The last holdout in the province’s abandoned plan to replace the Royal BC Museum will be re-opening at the end of next month.
Old Town will be reopening on July 29, though there will be some changes to the exhibit museum patrons remember from before it closed on Dec. 31, 2021.
The garage, train station, hotel, saloon, parlour, kitchen, print shop and Chinatown will reopen as they were, and some other spaces, like the drapery shop, have been emptied to “create opportunities for visitors to reimagine the storefront with a new perspective.”
“Old Town is beloved by hundreds of thousands of visitors. I know people miss it, are passionate about it and want access to it,” said Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport. “We have heard you. The reopening of Old Town is exciting news for many who have fond memories of previous visits there, and for visitors who will experience it for the first time.”
The Majestic Theatre will also show historical footage showcasing the diversity of B.C.’s voices and stories.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors back into Old Town with this new approach,” said Alicia Dubois, CEO of Royal BC Museum. “We’re committed to increasing inclusivity and accessibility to the museum through extensive engagement and co-creation of exhibits with communities, and inviting people back into this space allows further opportunities to do that.”
Old Town was originally closed in an effort to “decolonize” the museum and update it to remove racism.
A few months after it was closed, the province announced it planned to spend $789 million to replace the aging museum. A plan that was abandoned after public outcry.
Areas of the museum had begun to be emptied in anticipation of the building being torn down, but slowly reopened after the decision was reversed.
Now, Old Town is the last area to reopen in the museum, closing the chapter on the piece of history that was the Royal BC Museum replacement project.