History on display: Royal BC Museum, Maritime Museum welcome you

Two of Victoria’s favourite museum spaces are inspiring guests with the history and heritage of British Columbia.

Following the Royal BC Museum’s temporary closure in March, staff worked remotely on numerous projects and virtual engagement. Upon re-opening June 19, the museum’s second floor — including the feature exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Natural History gallery welcomed the museum’s first visitors of summer, followed by the First Peoples gallery. The Becoming BC gallery opens Sept. 7, completing the full re-opening of the museum galleries.

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

Changes include limits to the number of visitors in the galleries, timed tickets, acrylic barriers where visitors and staff interact and more hand-washing stations throughout the museum. Timed tickets will be available online from the museum’s website.

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

The Royal BC Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and Natural History gallery welcomed the museum’s first visitors of summer, followed by the First Peoples gallery. The Becoming BC gallery opens Sept. 7. Photo courtesy the Royal BC Museum.

Museum seeks public’s perspectives on nature for COVID-19 project

As British Columbians enjoy their back yards, spectacular parks and wilderness areas during the long days of summer, the Royal BC Museum welcomed your observations on nature for the COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time project.

Launched in April, the project asks British Columbians to share stories of their experiences during the pandemic. Hundreds of stories, thoughts, photos and videos have come from across BC and the hope is to build a longer-term collecting project to capture this legacy.

“This project, an open invitation for all BC residents to participate in the museum process, highlights the perspectives of ordinary people living through extraordinary times,” says Royal BC Museum CEO Prof. Jack Lohman. “As a museum of human and natural history, we welcome British Columbians to share their experiences of nature during the pandemic.”

Scientists have recently coined the phrase “the anthropause” to describe the global slowdown in human activity (especially travel) during the pandemic.

With this in mind, the museum asks people to consider two major questions: Since the pandemic reached British Columbia, what are you seeing in nature that’s changing? What has been your personal experience of nature during the pandemic? Contribute via the project’s online submission form: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/covid-19-collecting-our-time.

The Maritime Museum of BC welcomes the public to explore the seafaring history of British Columbia. Jennifer Blyth photo

The Maritime Museum of BC is Re-opening

The Maritime Museum of BC, which preserves and celebrates the nautical culture and heritage of British Columbia, also welcomes the public with Friday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by one-hour appointment.

“Our digital programs have been successful but nothing can quite replace that in-person experience,” says David Leverton, executive director. “This is a very important step in the museum’s re-engagement with the public, especially as we continue working on the Museum’s new development plans in the City of Langford.”

Visitors are asked to follow these new procedures when in the Museum:

  • No more than eight visitors, or two separate household groups, are permitted in the space at the same time, and all appointments must keep to the one-hour period booked.

  • All visitors must bring and wear a face mask, and use the hand sanitizer provided upon entering. Another hand sanitizer station is available halfway through the exhibit space (if unable to use sanitizer, disposable gloves are available).
  • Follow the floor arrows and practice safe physical distancing, staying two metres or more apart from those not from your household.
  • Washrooms are not open to the public at this time. If you feel ill or have been in recent contact with someone with COVID-19, please visit another time.

Book your appointment in advance here: mmbc.bc.ca/visit. Visit the Maritime Museum of BC downtown at 634 Humboldt St.

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