Royal B.C. Museum is going back to its roots in the coming year, aiming to connect British Columbians with their place on the world stage and reinvigorate the cultural hub.
The museum unveiled its upcoming exhibitions on Wednesday, an eclectic program that reveals some of the world’s oldest maps, a journey alongside early Antarctic explorers and striking wildlife photographs from across the globe.
“We’re really trying to present something at every moment in the year, even three and four exhibits at one time,” said Tim Willis, director of exhibitions.
“Our own story is important, but also our connection to the great world stories,” he said.
The new season of exhibitions opens Oct. 4 with a rare collection of printed maps, including the world’s oldest road map from the 15th century that traces the route from Antioch to Rome.
Jack Lohman, the museum’s new chief executive officer and MC at the unveiling, has a passionate interest in breathing life back into the many forgotten collections in the B.C. Archives.
He will be meeting with Library and Archives Canada later this year, working with them to get more documents and artifacts on the UNESCO world heritage list, including several treaties between Sir James Douglas and First Nations that currently sit in the museum’s archives.
“Canada only has three (UNESCO world heritage documents),” he said. “As the second-largest country in the world, what does that say to the world?”
Lohman hopes the renewed focus on B.C. will create a modern museum.
“I think that will be the significance, the focus on collections and archives,” he said. “There won’t be a Titanic exhibit.”
The museum will also begin offering admission at 50 per cent off on weekday afternoons starting in mid-October, Lohman added.
The goal is to attract “everybody” to the museum, regardless of interest or age, Willis said.
“Our program for the year ahead is nothing if not eclectic,” he said.
There are also dozens of features presentations planned, including B.C. Bites and Beverages, a food and drink series hosted by chefs and historians.
For a complete list of the upcoming 2012-2013 program, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700, Oct. 4 to Jan. 27
For Valour – The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), 100 Years of Service in Peace and War, Oct. 20 to Dec. 2
The Navy: A Century in Art, Nov. 6 to Jan. 27
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012, Nov. 30 to Apr. 1
Race to the End of the Earth, Antarctic explorers, May 17 to Oct. 14