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Province stops museum plan, will consult public on museum's future

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:58 PDT, Wed June 22, 2022

The province is halting plans announced last month to rebuild the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The museum will remain open to visitors. The Royal B.C. Museum will now lead a broad public engagement to consider all options for the future of the museum.

"I always try to act in the best interests of British Columbians," said Premier John Horgan. "That involves listening. That also means taking responsibility when you make the wrong call. Over the past few weeks, we listened to British Columbians who have made it clear they want the Royal B.C. Museum to remain open while we rethink our long-term plans to protect its priceless artifacts. That is exactly what we are going to do."

Public engagement will seek input on what British Columbians want to see in a modernized museum experience. It will also address structural and safety issues identified with the current buildings. The structure, timeline, and scope of the public engagement will be determined by the museum board with a view to connecting with the broadest possible range of British Columbians, including First Nations, business groups, members of the public, and other stakeholders.

"Museum leadership will undertake a broad public engagement to determine our next steps,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. “At the end of the day, this museum belongs to the people of British Columbia, and their voices will determine its future."

Construction of a new collections and research building in Colwood will continue. Once it is complete, museum artifacts will be safely relocated there.

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