Royal BC Museum plan stopped, public will be consulted on museum’s future

THE Province is halting plans announced last month to rebuild the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The museum will remain open to visitors. The Royal BC Museum will now lead a broad public engagement to consider all options for the future of the museum.

“I always try to act in the best interests of British Columbians,” said Premier John Horgan on Wednesday. “That involves listening. That also means taking responsibility when you make the wrong call. Over the past few weeks, we listened to British Columbians who have made it clear they want the Royal BC Museum to remain open while we rethink our long-term plans to protect its priceless artifacts. That is exactly what we are going to do.”

Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said: “Museum leadership will undertake a broad public engagement to determine our next steps. At the end of the day, this museum belongs to the people of British Columbia, and their voices will determine its future.”

Public engagement will seek input on what British Columbians want to see in a modernized museum experience. It will also address structural and safety issues identified with the current buildings. The structure, timeline and scope of the public engagement will be determined by the museum board with a view to connecting with the broadest possible range of British Columbians, including First Nations, business groups, members of the public and other stakeholders.

Construction of a new Collections and Research Building in Colwood will continue. Once it is complete, museum artifacts will be safely relocated there.


BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon tweeted: “I was clear from day one that this billion-dollar vanity museum project should be scrapped. I’m pleased to see the NDP pause today, but the fact that John Horgan still opposes a renovation and won’t rule out the same $1B plan later should concern us all.”

He also noted: “The NDP spent weeks aggressively pushing this vanity project while ignoring the #RealPriorities of British Columbians as people struggle with record-high costs of housing, groceries, and gas.

“Anything short of a full cancellation of this project simply isn’t good enough.”