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Why the Royal BC Museum is hosting a 'conversation' in New West

Representatives will be in New Westminster next month to host a Q&A on the future of the provincial facility in Victoria.
The Royal BC Museum in downtown Victoria. | Darren Stone, Times Colonist

The Royal BC Museum is a crown corporation and has a responsibility to the provincial government.

This means all residents, including those in New Westminster, have a say on how they should handle its day-to-day operations and cultural spaces, as well as what it's future looks like.

Next month, representatives from the Victoria-based facility will in New West to hear input from interested residents on the museum and how it can expand its outreach in the years to come.

The Community Conversation event, scheduled for March 6, is part of the Royal BC Museum's current "province-wide process to engage with and learn from the public, from key partners, and from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities on how they envision the future of the museum."

"The Royal BC Museum truly belongs to the people of British Columbia, so we’re committed to ensuring people from all corners of the province feel welcomed, included, and represented by their museum and archives," said museum CEO Tracey Drake.

"It is so important for everyone to have the opportunity to participate in this process and we’re really looking forward to hearing the thoughts and ideas from people across British Columbia."

In a news release, Royal BC Museum staff are set to host a Q&A on four key topics:

  • Buildings, spaces, and facilities
    • A physical and cultural space that welcomes and reflects all people in B.C.
  • Indigenous Reconciliation and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) implementation
    • Collaborating on Indigenous representation in the museum's exhibitions and institutional culture, and building on the repatriation and reconciliation processes.
  • Diversity and representation
    • Ensuring all cultural and social perspectives are part of the future, with thoughtful and meaningful representation
  • Inclusion and accessibility
    • Making the museum, its facilities and its programs more inclusive and accessible to all visitors

Feedback and information from the session will be documents and used to guide the path for the museum and archives, the release added.

"Updating our aging facilities and infrastructure is a critical part of reimagining the museum and archives, but so too is rethinking our methods and processes," the Royal BC Museum's website states.

"It’s a significant task. Reimagining the museum requires fiscal responsibility, enormous creativity, and, above all else, an approach that welcomes and includes the perspectives of all people in British Columbia."

The local in-person event will take place at the New Westminster Museum (777 Columbia St.) on March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Those that can't attend are encouraged to participate in an online survey, running until the end of January 2025.

For more information, to register for the New West event or to participate in the general survey, you can visit the Royal BC Museum's website.