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Royal BC Museum: Visit to explore the iconic Terry Fox camper van and other events this summer

Royal BC Museum CEO Tracey Drake shares exciting insights into latest exhibitions and future plans
The Royal BC Museum celebrates Terry Fox in its lobby, showcasing his Ford Econoline camper van that accompanied Fox on his Marathon of Hope in 1980. Photo via Royal BC Museum

It has continued to be a busy time at the Royal BC Museum as we unveil our newest exhibits and share exciting developments for the future. From iconic displays honouring Canadian heroes, cutting-edge design exhibitions and upcoming state-of-the-art facilities, to Indigenous Artists' Markets and cultural celebrations, this is a place for everyone.  

Iconic exhibits

Stonehenge opened on May 10 to great acclaim and is not to be missed. In addition, one of Canada’s most iconic heroes, British Columbian Terry Fox, is celebrated in the lobby, along with his Ford Econoline camper van that travelled over 5,000 kilometres alongside Terry Fox on the Marathon of Hope in 1980.  On April 12, it was my honour to enter into a 20-year partnership with the Terry Fox Centre to care for the Terry Fox Collection.

If, like me, you were fortunate enough to witness Terry’s incredible bravery and resiliency that united our nation, memories of Terry Fox and his heroic journey in 1980 are filled with pride and emotion. 

It is the Royal BC Museum’s goal to not only safeguard and preserve this important Canadian collection for generations, but to also help keep Terry Fox’s remarkable legacy alive, and inspire visitors to B.C. with his unwavering spirit and commitment to making a difference. The Terry Fox lobby display will remain until late summer. 

Design In Canada 

I have always had a passion for design – with mid-century modern being my most favourite design era. I am thrilled that we will be welcoming a design focused exhibition from the Royal Ontario Museum. Canadian Modern opens on June 28 and will be on display until Feb. 2025.  This exhibition is a celebration of modern Canadian design and the people whose creativity has provided Canada with a unique place in the global modern design and craft movement.  Of course the influence made by B.C. on modern culture will be represented with pieces from our provincial collection to augment this exhibition. 

PARC Campus

We are in the midst of building PARC Campus, a new state-of-the-art collections and research building in the Royal Bay area of Colwood. Set to open in 2026, PARC is an acronym for Provincial Archives, Research and Collections. There are two frequent questions I receive about the new facility.  Will this replace the downtown museum? It will not. The museum will remain at its downtown harbour location, but archives will move to Colwood, along with research labs and collections spaces. Will PARC Campus be open to the public? It most certainly will. The building is designed with a central public hallway which features windows into the research and collection labs, so that you can see our team at work and ultimately have access to more of B.C.’s collective history. If you are out in Royal Bay, take a look at the building in progress. You cannot miss the big orange crane on the work site. I was there recently with Colwood Mayor Doug Kobayashi and it was exciting to see so much progress, including the stunning mass timber structure coming to life and the erection of exceptionally unique rammed earth walls.

We are so very lucky to live in this beautiful province with an abundance of natural beauty and cultural richness. I wish everyone a fantastic summer and I hope that wherever the season takes you, the Royal BC Museum will play a part in your own island explorations.  

- Tracey Drake, CEO of the Royal BC Museum

Phase 2 engagement will continue this summer. Please take a few minutes and complete the online survey, open until the end of this year. It asks key questions about the future of the Royal BC Museum, the museum values your input. Scan the QR code below to get started, or visit