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Old-Town exhibit re-opened with changes at Royal BC Museum

The old-town exhibit at the Royal BC Museum is back with a new approach.

The exhibit was re-opened to the public on Saturday morning, with the event being well-received, according to Vice President of Strategic Operations for the museum Tracey Drake.

She said at the end of the day, Old Town means a lot to a lot of different people for different reasons.

“When we first closed Old Town in January 2022, there was a lot of angst and public outcry, and there was a lot of discussion about what did that look like and did that mean that it was us erasing our community history,” said Drake.

“And so I think from all accounts, it was never about erasure. It was always about community inclusion, and now we are just in that first stage of being to tell expanded narratives and include more diverse stories but in familiar settings.”

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She said as the museum thought about what the new approach to the exhibit looked like, it was critical that it shared the narratives of what a true BC landscape looked like.

While the majestic theatre, hotel, kitchen, Chinatown, and train station are all still part of the exhibit, changes were made.

Those included the mining area currently being closed, the majestic theatre screening multiple Living Culture films instead of Charlie Chaplin, and adding the story of the sleeping car porters to the Port Moody Train Station.

Drake added that the museum will continue community engagement, in the hopes of focusing on how they tell the stories of multiple communities moving forward.

The exhibit is now open to the public, with more information on the museum’s exhibits available at the Museum’s website.

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