Woolly the Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum’s Natural History Gallery, quietly celebrated his 40th birthday at the museum earlier this year. (Courtesy Royal BC Museum)

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

The Royal B.C. Museum reopens June 19 with the help of timed tickets, hand-washing stations and acrylic barriers.

The Victoria museum closed its doors March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While closed, staff worked remotely on numerous projects, including planning for the museum and archives’ eventual re-opening.

“As we re-open to the public, our primary goal is to prioritize health and safety,” CEO Jack Lohman said in a statement. “Although we are well placed to introduce physical distancing measures, similar to those used by grocery stores, we are taking a cautious approach to re-opening as a number of operational issues need to be addressed first. These include physical changes, including better visitor paths through the galleries, the rearrangement of work spaces for staff, timed entry procedures and the availability of PPE and hygiene supplies for staff, volunteers and visitors.”

READ ALSO: Royal BC Museum asks for pandemic stories, photos for COVID-19 exhibit

Visitors this summer will see physical distancing measures, engineered controls and administrative changes put in place to help limit the resurgence of the virus and protect staff and visitors. Changes include limits to the number of visitors in the galleries, timed tickets, acrylic barriers at all points where visitors and staff interact and a greater number of hand-washing stations throughout the museum.

“Our volunteers are so important to us and a high proportion of them are retirees who are likely to feel vulnerable. We need to ensure we have considered everything before welcoming them. The museum galleries will be opened through a phased approach this summer,” Lohman said.

Upon re-opening on June 19, the museum’s second floor – including the feature exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year – will be open. The third floor galleries will remain closed.

Timed tickets will be available online at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca starting Monday, June 15.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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