$87M arts and culture hub planned for Langford

$87M arts and culture hub planned for Langford
WatchIt's been almost five years since the Maritime Museum of British Columbia left its home in downtown Victoria's Bastion Square. Now, it's found one right next to the Costco in Langford. As Jasmine Bala tells us, the museum is just one part of the city's plans for a new arts and culture hub.

The City of Langford and the Maritime Museum of British Columbia are joining forces to propose a multi-million dollar centre in Langford, in hopes that it will become a hub for culture and arts.

On Tuesday, they signed a memorandum of understanding for the proposed construction of the project that will include a maritime museum and performing arts theatre.

The Maritime Museum previously occupied an old courthouse in downtown Victoria, but the building was deemed unsafe by the province about six years ago.

“Ever since we’ve had to vacate the last premises we were on, which was Bastion Square in Victoria, we’ve been looking for a permanent home,” said John Clarkson, Chair of the Maritime Museum.

Now, they have found their new home in the Millstream area.

“When this opportunity came up with the City of Langford, it was an opportunity that we pursued,” said Clarkson.

Concept Images of the Pacific Maritime Centre and Performing Arts Theatre / Chris Gower, Architect and Urban Design Planner

The Pacific Maritime Centre, Conference Centre, and the Performing Arts Centre will be located on 790 McCallum Road, next to the Costco.

The Pacific Maritime Centre will contain a Canadian maritime museum, immersive planetarium theatre, and observational light-house design sky-deck. There will also be a 40,000 sq. ft. conference centre, and a multi-story business tower that will be available for government or corporate offices.

This centre will adjoin the Performing Arts Theatre, that city officials say will attract Broadway shows and provide other arts and culture experiences for Langford residents and youth.

The theatre is expected to have 1200 seats / Chris Gower, Architect and Urban Design Planner

Langford Mayor Stew Young is excited for the buildings to become part of the city’s new arts and culture hub, where everyone can benefit.

“We’re putting a theatre on that same land there as well so we can kind of partner and build a joint facility there where they’ll be able to have a theatre,” he explained. “They can use that, we can use it, the school right beside it can use it.”

He believes the new hub will support the local economy.

“This project will create several new Canadian iconic attractions for the city,” said Young, “and will further enhance our commitment for providing family-based
entertainment, youth training initiatives, educational programming and exciting new public events.”

Concept idea for the Pacific Maritime Centre in Langford / Chris Gower, Architect and Urban Design Planner

Estimated costs for the Pacific Maritime Centre is $57 million dollars, with the Performing Arts Centre coming in at a clean $30 million.

The city and museum hope to secure funding for the project through tenant lease agreements, federal government infrastructure programs and fundraising.

They say they will work towards creating partnerships with First Nations, School District 62 and other school districts, post-secondary institutions,  and community-based arts and cultural organizations.

The mayor hopes to see construction start as early as next year.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence
Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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