleries (including Our Living Languages, the First Peoples Gallery and Old Town) will remain closed, re-opening in phases throughout the summer.

Timed tickets will be available online, from the museum’s website, starting Monday, June 15, 2020.

British Columbians outside of the Vancouver Island area can access museum programs through its online offerings, visit a touring exhibit (like Our Living Languages) at their local museum or cultural centre and follow the museum’s important repatriation work with Indigenous communities.

The museum’s reopening schedule follows the Province’s phased approach, which permits museums, art galleries and libraries to reopen as early as mid-May under enhanced protocols.


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 histories, 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.


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Media contact:
Royal BC Museum Media Inquiries

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