The Maritime Museum of B.C. is opening a society office and exhibit space in the Inner Harbour, but have yet to find a home for the more than 35,000 artifacts that have been homeless for months.
On Tuesday, the Maritime Museum of B.C. Society Board announced it is leasing a 3,600-square foot space in Nootka Court to be used as a society office and small exhibition space.
“It will be a place where not only the MMBC Society and its members can meet but also where other local organizations such as classic boat, tall ships, underwater archaeological society, Thermopylae club, Race 2 Alaska and others can come together as was the case at 28 Bastion Square,” said board chair Clay Evans in an email.
The museum took over the space at 634 Humboldt St. (located across from the Empress Hotel,) on July 1 and will be completed in three phases; the first of which is being done now, the second is the moving of larger objects followed by establishing the administrative offices, a research lab and a gift shop.
“The Nootka Court location will allow public access to our resources as there will be a small research centre and will allow the MMBC to stabilize and plan for the future,” said Evans.
But they have yet to find a permanent home after months-long negotiations between the province, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the museum came to an impasse in June, sending board members scrambling to find a new home for the collection.
According to Evans, the museum still has a 10-year lease agreement with the province for the climate-controlled space at 4000 Seymour St., which will house a bulk of the collection once its been moved from Bastion Square.
“Unfortunately this is not exhibit space but we have recently received a federal grant to assist with special-purpose shelving as well as some local donations to assist with this move,” he said.
The space is expected to open in August.