Three months after the Royal B.C. Museum announced it was undertaking a major upgrade and renovation of its nearly 50-year-old facilities, it is inviting the public to offer suggestions.
The first of many community consultations to be held around the province happens tomorrow (June 22) in the museum’s Clifford Carl Hall. Visitors can speak to the project’s architects and museum executives, and get an initial overview of what the RBCM hopes to achieve.
“We want the community’s feedback on the preliminary thoughts we’re having about the future of our site,” said the museum’s chief operating officer, Angela Williams.
“We want to know what’s important to them. Things like, what are the attributes of the museum that they love, what would they like to see improved, how can we entice them to stay longer and what makes their visits easy or difficult.”
The museum’s goal is to improve the preservation and safe storage of its massive collection, through everything from seismic upgrades to technology improvements in the buildings housing the artifacts.
The RBCM has contracted the internationally renowned London, England-based firm of John McAslan to serve as lead architect for the project. McAslan and company have worked on such projects as King’s Cross Station in London and the Iron Market in Haiti.
Victoria-based Merrick Architecture is working closely with McAslan and the museum to develop and interpret visions created for the project.
The master plan for the project, which also involves the B.C. Archives next to the museum, is expected to be completed by September. The stated objective is to see significant changes to the buildings by 2017 and full completion of the plan by 2021.
A record of feedback from Saturday’s session and those in communities around the province will be created, and a web presence also goes live June 22, for people to comment electronically.
“We really want to hear the dialogue, for good or bad,” Williams said. “This is the people’s institution and we have to be able to accept comments and suggestions.”
The consultation happens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the museum, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.