‘One step closer’: Royal BC Museum reveals name of $270M Colwood facility

'One step closer': Royal BC Museum reveals name of $270M Colwood facility
Schematic rendering of public entry plaza. Photo: royalbcmuseummodernization.ca

The Royal BC Museum (RBCM) has revealed the name of its new archives, research and collection facility, which is currently under construction in Greater Victoria.

The building in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood, to be home to the province’s collections and BC Archives, will be called PARC (Provincial Archives, Research and Collections) Campus, the museum announced Tuesday.

The official name “brings us one step closer to opening and ensuring our province’s collections and priceless artwork are protected,” said Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Minister Lana Popham.

It was previously known as the RBCM’s collections and research building, and construction started last September.

According to the RBCM’s announcement, the new name was developed after consultation with museum employees and the province “to reflect the critical and complex work that will take place in this state-of-the-art facility.”

‘A new era,’ says CEO

PARC is located on the territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) peoples, known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the RBCM says the facility was developed in close partnership with these host Nations.

This led to “a strong collaborative approach while ensuring connection to and respect for the land,” reads a news release.

RBCM CEO Tracey Drake says the project ushered in “a new era” for the museum and archives. At 164,000 square feet, it will provide much-needed space to steward the collections and for staff to do their work, she says.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to PARC Campus to learn more about B.C.’s past, and foster a deeper connection between all peoples of British Columbia and their provincial museum,” added Drake.

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Collection labs will offer the public access to artifacts, while on-site learning programs and workshops will also be available.

“The new home of our provincial archives, research, and collections means British Columbians and visitors will have greater access to more of the province’s collections and shared history while also providing a new opportunity to watch research happening in real-time,” added Popham.

The RBCM says PARC is designed for mass timber construction, will meet CleanBC energy efficiency standards, and will be LEED Gold certified.

It’s all part of the RBCM modernization project, and the province estimates capital costs are $270 million. Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. was awarded a $204.8-million contract for the design and construction of the building, which sits on a 3.2-hectare plot of land.

The project was first announced in 2020 and is now expected to open to the public in the summer of 2026.

People can visit PARC’s website to stay up-to-date on campus construction.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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