Royal BC Museum Modernization

The Royal BC Museum is one of BC’s greatest cultural icons, drawing millions of visitors each year onsite and online. 

Built in 1967, the Royal BC Museum buildings have not been substantially renovated in more than 50 years.  The buildings no longer meet today’s accessibility or seismic standards and the museum can no longer safely house its vast collections.

On Feb. 12, 2019, the speech from the throne announced government’s intention to modernize the Royal BC Museum, to protect its historic holdings and provide better access to its collections. 

Between April 1 and June 27, 2019, staff from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Royal BC Museum consulted with British Columbians, asking how a modern provincial museum could most effectively collaborate with, and tell the stories of, BC’s diverse communities. 

You can read more about this process of engagement and review the final reports, which have been integrated into recommendations for government’s next steps. ​

On August 31, 2020, the museum purchased the IMAX Victoria Theatre, its long-time partner organization, as part of its plans to modernize. The Royal BC Museum will continue to show documentary features as well as Hollywood feature films, and the IMAX Victoria staff members are now part of the Royal BC Museum team. 

On September 18, 2020, government announced its plans to build a new Collections and Research Building in Colwood, BC.  The new energy-efficient mass timber facility, which will also house the BC Archives, will be located in the Royal Bay Development.  Government expects to break ground in 2021 and complete the building in 2024. 

Government also confirmed the museum’s public galleries will remain at the downtown Victoria location, and that it will announce plans to redevelop this site in 2021.

Visit the BC government’s modernization page for more information.

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