Attention history lovers: six special opportunities are coming your way for tales of daring adventure, heroic bravery and awe-inspiring natural beauty, all thanks to the Royal BC Museum.
The museum announced its new line-up of six new exhibitions for the 2012-2013 season on Wed., Sept. 12, and the list will please patrons ready for a healthy dose of Canadiana.
“Epic is how I sum up our new exhibition season,” says Jack Lohman, museum CEO. “Our museum team has assembled a world-class line-up for visitors, featuring acclaimed international touring exhibitions and others newly created by the Royal BC Museum in collaboration with community partners to celebrate important provincial milestones.”
As the dinosaurs saunter away Sept. 30, the new season kicks off on Oct. 4 with a treat for cartography enthusiasts: Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, a collection of rare maps, dating from the late-1400s, that portray early attempts to come to grips with the shape, size, and nature of the Earth and solar system. Historical treasures from the BC Archives will also go on rotating display in the lower lobby area of the archives beginning Oct. 22 — objects like the Douglas Treaties, the only formal treaties signed with First Nations in B.C. before the modern-day treaty process now underway, that has become the bedrock for First Nations’ rights and title within modern Canadian law.
Just in time for Remembrance Day, the museum will then play host to The Navy – A Century in Art, Nov. 6, a show making its debut appearance in B.C. as part of a cross-Canada tour organized by the Canadian War Museum. To mark this year’s centennial of The Canadian Scottish Regiment, the museum and the regiment will present For Valour — The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) 100 Years of Service in Peace and War, Oct. 20.
Next, camera-crazed Victorians will flash at the chance to catch the international Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit from London’s Natural History Museum, when it returns Nov. 30 with the winning entries from the 2012 world competition. The exhibition features 100 large-scale, backlit photographs chosen from more than 48,000 international entries from 98 countries.
Into the new year, Feb. 7 will introduce Victorians to Tradition in Felicities — Celebrating 155 years of Victoria’s Chinatown. The display tells a remarkable story of the growth and development of Canada’s first Chinatown — here, in our very own city — and the cultural ties that continue to bind it to the Greater Victoria community. Interestingly, the museum is currently working to conserve the oldest-known Chinese lantern, an artifact that exemplifies the endurance of Chinatown’s heritage. A multi-media exhibition will share personal vignettes from elders who helped build Chinatown into the vibrant community it remains today.
The season finale opens with a dramatic flourish May 17, as the museum prepares for a five-month summer engagement. Race to the End of the Earth recounts a dramatic tale of Antarctic exploration: the epic quest of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the British Royal Navy to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1911-1912. Museum staff are also involved in their own modern story of Antarctic research — exhibit arts technician Jana Stefan is part of an international team that departed in August for six months to undergo a project to restore Scott’s 1911-1912 base camp. The delicate work to save the hut and more than 8,500 artifacts in the unpredictable polar environment make this one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken. Stefan will be offering glimpses into her experience in blog posts on the museum website beginning in late September. M
Learn more at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. Reserve free family passes to the museum via the Greater Victoria Public Library at gvpl.ca.