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Wax museum scouts Regina

Members of the Royal Family, a smattering of movie stars and even a Prime Minister or three could be leaving Victoria for the less hospitable climes of Regina if Ken Lane's math makes sense.

Members of the Royal Family, a smattering of movie stars and even a Prime Minister or three could be leaving Victoria for the less hospitable climes of Regina if Ken Lane's math makes sense.

The CEO of the Royal London Wax Museum, which for 40 years was the main tenant of the historic CPR Steamship building in the Inner Harbour before closing its doors in the fall of 2010, has been scouting new locations for his wax figures and has hit upon the unlikely city of Regina as a strong candidate.

"The community that impressed me most in terms of potential for a wax museum was Regina," said Lane, fresh from a road trip across the Prairies that included scouting trips through Edmonton, Calgary, Canmore, Banff and Jasper for possible relocation of the museum.

Lane said the city seems to focus attention and support on the indoor attractions like the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and the RCMP Heritage Centre and that would suit him nicely.

"That's complementary for me," Lane said. He noticed how popular the attractions were given how difficult it was to find parking at the sites.

"The only challenge might be the attractions there are all governmentsupported in some way.

They can't survive on their own. I have to figure out if a wax museum can survive on its own," he said.

Lane said he's itching to get the figures out of storage and back on display somewhere. "I have been playing it by ear, but it has been coming up on two years now and I'm tired of having them tucked away and not being available for people to see," he said.

Lane said the museum won't be back in any form in downtown Victoria.

With high rents and no "museum-quality" space in the core, Lane has had to store the 190 figures he had on display in the museum and the other 160 heads and hands he had as alternates.

Lane noted downtown businesses are going to be facing higher rents down the road with major transit, sewage treatment and bridge projects on the horizon. "There's only a population of 70,000 and facing huge bills, where does the money come from?" he said, noting businesses are taxed at a rate four times residences.

Lane said he considered other locations around the region but was also wary of an "Island economy" dependent on B.C. Ferries.

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