Question 1: What would you expect a modernized museum experience to be?



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99 responses to “Question 1: What would you expect a modernized museum experience to be?

    User avatar
    [-] D.

    interesting, interactive, engaging, factual, complete

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    [-] April

    By providing an equal amount of display area for ALL cultures that helped build the province of BC ( Doukhobor, Japanese, Chinese, Indigenous, etc. Each display would showcase a home and clothing that was worn and activities undertaken. Three themes- culture ( song, dance and art), lifestyle/work/entrepreneurship/infrastructure contributions, and political movements and results but with a well rounded view. I use the Doukhobors for example; not all were part of the radical “ Freedomites” that burned and stripped. Many were quiet and hard working and feared for their own safety while living in close proximity to members of the more radical group.
    I would expect to see video screens or virtual screens through special glasses and special hearing devices for narratives of each group. Perhaps outreach museums in each community that features a particular culture under the auspices of the main museum in Victoria. The main museum would host a display of each culture, then market the outreach museums to give people the option to get amore drilled down and detailed vision of each culture. And each year a six month larger exhibit of each culture in the main museum. Overall a more cohesive and supportive marketing plan of the cultural exhibits.

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    [-] J

    Pls include a Doukhobor contribution to BC’s landscape & cultural fabric.

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    [-] Jordanna

    A modernized museum experience should encompass a variety of components. First I feel the museum should make an effort to educate the public on what it means to be environmentally conscious and sustainable. Given our rapidly changing climate I feel this aspect is necessary to incorporate into the modernization process. Perhaps the museum could put together an exhibit that showcases BC’s changing ecosystems as the result of human activity. They could also attempt to use alternate energy sources and ensure that food services avoid using any plastic materials.
    Next I feel a modernized museum experience would be one that is accessible to all individuals of varying SES, culture, and ability. For example, the museum could have free entrance days.
    I also feel as though a modernized museum experience must equally represent the history of marginalized communities. Furthermore, theses communities should be given the opportunity to share their lived experiences with the public.
    Lastly, I imagine a modernized museum experience to be engaging and interactive. Whether it is using technology or perhaps better utilizing staff, there needs to be a way to excite and educate people about the history that goes beyond simply reading text along the exhibits. For example, the museum could use sensorial engagement to tell a story that immerses the visitor into the exhibit, as if they were a part of it.

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    [-] n

    A totally universally designed builing, its grounds and programing so that all citizens can enjoy and participate seamlessly

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    [-] C.

    I would expect a modernized museum experience to be engaging and interactive to my level of understanding on the topic. I would hope that there would be something for everyone to see and participate in. I would also like to see that it remains accessible to people especially considering the high cost of living in BC.

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    [-] Emma

    That the archives storage is built to house 100% of the BC Archives holdings (the current building only holds 20%), that the design of the building follows a sustainable, green approach and that the BC Government collaborates with Library and Archives Canada to learn from their experiences with their new preservation facilities. https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/library-and-archives-canada-s-new-preservation-centre-a-unique-canadian-environmental-project-873399878.html

    Also that the storage aligns with international best practice standards for archives and cultural heritage storage: For example, ‘BS EN 16893:2018 Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Specifications for location, construction and modification of buildings or rooms intended for the storage or use of heritage collections’, and ‘Chapter 3: Basic Conservation of Archival Materials, Canadian Council of Archives 2003’.

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    [-] Alieda

    One of the best examples of a modern museum is, to me, the woven room where guests can experience stories and songs in Indigenous languages. I just love how it uses digital recordings to blend time and space, so when you close your eyes, you feel you could be experiencing the language hundreds or thousands of years ago, right up to present day. As a lifelong resident on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples, this was sadly the first time I had ever been immersed in an Indigenous language. It was extremely moving and led me to reflect on the importance of language to a culture and to a socially cohesive people that has been forcibly stripped away through the history of residential schools and other acts of genocide. Anyway this kind of museum experience is what I hope a new modern museum would be like… moving, immersive, respectful, using technology and allowing guests to reflect on history and how it has led to the present day.

    I also think the dioramas are perfect, there is always room for improvement but the natural history dioramas are just so good.

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    [-] Ellen

    “modernize” should mean you review your museum’s existing strengths and assets and imagine new ways to connect those assets with the evolving priorities and needs of your communities. Your native plant garden right outside your front door is an obvious (and currently neglected) asset. Our changing climate and the biodiversity crisis are both high and growing priorities for the public. Communities, families and individuals are honestly worried about the future of their lands and waters. They badly want to be part of making things better. Not everyone can buy an electric vehicle, install a solar roof, or rescue whales, but many, many people have access to a garden or green space near their home, or work or school. Planting a few native species is a step almost anyone can take. It is a very satisfying and tangible step, and the museum could help many thousands of people take that step. You just need a plan, some goals and targets, and funding to support the outreach.

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    [-] Jo-Anne

    There is a need to continue to build archives of histories of communities and peoples whose stories and lives have not yet entered into the archives. We need oral histories and material artifacts.
    I believe digitizing is the way to go so that everyone can have access to these precious materials.
    Displays need to cater to all ages and in many languages. Multi-media presentations are important to keep audiences engaged.
    I would like to see a more decentralized, community engaged museum that locates itself in relation to local , regional and global communities. Not a one size fits all approach. I think RBCM needs to see itself beyond its physical structure. While it is important to have a central location for some aspects, store front, mobile and pop up “museums” might also be considered.

    I believe acknowledgement of the negative impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples and other non-white settler communities needs to be woven into the fabric of a “modern” museum.
    Women and especially minority women’s history in the province is sorely lacking in the present museum and this lacunae needs correction.
    I would like the museum to work more closely with post secondary institutions in training, education, cooperative work experience, and intergenerational linkages.

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    [-] James

    Visiting a museum, small or large, can be an exhausting experience which can numb you with information overload, no matter how imaginative or creative artefacts are displayed or are interactive or fun for children. RBC can solve this in two areas. First, a pleasant, quiet area should be created for visitors to rest, think about what they have just experienced, or just check their cell phone is they have to. I would suggest an interior garden plaza, with outdoor exposure, or glassed in with views of the harbour. Here a person can recharge before continuing on.
    Next, is a place to have lunch. Last time I was at RBC the restaurant/cafe experience was a nightmare. I certainly hope you have changed caterers, as those people took forever to make a simple sandwich; the queue to get in to eat went on forever outside in the hall. I have seen better high school cafeterias. Being in the industry I can tell you that food is important to sustain you for the museum journey. It should be local, sustainable, quick, and the tables should be pleasant and shared with fellow visitors. Access to outdoor tables, fresh air, pleasant views, art works, etc while you have your meal or beverage. And no echo chamber. Last year I visited the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. They have a good restaurant, long tables for groups or those who just want to meet people, and local food. (It was odd that the outdoor section was not open, despite the beautiful weather).

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    [-] Tim

    I feel that there are 3 vital elements to a modern museum experience:
    1. The Building: great museums are special places. The building itself is critical to the visitor’s experience. When you step into the museum it must signal that this is “not your everyday life.” The arrival experience must be both impressive and welcoming.
    2. The Exhibitions: whether permanent/long term or temporary, the exhibitions are the core of the visit experience. I think the RBCM must find a hallmark style that sets it apart from other museums. I don’t think that style involves the detailed immersive environments of its current galleries. And yet, there should be some truly memorable immersive experiences. I think the Museum should be known for superb storytelling. And the use of technology should be thoughtfully applied. Impressive, memorable but not technology for the sake of it.
    3. Visitor Amenities: a renewed or new museum must have a comprehensive set of visitor amenities. The idea is to encourage visitors to stay. Not to be exhausted. Amenities should include a lovely outdoor experience with many places to sit, food service options, children’s play spaces, a great shop and others.

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    [-] Emily

    Interactive exhibits. My kids really liked the Canadian Children’s Museum in Ottawa. Immersive so you can do/experience the activity being displayed.

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    [-] Craig

    A newer museum experience should try and balance the “traditional” museum experience with a more of an interactive element for visitors.

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    [-] Dan

    I would like to the museum to be an interactive experience that blends BC’s past with its future. Show how people lived and how our province and communities and industries evolved. Then look forward into the future and see where things might go with new technologies, climate change impacts, renewable energy, reduced carbon usage, etc. The museum could be a blend of museum/science center.

    Also, I think the museum should celebrate the rich cultural fabric of the region with again showing the evolution of the art, culinary, and music scene from the past until today. Perhaps it could even include some festival or concert like venues, restaurants, the Victoria Music Conservatory, etc to show a blending of past and current activities in the arts.

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    [-] Jerri

    The value of history is how it informs the present. I envision a museum that disrupts our concept of museum by disrupting our concept of time; re-framing history as part of a continuum that is the present; making the past relevant by making it the present. An institution that interprets the evidence that we call ‘the past’, informs the present and inspires curiosity and investment in the future. A hub that engages ‘citizen scientists’, ‘citizen historians’, students and the arts community to exercise their passions in ways that augment static displays and contribute to world-class collections attractive to the research community. An active organization that includes ‘creation stations’ –space and equipment for volunteers to engage and participate in meaningful ways that create a living, evolving, dynamic 4-D approach to showcasing BC’s identity.

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    [-] Christina

    Same as Question 1.

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    [-] Christina

    Short films from those communities; short films from the museums of those communities with a host pointing out and explaining what they are viewing; art from those communities, indigenous and other peoples.

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    [-] Mary

    The more interactive the better. We all learn better when we are engaged with what’s happening. Just standing back and looking and reading is too passive in my opinion. Especially for kids. I had an annual pass when my kids were little, the museum was our rainy day playground, they always gravitated to the more hands on exhibits.

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    [-] Lindsay

    A modernized museum should be financially accessible to all British Columbians, particularly local residents. In many European cities I have visited, there is only a nominal fee for residents and a higher cost for tourists/visitors. Although I believe that the museum’s content should aim to capture the imagination of our students and youth, it should focus on educational value not entertainment value. Additionally, it should not simply cater to families with young children with games and hands-on activities like a children’s museum. The Royal Museum should maintain some dignity and contain serious content, including real artifacts and archival documents.

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    [-] Rebecca

    As an educator with a background in history, I think it would be valuable to have various hands-on artefact opportunities within the museum with support from the curators. This past year, I brought my class for a field trip (Grade 5) and through the learning labs we were able to work with Leslie McGarry and another education guide to learn to analyze artefacts using items from the First Peoples collections. Having curators and historians on hand (even if on voluntary basis) throughout the week in key exhibits where members of the community can explore artefacts, ask questions, and be guided through an inquiry process would be wonderful.

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    [-] louise

    Having taken several children and young people through, on an educational tours ( early child education and International homestay students), hands on, tactile, technological, digital, interactive, actual activities, with docents to explain with relics or replicas are essentials. The participation element in some of your annual exhibits have been excellent. At the Victoria Art Gallery, last year, I took 3 – 8 year olds. They had hired art students to provide activities for children. A half hour trip was expanded to 1 and 1/2 hour because of interest and engagement. A place to employ such students could be in the permanent exhibits such as old town and the other similar areas. Perhaps Indigenous people could help to tell history or share hands on art, as well. Also, a membership category that would allow a caregiver(home daycare or group) to have up to 5 to 7 under 12 under one adult. Now, one can only register 3. Our daycare children spent many hours in your halls over the last 30 years(now retired) and as a result did better in school and were more curious about natural history, more conscience of conservation, etc. You could partnership with Victoria Child Care Resource and Referral.

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    [-] Rob

    I think that the Museum of Anthropology at UBC provides many architectural and design elements that would be appealing to the community if applied to the BC Royal Museum including:
    open air concept, large open glazed windows that blend the outside environment with the interior contents; vaulted ceilings that house totem poles; open performance spaces/platforms.
    A modernized museum should create opportunities for history, culture, and communities to intersect using mediums that are engaging(appeal to all of the senses) and provoke curiosity. Current up to date technology can be one of the tools to achieve this.

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    [-] Leonard

    When I go to a museum I want to learn the stories of the people and environment in its mandate. Keep me interested. Tell me stories that grab my attention. Give me options to delve deeper into subjects.

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    [-] Peggy

    The museum is great but needs an update. In terms of look and feel, I have been really impressed with the EPIC Museum in Dublin (Irish emigration) and the WW2 Museum in New Orleans for the way they present info. Visitors can have a very in-depth experience or just roll through quickly and pick up the main points. Info is presented in many different media. They are super-accessible for different abilities, ages, etc. Visitors are not passive. In terms of content, those museums do not shy away from controversy, and I am sure RBCM will do a good job of reflecting a new, de-colonized perspective, continuing on the trajectory you’ve already set. Longer hours? Yes, please! Cheaper admission? Also yes, please! Finally, below, asking about roles, you haven’t included people who work in the arts. I’ve used the museum and archives a lot for research. I hope you consider creators’ needs, too. I can think of a few things that might make it easier for people like me to use the museum for our work.

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    [-] Mickey

    I would like to see a much greater collaboration between the Pioneer Convent and school, Helmcken House and St. Ann’s as examples of living history. The school house is dark, dingy and dirty and rarely open. The Sisters have given a substantial amount of money to the Learning Centre, and having access to these historical buildings with docents, etc. Would really add to a visitors experience.

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    [-] Neil

    Hyper-energy efficient, powered by renewables and showcasing cutting edge technologies as part of science and technology ‘exhibits’ and education on what is possible.

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    [-] Brian

    I certainly expect a better performance from the Museum in booking visits to the Museum of BC school students. In April of 2019 I repeatedly tried to contact the museum School Booking by phone and by email and received no response for weeks. I could not talk to or receive a response to basic questions like booking a time for my visit with my class and the cost per student of Museum visits who are part of BC public school classes. When I was finally received a call from a real person from the Museum I was told that on only day we could arrange to come to the Museum from Vancouver we would have to pay $11. each (tourist prices) because on that Monday the school discount rate did not apply. You sure make it hard for BC school outside Vancouver Island to visit and make use of the Museum as a resource for BC students!

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    [-] Chloe

    Give back all First Nations artifacts and cultural resources to Indigenous communities & peoples who want them back. I want the modern Royal BC museum to seek out the original keepers of your whole collection of Indigenous pieces and ask them how best to rematriate them.

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    [-] Kate

    to have multiple interactive elements that touch on a variety of learning styles and abilities. Tactile, auditory, visual displays.

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    [-] Korene

    Interactive, multi age exhibits, fully digital, encourages dialogue between visitors

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    [-] Bonnie

    KID-FRIENDLY!!! We need to have our children engaged with our history. However, if that history is hidden behind glass and accessible only to those who can read, it won’t be engaging. My children love running through the historical “town” in the museum and watching the silent Charlie Chaplin film. However, other exhibits and areas of the museum have been targeted strictly at adults (the Viking exhibit from a few years ago jumps to mind – we walked straight through with the kids as there wasn’t a thing there to grab their attention). Kids need to touch, explore, listen, try out. Please work on making the museum exhibits accessible to a wide variety of ages.

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    [-] Francoise

    I hope the Museum is very careful not to make the mistake of many other museums that have mixed up modernization and the generalized use of interactive tools aimed at a public of school age.
    It makes those exhibits extremely patronizing, and also a complete bore for the rest of us. A museum should have a mandate to elevate our minds, provide up to date research and avant-garde thinking. They should not be only an amusement park for children. ( Although there should be a wing for that purpose).
    This said , the museum could use more copies or reproduction so that fewer artifacts and items need to be under glass or behind fences. Photos and videos are good too.
    Finally, we should not be shy about telling the history truthfully, and admitting to the mistakes that were made.
    Exhibits that are not too costly should be rotated more often. And they should be kept relevant to BC or at least Canada. The really expensive travelling shows are not worth the investment.
    Maybe the Maritime Museum could be integrated as it is a genuine important part of the story of BC’s communities. Most paintings however fit better in the Art Gallery.

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    [-] Marta

    The Native Plant Garden feels neglected. So sad. It is such a peaceful oasis in the midst of cement and traffic noise and fumes around the museum.
    I would like to see it appreciated and cared for, not only by volunteers ( thank you for your work!!!) but by professionals. It is the soul of the B.C. Museum, the living collection of what has been given to us for nourishment, for medicine, for beauty, for learning about the miracle of life.
    Plants that have been established and are growing for decades cannot be transplanted without huge losses. I hope that any design for restoration will keep the sunken garden not only intact but improved. We need green spaces!

    I would like to see tours in the garden for adults and especially children to learn about the natural world with which we are losing touch, and to teach us about the uses of plants before contact. We need places without technology where we can sit and refresh our spirit.

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    [-] A

    Much more interactive and hands on. When I think of museums, I think not only of historical artifacts but also science experiments and a way for children to use their own minds to discover.
    We love the cobbled street and examples of old town, perhaps something similar for indigenous history, more so than the totems there.

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    [-] Deia

    Experiential and hands-on. Modern museums have a focus on public education and are accessible for all learners in fun and inviting ways. Movement and sound bring exhibits to life and draw people in. Videos and audio recordings (with closed captions) keep people’s attention and broaden the access point so everyone is able to share in the learning.

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    [-] Tom

    I would like to see some portion of the new museum dedicated to Emily Carr. And maybe a monitor hooked up to a webcam showing a BC eagle nest. I’ve seen some of those online and they are pretty interesting to watch.

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    [-] Andrea

    After visiting the Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC, I couldn’t believe how old our exhibits and layouts are. The Smithsonian museums epitomize a more modernized experience – including more interactive activities that incorporate multimedia and hands-on experiences. More immersive installations that educate and inspire the imagination. Exhibits that use new technology to tell old stories. Exhibits that feature rotating new and fresh exhibits in newer areas like installation art (e.g. The Renwick Gallery) as well as science, history etc.

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    [-] India

    Exhibits need immediate updating to create inclusion.
    -The colonial history and Indigenous history should not be segregated.
    -The climate exhibit should include artworks that dramatically envision climate change, not just the science.

    Exhibitions should NOT have technology that quickly becomes outdated or breaks down. The technology in the climate exhibit is embarrassing. And the Indigenous language exhibit could be great, except the buttons don’t work most of the time. Technology should be more subtle, and more lasting.

    The museum needs to radically update the online catalogue – this should be a priority while the museum is closed.

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    [-] Carol

    I noticed a few years ago you offered day camps for children during the summer…. I would like to see that happen again.
    The fossil display needs a serious revamp; it doesn’t really stand out or draw enough attention to the geological history of the Island, and of BC.
    And as others have said, more interactive displays for children to enjoy and explore. My three year old would love something she can actually climb on and explore.
    But please, leave the mammoth, it is an icon.

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    [-] Tony

    MobileMuseum.ca is a great way to engage people of all ages in schools, at events and more…
    I would be happy to talk to anyone who is interested or would like more information.

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    [-] Michaela

    I would love to see more information on Indigenous perspectives and history. A lot of the museum focuses on the Settlers history, and it makes it appear like Indigenous people weren’t here and weren’t colonized. Consultation with Indigenous groups on how this could be done is very important.

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    [-] Serene

    The best thing about the museum is how immersive it is, I’d like a modernized museum to expand on that with more tactile and interactive displays, especially things to get kids interested like dress-up and scavenger hunts !! I’d also like the exhibits to be more densely packed with information, things like a few extra plaques full of text here & there or little self-tour brochures for exhibits like old town where plaques everywhere would spoil the experience !!

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    [-] Sarah

    I would love to see an area aimed at younger children. An area to touch and explore. The Vancouver aquarium has an area like this, as do many museums across Canada.

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    [-] Lori

    Have the museum open in the evenings until 9 PM.
    Have the museum have “adults only” nights. I am so sick of being crowded out by large groups of rude children yelling, running and being disrespectful.
    I used to buy an annual membership, but as a working person, the museum was never open exdept when I was working. And if I went on a weekend, the experience was made unpleasant by rude and disrespectful groups of children and teenagers.

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    [-] Maeve

    I would hope to see exhibits very focused on climate change (or at least having an undercurrent of it among natural exhibits).
    I would also hope to see indigenous history represented through a lens that isn’t flatly “all history”. The othering of presenting indigenous cultures and people as “artifacts” or “of a bygone age, prior to colonization” undermines the connection to culture in the present.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the language exhibit not long ago presented at the RBCM.

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    [-] Julie

    -architecturally significant building
    -exceptional service from front-line staff; security personnel knowledgeable about exhibition content
    -high quality cafe where I could take my kids, or enjoy a glass of wine with friends
    -online platform that is easy to use, where I’d get info and tickets in advance
    -extended hours of operation – like a public library
    -opportunities to see portions of the museum at no cost/low cost, while other areas are ticketed
    -unique shop, featuring products that are designed/made in BC
    -clean bathrooms; stroller parking; easy, well designed multi-lingual wayfinding inside
    -areas for hands-on experiences to explore content in a different way
    -tours and programs offered on a daily basis to animate exhibitions
    -interactive, thoughtfully designed exhibitions that are relevant and that include a range of perspectives
    -transparency, in terms of where the info is coming from – who are the voices behind a particular exhibition or program?
    -opportunities for feedback; to record and share thoughts and questions
    -an energizing, fun experience

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    [-] Susan

    I would expect it not only to expand upon what is presently offered but also to retain what is already recognized as first class in the global museum community. By this I mean the second and third floor dioramas! As a 14-year volunteer at the museum I have been told by so many visitors how unique and memorable our natural and human history dioramas are. These visitors include STAFF from the British Natural History Museum, the New York Natural History Museum and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum!! Their observations were that our dioramas far surpass their museum presentations!! Visitors enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to experience a Victorian village or a walk along the seashore, rather than standing beside glass cases explaining same. PLEASE DO NOT DESTROY WHAT WORKS NOW AND SHOULD BE CONTINUED INTO THE RBCM’s FUTURE!!

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    [-] Lee

    Modern does not necessarily mean full of technology, being able to interact with real things is still a crucial role for any museum. Far to often when going through museums where technological tools are used to enhance the exhibit, the are broken, or are just places for people to push buttons.

    A note about archives, one thing that has happened around the world has been the privatization of public information. Today often your require a subscription to a service such as Ancestry. com to access things like census material, birth records, etc. I hope the BC government will keep material accessible. The RBCM needs to build on it traditions of traveling exhibits and working with museums around the province. They need to size (and price) their exhibits so that they can go into smaller centres. The BC government needs to beef up support for museums around the province.

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    [-] Jacqueline

    I expect that a modernized museum experience would include a modern way to search through data and digital collections. Part of the modernization process should be digitizing collections (data) that are only stored in hard copy. I also expect that a modernized museum includes supporting important research.

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    [-] Susan

    The Native Plant Collection at the Royal BC Museum is a unique, valuable and important living exhibit that was started 60 years ago. It includes rare and endangered plants important both from ethnobotanical and educational perspectives. With most communities placing increasing emphasis on native plants to conserve resources and adapt to climate change, The Royal BC Museum is well positioned to support the process by demonstrating how attractive, resilient and diverse native plant gardens can be.

    A well designed native plant garden extends the museum experience to the street for all users, allowing everyone to explore and admire the native species of British Columbia. With appropriate signage, visitors can be educated and informed of their importance to our indigenous peoples past and present use of these species. With thoughtful design, it would be a powerful complement and introduction to the exhibits inside, as well as providing an educational interface between the street and museum.

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    [-] william

    More digital archives. Only a fraction of the newspaper holdings are available online. As a keen amateur researcher that would be my #1 wish – Newspapers have the most info, but microfilm is soooo old school with today’s technology. As for the onsite museum, how about a foundation with some real cash to back it up so that we actually display valuable artifacts [currently they tend to wind up in private hands due to the failure of the museum to compete due to no funds or any endowments]. The museum currently depends on altruistic folks to donate, that is no way to move forward.

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    [-] John

    Maximizing use of technology. 3D printing of artifacts and virtual reality displays are 2 examples. 3D printing allows the most valuable to be seen / appreciated, even handled. The historic firearms (if you still have any) would be displayed without fear of theft AND the high cost of activation. Many museums are employing VR to take patrons into historic and future works. To see inside a TRex skull, to turn an artifact in all dimensions, even upside down. One can see inside caves, cathedrals, fly over Hell’s Gate, or the Black Tusk. This is IMAX on a personalized scale… the patron chooses from a menu. RBCM could enable a patron to wonder the halls of the Louvre! RBMC and all the musuems integrate their resources to CUT GHGs from air travel. Use VR to save our planet!!

    ERROR: racial identity cannot be optional below if just YES NO!! You need ‘choose not to say’ or blank

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    [-] Klimaszewski,

    This question is very broad and embraces all possible activities at Museum/s. It includes displays, movies about particular subject of science, oral presentations, research collections – their expansion and curatorial works, and scientific works. There is great potential to involve general public in some part of life of Museum. As naturalist, I will focus only on biological aspect of Museum/s. The general public is interested in natural world around them and particularly in BC, which is consider a hot spot of Canadian biodiversity. It would be interesting to put more museum’s energy into education and to involve interested people into real research, e.g. participation in biological surveys of iconic parks, city parks and ecologically distinctive habitats. I would teach interested people how to do real research and publish new discoveries. Adding flyers with recent research activities and discoveries in parks often visited by tourists would be interesting addition. Many things can be added to the museum’s activities but the province must provide the basic funding.

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    [-] Tom

    To start, the RBCM needs well documented, organized, and readily available collections. This is critical for curators and researchers to tell the story. Also, with well documented collections new discoveries and novel avenues of thought can take place. How we view human and natural history is constantly changing with new and different questions being asked. The collections provide the basic information and if there are gaps they need to be identified. There also needs to be collaboration with the public. In many subject areas there are tremendously knowledgeable people in the community and some of them hold impressive collections. Finally, the RBCM and its extensive collections play a critical and unique role in long-term research in B.C. and any attempt at modernization needs to keep that in mind.

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    [-] Tom

    A modern museum needs to provoke questions and provide interaction with visitors. At the same time it needs to be entertaining with a few unexpected and novel aspects.
    For example, the Museum of Archaeology in Montreal has incorporated a section of the original Montréal sewer with an amazing LED light show. Beyond entertainment, exhibits need additional online information. Few people can read all of the signage presented in a single visit but if something does create interest, the visitor has the option of going to the web to read more. Ideally that information should address the significance of the exhibit and not just facts.
    I still find a face to face interaction with staff or knowledgeable volunteers the best experience. It’s even better if it involves hands on experience. A year or so ago I visited the British Museum, staff had a tray of artifacts in the gallery and I was allowed to hold a 400,000 year old Palaeolithic hand-axe. That was an experience! As an additional comment, the many events such as Night Shift etc. are great and should continue but really only cater to a Victoria audience.

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    [-] Susan

    I think the museum should act as a collaborator and adviser to communities to allow them to tell their stories – the museum is a venue and the people that work there are ‘experts’ in storytelling, not in knowing the individual community’s stories. Each community will likely want to tell its story in its own way.

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    [-] Susan

    I would expect a modernized museum to offer a venue that is accessible to all (that is that it does not present barriers in terms of physical access and offers alternative ways to interact with the exhibits for those with visual disabilities for example) and that also allows the visitor to contribute to the experience for later visitors (i.e. give people the option to create videos or collages of images from their visit along with voice over – would be especially beneficial for visitors who speak other languages besides those that have brochures provided). I would expect there to be a variety of types of interactions available – everything from hold and touch for young visitors to audio guides for those that may be pre-reading age (or simply prefer to listen) to ‘traditional’ written displays to evolving dynamic info panels that visitors can update with findings from their own research online.

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    [-] L

    People can look at images from almost anywhere now on their screens.

    When I see people getting excited in museums I visit, it’s because they can touch and interact with exhibits — and the excitement of being next to things that have a strong physical presence one way or another.

    Some examples: many taxidermied animals, fossils, rocks, and bones that visitors can *touch* at Oxford University’s Natural History Museum (building on the exhibits already in the Natural History Gallery), the “Sur mesure, les 7 unités du monde” exhibit at the Paris Musée des Arts et Métiers where life-sized vertical video displays of scientists explain the exhibits, activities that let visitors learn about indigenous knowledge (like medicinal plant identification, traditional food preparation techniques, storytelling).

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    [-] Jacqueline

    For this there would need to be new displays, perhaps a whole new section dedicated to BC history and early settlement. Various ethnic groups as well as the indigenous population have made this a unique place. This could include the early settlers and their brilliant vision (such as building the Empress in a mud flat) for a beautiful city. It should include the early East Indian communities which controlled so much of the logging industry, the Chinese who brought their merchandising skills and worked building the railway and mining. Not all of it was good, the rounding up of Japanese citizens in WWII being one example. But we need to tell the bad with the good and how we learned from our mistakes to develop a better society.

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    [-] Jacqueline

    I love the museum and it’s many displays and feel it does a good job of telling visitors a lot about BC and its history. All cultures and nations which have come to BC and make it their home should be honoured as Europe honours the many diverse groups which have formed the various countries there. New technologies could make existing displays more interactive and and attractive to adults and children alike. My biggest disappointment with the museum is the entrance, which resembles an airport waiting lounge more than a museum. It needs a friendlier and more inviting approach to excite people about their visit. It would be wonderful to have a few displays scattered around to whet their appetites for what awaits them within. We lost the beautiful rain curtain and carved canoe many years ago which was a tragedy. Nothing since then has come close to the drama and beauty of that display. There also used to be a lovely little coffee shop where patrons could purchase a snack or a meal and sit down to enjoy them. I worked close to the museum and would often go there for lunch.

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    [-] Barbara

    Availability of personal audio guides (as in many museums and galleries in UK and Europe) would be a great step towards modernization.

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    [-] Robert

    1) How about some live material instead of just dead stuff? Example:s Regional plants, BC insects, mosses …
    2) Active research projects on display with audio/video summaries of why this work is being done.
    3) Active citizen science (and other , e.g.photo archives) projects on display.
    4) Special days like a miniature Antiques Road Show, bring in your fossils day, , identify your bugs day , music of the 1820s …

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    [-] Kris

    Immersed experiences but not relying on screens and technology. Replicating the space that artifacts would have been seen or used in. The old town experience does that now, please continue to create those spaces to fully experience eras and communities.
    Undestanding and learning experiences that reflect evidence-based practices and research that demonstrates what works and draws people to learn about the past, present, and possible future.

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    [-] Hume

    I would expect a modern Museum to reflect the history and curent state of British Columbia. I would expect it to provide a baseline of BC biodiversity as it is now. We need better coverage of our ecosystems with modern data capture. This will tell us how we are, and it will tell us how were and how we have changed in the coming decades. On a practical level knowing our biodiversity will help British Columbians prosper by recognizing and responding to new pests that will arrive with climate change.

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    [-] Jay

    Educational, focusing on the wonder of the natural and human worlds

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    [-] Yves

    1) Leave the visitor w a sense of accomplishment that the visit was worthwhile. I believe people go the the museum to learn about the world around them.
    2) Online presence that is has as much impact as visiting the museum in person.
    3) Content is organized in various levels of information to allow visitor to go as deeply as they want but still feel satisfied.
    4) Content touches all senses so the visitor feels the wonder that the museum is attempting to pass on.
    5) Physically the museum should be open concept getting away from stuffy rooms. Lots of light and few walls.
    This is exciting and hope you get a museum that is cutting edge.

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    [-] Rhiannon

    I would expect that the pedagogical direction and od collection-based exhibits and educational supports/programming to be inclusive and critical. I would expect there to be no use of naturalized gendered and/or patriarchal language and constructs (i.e. mankind, history of man, etc etc) without addressing them as such as part of the breakdown. I would expect to see the Museum authentically pursue the de-colonization of the collection and institution in partnership with local nations and elders. I would expect a modernized museum experience to challenge worldviews. I would expect programming to embrace and engage global events as a way to make sense of history and present the collection and knowledge in a relevant light. I believe that rigorous, risk-taking programming must underpin and precede any investment in interactive technologies and exhibit design, which when used, optimize and extend the reach of that original mission in demonstrably useful ways.

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    [-] Paul

    A museum should have a transformative effect on its users, both reflective of the past and a vision to the future. A modern museum should excite its users, inspire curiosity and entice users to ask questions and explore. It should not be a monument to the past, but a vehicle that allows us to see linear across time, past, present and future.
    I would want to see a modern building, that invites you in, where you are excited to see around the next corner, visually stunning, not a dark dusty building that speaks of the past.

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    [-] Kasey

    I would hope that a modernized museum would better serve the various types of visitors, from tourists to school groups to researchers and so on. School groups need better orientation and programming spaces and should only be in the galleries with staff or volunteer escorts to ensure that they are not compromising the enjoyment of others. Researchers and Indigenous visitors should have comfortable and safe places to work with the collections and staff. The site is perfect for the Royal BC Museum’s visitors, but the responsibility to preserve the provincial collections could probably be fulfilled elsewhere.

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    [-] Nancy

    A modernized museum experience means walking through exhibits which combine display of historic objects (or their representation), informative/illuminating text messages which pay great attention to legibility, and some interactive experience.
    To encourage repeat visits and greater familiarity with the museum, exhibits should change frequently or else there should be quite a large number of exhibits to choose from.

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    [-] Amy

    I always appreciate the interactive displays and an approach that makes the exhibit accessible for my young children. I visited the Museum for the first time last year, and really enjoyed the immersive displays you walk through, and agree that these could be updated. The best modern children’s experience I have encountered is the Children’s Museum within the Museum of Civilization in Hull. Having a smaller scale version of that, with a focus on BC content would be invaluable. We would go to the museum every time we came to Victoria with the kids if it had an opportunity to learn through play like that museum. I expect a modern museum to host challenging temporary exhibits, that make you think.

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    [-] Eileen

    A modernized museum experience would incorporate learning through exhibits and through programs that let visitors interact even more with the learning experience. Something I love about our museum is walking through the exhibits. Captain Vancouver’s ship has always been a favourite but I could imagine myself there. The incorporation of sounds and smells would make it even more of an “experience”. I love the old town for the same reason and some of my best experiences at other museums, forts and old towns has been the interaction between myself and “citizens”. Barkerville has a great program of street shows and walks that help someone learn more about what they are seeing without having to read displays. I think a combination would work really well for the museum.

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    [-] Sara

    Very visual and interactive, including new technologies but also tactile when possible. Accessible to all ages and abilities.

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    [-] Suset

    to have more interactive learning opportunities for patrons, to include more detailed local/regional history and to host residents or elders to share those experiences and stories in a more interactive way

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    [-] Carmen

    1) Inspiring architecture
    2) Creative exhibits that have been expertly curated
    3) People from all ages, backgrounds and communities are drawn in (vibrant diverse space that creates feedback-loop in building a sense of community/place/pride/respect).
    4) Displays contain opportunity for deeper knowledge seeking (ie, lengthier stories/write ups on displays for more curious minds
    5) Regularly changing feature exhibits, which can also be leveraged as a focal point for smartly planned events/experiences.
    6) Creative/inspiring flex spaces for regularly planned adult-oriented workshops, presentations, talks by artists, researchers, experts, featured community members, etc and for daytime children’s programming.
    7) More spaces with comfortable seating within the museum to sit and take in the displays, contemplate/interpret, or to enjoy modern digital media projected.

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    [-] D.

    Good funding for collections, such as the entomology collection, for digitization efforts and data sharing.

    n the case of plant, animal, and fungal collections, this would allow scientists from across BC (and elsewhere) to conduct interesting new studies on BC’s biota. It would also provide teaching opportunities at universities and colleges as students could use real, relevant data.

    I know that this type of work takes time, effort, and funding. I also know that you have great scientific personnel and volunteers there who are doing fantastic work already in this regard. Please keep that up and expand it as well!

    Thanks for this opportunity to respond, and all the best.

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    [-] Carl

    The best stories are the ones you remember long after being initially exposed to them. The stories we remember the most / longest are the ones that touch us emotionally as well as cerebrally. That is achieved by making the stories realevent and relatable to the audience being exposed to those stories.

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    [-] Carl

    Any world class, modern public facility needs to incorporate state of the art multimedia. Projection, tactile interactive and audio technologies to create the most memorable and exciting experiences. RBCM wows it’s guests now with its, all be it dated, immersive static exhibits. Incorporating the technologies mentioned would improve guest engagement, experience and memories exponentially.

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    [-] Rj

    an interactive, immersive one, that leverages technology tastefully, with respect, and as appropriate

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    [-] Dave

    thought provoking. Leave the observer wanting more and asking questions. Bring history alive and relevant to present day society. How do we learn from history and why does it matter to me?

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    [-] Dave

    Bring the museum to the people. Travelling road shows with interactive activities that involve both children and adults. Many people on the island cannot travel to Victoria for various reasons and could benefit from history being brought to them. The benefit could be twofold, museum staff could grow in their role by experiencing how other communities perceive history (and changing their approach accordingly) and the community could benefit by having access to their history (and in the case of indigenous communities perhaps adding to or correcting historical accounts) –

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    [-] Aubrey

    A virtual/augmented reality, or 4D environment for those types of exhibitions would be really cool. A great way to use technology in an immersive way.

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    [-] Katharine

    Interactive, informative, diverse, includes everyone’s stories in a culturally respectful way, hosts interesting temporary exhibits from around the world, is accessible by everyone, offers programs for children and adults, provides volunteer opportunities, is an attraction for both tourists and locals.

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    [-] Krista

    How about an interactive display where kids can use various props and tools supplied by the museum, to put together their very own diorama (tell a story in their own way)….so they get to actually be inside the display and put something together that the public will see. Perhaps they prepare some of the written material as part of their classroom curriculum and then come to the museum to physically put it together with the help of museum staff. This way they learn by doing and interacting with the information. If the information is on display for a determined amount of time, then it may also encourage friends and family to come by and see the work they completed as a team, and also how they interpreted the information.

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    [-] Tyler

    Dynamic exhibits, later operating hours, and more food.
    Many of the static exhibits haven’t changed in decades, and it shows. Having only one – and sometimes two – travelling/temporary exhibits for a few months doesn’t draw attention from the surrounding community since they will have seen everything in one visit and have no need to return until the next exhibit is brought in months down the line.
    Later operating hours are important because many people can’t accommodate the existing time-frame to visit. This is particularly important for youth as many children and teens may be looking for a place to go after school/work, but the museum is almost never an option because it’s so restricted in terms of hours of operation. It currently seems more like it operates as a daycare/tourist attraction and has very little effort to pull in other demographics.
    Finally, more food is important. Before moving to this city, I don’t think I’ve been to a single publicly funded museum across Canada that doesn’t have a full food court. If you want patrons to visit, stay, and spend money, give them a good supply of food INSIDE the building. The food trucks are amazing but force people outside and the current indoor food supply is scarce at best. There is an entire area that could be converted to allow at least two food services indoors and I feel that it would be highly beneficial.

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    [-] Krista

    It would be nice to have the Museum collaborate with the local school districts on how to make field trips for kids more exciting and memorable. When I was a kid, some of my first experiences with the Museum were with our elementary School. We were so excited to go – but as we got off the school bus, our teacher would hand us a worksheet that needed to be completed by the time we returned. It resulted in us having to frantically find the answers in the time we had, which meant we never had the time to enjoy the museum for what it really is. 40 years later…I had hoped this approach had changed. But alas, NO, my own son says the exact same thing about his experience of going on a field trip to the museum – a boring worksheet and a time constraint in which to fill it out. We want a kids experience of the museum to be so mind-blowing awesome, that they want to come again and again….not run for the hills. Therefore, perhaps provide the tools & information to the schools before they bring their classes, which will help ensure their kids have the best possible experience.

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    [-] Elizabeth

    I would like to see a lot of hands-on exhibits.

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    [-] Jess

    I would love to see more interactive and hands on exhibits. It’s been a frustrating experience for my children who would love to be able to explore the exhibits, but are not allowed to touch. They LOVE the First Peoples Exhibit and the old town, but making it more interactive would be great. It is missing permanent exhibits that you can explore and interact with.

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    [-] Paul

    A modern museum experience would be one where I can actually experience the museum. Once, a long time ago, there was no charge to go to the museum. When I was young I would spend many Saturdays at the museum (when it was located in the basement of the Parliament Buildings and then in the current site). Since an entrance fee was established, I have not been to the museum. There are just too many demands on my pay cheque. I don’t even go to the movies. I think the museum should be free for citizens and tax payers of the province. An entrance fee can be charged for anyone else.

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    [-] Richelle

    Have British Columbians tell the story and then have the museum holds that support the story. The strength of some of the newer exhibits is the introduction of oral histories. Not only is this more engaging but it’s also the context missing the most in the building at large. Not everyone reads to learn – they listen and learn through story. Storytelling is missing from the museum.

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    [-] Richelle

    An example of where I think RBCM should lead to – the Indigenous languages exhibit. In comparison to the others parts of the museum: it has more entry points to the subject; it has materials that individuals of various literacies can engage with; it’s interactive; and it has more context for each object. I understand that the museum has one-of-a-kind holding that are important nationally and internationally but there isn’t enough information to show why.

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    [-] TomO

    I think to answer this question you can go to TripAdvisor, select museums in the same category as the RBCM and read the reviews of what people like and don’t like. Then try to incorporate as many of the likes when you do your modernization which should not only get you good reviews in the future to attract more visitors but the TripAdvisor reviews should also help identify expectation of museum visitors.

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    [-] Valentina

    Affordability. Going to museum is an expensive way to stay inside

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    [-] Andrea

    Floor to the ceiling exhibition design! What would the exhibit be like if you were under 3 feet tall? How would you engage with the content if you are a child who can’t read yet? I have seen some great examples of this in your recent exhibits. Notably the Bonds of Belonging exhibit. There was much thought and consideration put into the way children would experience the content. My daughter was 4-years-old at the time and still talks about it whenever we go to the Museum. She’s a lifelong convert now. Will always want to come back and support museums because of those kinds of experiences. Every exhibit should have that level of immersion for children. ( For some reason, whenever we are in the First Peoples exhibit she wants to play and run around the Totem poles. It brings out a sense of play in her and I’d love to be able to encourage that, but I’m always a bit uncertain as to whether or not it is appropriate. How do children engage around these kinds of objects? Can that be built into the exhibit?) Children are the ones who pull their parents through the doors. And then will come back to bring their own children one day. For adults, I love what you’re doing with your It’s Complicated series. I’ve had some very meaningful discussions and experiences attending these. I enjoy wandering through your exhibits, but I really love having opportunities to talk with a diverse group of people about issues; whether social or scientific. So I think that you are already moving in the right direction in terms of modernization. Keep fueling that.

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    [-] Jean

    More interactive and hands on opportunities for learning for families and children. It would be great to see more scientific exhibits and learning opportunities, as there is nothing in the Victoria area like Science World in Vancouver, and that is a huge gap for kids and families that live here. I think the Royal BC Museum does a great job of history, but there is not much that is current or futuristic.
    I would also love to see better online ticketing and seat selection options for all IMAX shows, without the added fees for booking online (which seems very odd as most places encourage people to book online, not make it more expensive for them)

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    [-] Jason

    I expect an experience that reflects modern cultural awareness, but does not lose the immersive experiences that drew me and my children back to the museum time and again. Allow visitors to get lost in exploration as they currently can, for instance pouring over the toys/games exhibit, or talking to each other across the echo chamber in the natural history exhibit. As a technologist, nothing would disappoint me more than a reimagination that equates modernization with the introduction of gratuitous technology. Remain human-centric.

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    [-] Jesse

    Have universal online access to archives and exhibits, with a virtual tour for those outside of the lower mainland.

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    [-] Anna

    I would absolutely love to see way more programs for children with hands on learning about history and science. So in other words, there would need to be improved facilities for that. Also, please please -allow us to book our actual seat numbers online for the IMAX for all shows, not just some. It is so difficult for those with disabilities with young children to have to wait an hour in line just so as to get a decent seat, Going to the wonderful film about the Great Bear Forest with a seven year old grandchild reminded me as to why it is I don’t go very often to the IMAX . The wait was a really difficult. When we lived in Nova Scotia the Maritime Museum had wonderful programs all year round for children – learning to build model ships; making a 18th century Christmas decoration for a wooden ship – all sorts of things and affordable also. And they were open to everyone not just school groups, I am sure the Museum could manage that with some thoughtfulness,