Maritime Museum of B.C. itching to move

Submitting proposal to lease old CPR Steamship Terminal

For an operation that’s been suffering under a lack of space, the opportunity to move to prime real estate is too good to pass up for the Maritime Museum of B.C.

“The (old CPR Steamship Terminal) is going to be this beautiful blank palette that can be configured to anything we want,” said Jamie Webb, president of the museum foundation and head of a task force preparing a proposal to become the new tenant of the vacant building.

“There’s so many new things museums are doing these days with technology and children’s programming. We’ll be able to address both of those (in the CPR terminal).”

Formerly occupied by the Victoria Wax Museum, the steamship terminal at 468-470 Belleville St. has been empty since September 2010. Its owner – the Provincial Capital Commission – is taking proposals from prospective tenants.

To be part of that race, the maritime museum, which is currently at 28 Bastion Sq., is hosting an open house tomorrow (Feb. 5) to collect feedback from people on what possibilities might present themselves in a new location. Admission is free from noon to 4 p.m.

“Come down have a good look through the place,” Webb said. “We want people to tell us what they really like and stuff that’s got to go down to the new place and stuff that’s missing that needs to be in the new place.”

Webb said the terminal’s “location, location, location,” historic architecture and two levels of about 5,000 square feet of display space, plus a third level for meetings and events, is ideal. Not to mention its waterfront perch.

“I could see visiting tall ships, boat building, all kinds of opportunities,” Webb said, adding the museum would have to strike a water-lease deal with Undersea Gardens.