Royal BC Museum Chooses Colwood For Collections And Archives Building

September 21, 2020

COLWOOD – To make the Royal BC Museum’s collections and archives more accessible, the BC government will build a new collections and research building in Colwood.

“We are thankful to the Province for delivering on its commitment to modernize the Royal BC Museum. We’re excited that this new building will protect the collections and also make them more accessible to the people of BC,” said Daniel Muzyka, board chair, Royal BC Museum.

The 3.2-hectare (eight acre) piece of land at the Royal Bay development in Colwood will include a new approximately 14,000 square-metre facility. It will use mass timber construction and meet CleanBC energy efficiency standards. Building construction will generate more than 950 direct and indirect good-paying jobs.

The proposed facility will house the Royal BC Museum’s archives, collections and research department. It will improve research activities by providing dedicated research labs and learning spaces. It will also improve access to the museum’s vast collections. The new building will offer learning opportunities for students, both in person and online.

The collections and research building will hold the following collections, as well as the BC Archives:

  • birds and mammals
  • botany
  • fish
  • entomology
  • history
  • paleontology
  • modern history

In October, crews will begin preparing the site for construction, including surveying and earthworks. The government will undertake a competitive procurement process in the coming months to select a design-build team to lead the development of the project. Project funding details will be released upon successful execution of the contract with the successful bidder. Government expects the project to break ground in winter 2021 and to be complete in summer 2024.

This is the first phase of the Royal BC Museum modernization project. The main museum and public galleries will remain at the downtown site in Victoria. The BC government is committed to redeveloping the museum space downtown and will announce plans in 2021.

The Royal BC Museum (RBCM) has been at its downtown Victoria location since 1967 and has not been substantially renovated in over 50 years. The museum has more than seven million objects and specimens in its collection and 28 linear kilometres of archival materials, including original artwork by Emily Carr and the Ida Halpern Indigenous languages recordings and records.






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