Maritime Museum negotiations extended

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the provincial government are still in negotiation regarding the Maritime Museum's big move

Negotiations for the Maritime Museum’s move into the Steamship Terminal will continue into April.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority first gave the museum an extension on Feb. 27, which expired on March 31. The new extension runs until April 15.

“It’s good. [There is] more breathing room,” said Clay Evans, chair of the Maritime Museum.

Ivan Watson, Harbour Authority spokesperson, said he could not comment on the status of the negotiations.

“The rationale really was to give everyone involved more time to consider options.”

He could not speak to what options those might be.

Negotiations involve the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development and Ministry of Technology Innovation and Citizen Services, the parent ministry for Shared Services B.C., as well as the Harbour Authority, property manager for the building. Shared Services B.C. is negotiating on behalf of the museum.

Evans said he can’t see the negotiations going much longer than April 15.

“We’ll keep talking as long as there’s potential to get into that building,” he said. “But I do understand at some point after seven and a half months, we need to get this done.”

One of the key issues in the negotiation process is the matter of who is going to pay for the leasehold improvements, said Evans.

The space in the Steamship Terminal the museum hopes to rent is currently a concrete shell.

“We always thought that the money we would raise would go into our exhibits and not so much into fixing up somebody else’s building,” said Evans. “But if we have to do that to a certain extent and it’s economically viable and it’s built into our rent, we certainly don’t mind paying a portion.”