Royal BC Museum Modernization
Royal BC Museum Modernization
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Project Overview

Time to Modernize


The Royal BC Museum is one of Canada’s greatest cultural treasures. It is the provincial museum and archives for the province of British Columbia.

The Royal BC Museum was built in 1967. The buildings were designed to host 100,000 visitors a year. Today, more than 880,000 people visit a year. The buildings no longer meets today’s accessibility or seismic standards. The collections have outgrown the available space, and the galleries are outdated.

This project is about modernizing the Royal BC Museum to protect its historic holdings and provide better access to its collections. It will also make sure these treasures are stored and safeguarded to international standards.

Indigenous Knowledge

Key to modernizing the Royal BC Museum is advancing understanding of Indigenous cultures.

The Indigenous collections at the Royal BC Museum are immensely significant.

In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the Royal BC Museum is deeply committed to working with Indigenous communities on repatriation. The Museum will ensure Indigenous voices are heard and included; and will ensure the interpretation of Indigenous cultures are led by community.

The Province and the Museum are working with Indigenous partners to ensure Indigenous representation in the infrastructure and programming of a modern museum.

Indigenous knowledge-keepers and experts will help shape the future museum experience. New exhibits, research and programs will include Indigenous knowledge. The Museum will also support Indigenous research and scholarship.

Building Better

Part of modernizing is building state-of-the-art infrastructure.

The Collections and Research Building will use mass timber construction. To meet CleanBC requirements, the building is targeting LEED Gold standards.

As part of the B.C. government’s plan to revitalize B.C.’s interior forestry industry this facility will be built using mass timber. 

Mass timber is a category of engineered wood products, generally comprised of thick, compressed layers of wood, creating strong, structural load-bearing elements and formed through lamination, fasteners, or adhesives.

Engineered wood will be used wherever possible in the Royal BC Museum Modernization.

Learn more about mass timber.

Modernizing Programming

The Royal BC Museum is also modernizing how it tells the stories of B.C.’s history. Learn more about how the Museum is improving its programming.