Royal British Columbia Museum

The Royal British Columbia Museum ( Royal Museum of British Columbia) is a historical and ethnological museum in Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The museum is one of the most important research and cultural institutions in Canada. It is located on the Inner Harbour, between the Empress Hotel and the Parliament building. Around the building there is a belt other historical monuments, such as the Thunderbird Park and Helmcken House is (the oldest non- Indian home in the province ), comes to an archive.


The museum contains seven million exhibits with a focus on natural history, First Nations of British Columbia, and recent history. Therefore, three Galleries are distinguished, the First Peoples Gallery, the Modern History Gallery and the Natural History Gallery. The Galleries each correspond to a floor.

The First Peoples Gallery offers totem poles, masks, and canoes, but also a Plank or nave and descriptions of the first encounters with Europeans. Masks and nave have been specially made ​​by members of the resident in the north of Vancouver Iceland Kwakwaka'wakw. There are also donations accepted collections and rental items the First Nations. The house has Kwakwabalasami, Jonathan Hunt, who serves a chief from Tsaxis (Fort Rupert ), numerous masks and totem poles in front of the museum come from chief Nakap'ankam, Mungo Martin, of the tribe of Kwakiutl. Bill Reid, Haida has conceived an exhibition for the smallpox epidemic of 1862 and its disastrous consequences. In this area of ​​the museum there photographing and film ban.

The Modern History Gallery, in the same floor as the on the First Nations, shows the history of the region since the end of the 18th century, beginning with a partial reconstruction of the vessel by George Vancouver, the HMS Discovery, on a water wheel from the gold mines of the 19th century, the reconstruction of a farm and the road image from 1903 at the Drapers Dominion Building to a pharmacy from the Chinatown.

The Natural History Gallery displays flora and fauna such as grizzly bears and sea lions, as well as geological and climate changes. This simulated trips, such as the deep sea, videos, dioramas and an IMAX theater are used. Particularly impressive dioramas show the regionally specific natural areas, such as sea coasts and temperate rainforest, or the delta of the Fraser River. 2006/ 07 opened a marine station.

These exhibitions are on Leonardo da Vinci, dinosaurs, or the Titanic.

In the surroundings you can find the RBCM Cultural Precinct, specifically between Douglas, Belleville and Government Street. It consists of the BC Archives ( the Archives for the province ), the Helmcken House ( it is the built in 1852 home of John Sebastian Helmcken [ 1824-1920 ] ), the St. Ann's School House ( a school building directly across from the same period ), the the Netherlands Carillon ( a bell tower, which was donated in 1967 by the Dutch municipality in the province ), the Thunderbird Park and Mungo Martin House, in his language Wawadit'la.


The museum was founded in 1886, the archive in 1894. Was not until 2003, the two institutions were merged institutionally.

It was founded in response to a petition thirty prominent citizens of the city. The first seat was the office of the Provincial Secretary ( Provincial Secretary ) in the building, the one " bird cages " ( " the Bird Cage " ) gave the name. The first curator was John Fannin, a passionate collector, after today's exhibition building, Fannin building is named. Soon, the museum was moved to the building of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, then in 1898 in the east wing of the parliament building. With the Museum Act of 1913 the house was given two priority areas natural history and history of the indigenous people of the province. Large amounts of artifacts, particularly from the First Nations could be purchased, and so in 1921 had to be dug an underground basement.

In 1941 six Lots, Residential Lots, free at the corner of Belleville / Douglas Street and so the Thunderbird Park was established. At this time, originals are not issued, the significant decay traces had ten years later. So they had to be restored and erected protected. They were replaced by copies.

By 1961, the number of annual visits exceeded the limit of 100,000. So Prime Minister Bennett announced in 1963 a move to the British Queen Elizabeth II laid the foundation stone, two years later, in 1968, the new building was opened. As well as wrote the new museum law states that a collection of modern history should be created: The Modern History Gallery was built, which opened in 1972. Five years later opened the The 12,000 Year Gap Galleries ( The 12,000 -year gap) and First Peoples Galleries; Another two years later, as the first part of Natural History, the exhibition Living Land, Living Sea ( Living Land, Living Sea ) on the second floor.

Nearly a century had worldwide Museums ( and collectors ) purchased the artifacts alone 198 recognized, to further strains in British Columbia, sometimes surreptitiously or forced the surrender. But the relationship with the First Nations has changed considerably in recent decades.

Again in 2003/ 04 this has been written. For a continuously be questioned with regard to the interpretation, presentation and didactic presentation of the exhibits, the original owner. Basically, all objects are now deemed property of their respective tribes, thus an appropriate respect should be connected, which refers particularly to ceremonial items, on grave goods and especially on the remains of people. At the same time more or less ill-gotten exhibits to be returned, however, remains the goal, if possible, the whereabouts of the pieces in the museum. The collaboration with museums of First Nations is intended to be strengthened. In addition to a constant flow of information connecting the objects with their owners, these in turn to access to their significant objects easier. Can a current need of an heir to a ritual object prove, he is to be returned. The data necessary for a potlatch items can be awarded. In order to partnership principles that have been designed jointly by the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Museums Association and further developed.

For almost 30 years, there is a school program that is aimed at discounted prices to students. It took place between October 2007 and May 15, 2008 16.

Meanwhile, an online exhibition about whales, dinosaurs, songbirds, endangered species and squid is presented, to the Grace Bell (1900-1986) donated collection comes with countless recordings of bird songs.

As a result of the global economic crisis went from 2008 back ticket sales and government funds have been cut, so that by 2012, 12 million are provided in grants. CEO Pauline Rafferty called in March 2010, a loss of $ 491,000 for the year 2009. This also contributed to the exhibition of 2009, in contrast to the year 2008 to the Titanic, which brought $ 30,200,000, of losses was characterized. Therefore, before 2012 should be no more exhibitions of this kind, except for the already planned exhibition of the Terracotta Army in 2011.


Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) since 2001, Pauline Rafferty. The trained archaeologist ( excavation campaigns 1974-79 ) worked in the field of Archaeology, Heritage Trust and later for the Ministry of Tourism. In 1990 she was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Women's Equality (Women's Equality ). From 1992 she worked at the museum a new business plan that was from 1994 to 2001 director of the museum with the responsibility of finance, marketing, human resources and information systems.

Responsible for the research and conservation program since 1993, Grant Hughes, head of the archive is Gary Mitchell, the exhibition management Tim Willis is responsible. These Diane Lloyd come for the development and Angela Williams for Business and Operational Services and Faye Zinck of Finance. For the Helmcken House Lorne Hammond is responsible.

In addition to the province stands behind the house a foundation with 6,000 members. The revenue from ticket sales in 2007 amounted to almost 3.6 -million, plus another almost 2 million CAD. The total cost amounted to approximately 20 million CAD. Volunteers provide for the museum over 40,000 hours per year. Meanwhile, the institution manages around 10 million items.

On 1 April 2003, the archives (British Columbia Archives), the Helmcken House, the Netherlands Carillon, Thunderbird Park, St Ann's School House and the museum itself to the Royal BC Museum Corporation were the new Museum Act, combined.

Expansion plans

The 14 -storey building Fannin, where the exhibitions are held, is to be demolished, as well as the British Columbia Archives. In its place will arise a new ten - to twelve -story house. There, the main entrance will be located. Shops, cafes, offices and a center for dialogue are provided there, large rooms for temporary exhibitions.

Collections and archives are to be relocated in two 14- story towers on the current parking lot. The museum will offer a half times the space and are also built to the highest standard in Energy and Environmental Design.