Following a Jan. 1 closure, the Royal B.C. Museum will kick off a busy January. (Black Press Media file photo)

Following a Jan. 1 closure, the Royal B.C. Museum will kick off a busy January. (Black Press Media file photo)

Royal B.C. Museum kicks off the new year with a mammoth birthday party, yoga in the gallery

January 2020 is packed with activities, lectures for folks of all ages

A jam-packed January awaits visitors at the Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM).

The museum’s mammoth, Woolly, is marking 40 years of greeting some 12 million visitors. In an effort to celebrate his time in the Ice Age and the fact he’s now middle-aged, the RBCM is hosting a birthday party fit for a mammoth in the Natural History Gallery on Jan. 26. From noon until 4 p.m., all are welcome to stop in for music, crafts, an animation station and prizes.

With Valentine’s Day creeping up, the RBCM is encouraging people to write letters to loved ones. From Jan. 2 to 11, the museum’s letter-writing station will once again be set up in the third-floor lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Paper, pens, envelopes and stamps will be supplied but the love notes must come from the heart.

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The museum’s January Happy Hour event will include an hour and a half of mindful yoga in the Natural History Gallery forest dome beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. Attendees must be 19-plus and have their own yoga mat. Children can be minded at Parallel Play in the museum’s learning centre from 5 to 7 p.m. so that Happy Hour participants can relax and focus on the moment. Admission to Happy Hour is $10 and drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

On Jan. 18, as part of the Fieldtrippers series, Yasmin Railton of the Landscapes of Injustice project, Tsugio Kurushima from the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, and RBCM collections manager Paul Ferguson will guide a group for a walk through Esquimalt Gorge Park while teaching about Japanese Canadians in B.C. during Second World War, the effects of internment and the efforts being made to restore the Esquimalt Japanese Teahouse. Attendees must be at least 10 years of age and can meet the group at the park near the Tillicum Road entrance at 11 a.m. The walk will conclude at 12:30 p.m. Admission is by donation and warm clothing is recommended.

A five-episode film series by producer and director Ari A. Cohen exploring aging in the animal kingdom will also be presented in the museum’s Newcombe Conference Hall in the new year. The first film, Longevity, will begin at 2 p.m. on Jan. 25, the next at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28, the third at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1, the fourth at 7 p.m. on Feb 4, and the last film in the series, Death, will play at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8. Attendees can watch one film for $5 or see the whole series for $20.

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From 5:15 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 22, the It’s Complicated conversation series will return with a focus on the effects of photography on public opinion. Children are welcome to attend the free talk in the Newcombe Conference Hall or they can be dropped off at the Parallel Play childminding centre.

On Jan. 25, the museum is ringing in the Chinese Lunar New Year with a celebration in the Old Town gallery from 1 to 2 p.m. Attendees can mark the Year of the Rat with a traditional Chinese dance performance by Vancouver-based dance instructor Jessica Yue.

On each Sunday in January, museum-goers interested in the animal kingdom’s sleepiest members are invited to come by the Natural History Gallery to explore the world of hibernation from 1 to 3 p.m.

The free pocket gallery exhibit showcasing Bust, B.C.’s new species of dinosaur discovered by Victoria Arbour, RBCM curator of paleontology, will remain on display at the museum until Feb. 26.

The RBCM will be closed on Jan. 1, but has extended hours until Dec. 30. Visitors will be able to view the Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises exhibit from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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