Maritime Museum weighs anchor for new port on Douglas Street

Rather than wind or wave power, the Maritime Museum of B.C. used brute strength Thursday to move its supplies and exhibits into new downtown Victoria digs.

The museum, which had been leasing 3,000 square feet of space in the Nootka Court building on Humboldt Street since it was forced to leave Bastion Square in 2015, is taking up residence in three storefronts within the Victoria Conference Centre space on Douglas Street.

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“It’s a great location for us — there’s more storefront space and the way it’s configured there is more public space [than Nootka Court],” said executive director Brittany Vis.

The move comes with the expiration of the Nootka Court lease.

The museum had grand plans to establish a new 80,000-square-foot space on McCallum Road in Langford that would have been part of a complex that included a performing arts theatre, conference centre and office tower.

But citing new economic circumstances, the museum pulled out in March.

It now intends to pursue a waterfront location in Victoria and has been working with the province to find a space.

“This is definitely the mid-term fix,” said Vis. She said the museum hopes to open the Douglas Street location in mid or late August.

The current exhibit, The SS Valencia, a Theatre of Horror, will reopen in the new location.

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