Business case released for modern, new museum

May 25, 2022


Victoria — The final business case for a new, state-of-the-art Royal BC Museum (RBCM) is available online.

The business case was developed to enable the RBCM to meet its legislated mandate to protect B.C.’s natural and human history for British Columbians today and in the future. It contains detailed analyses to inform decisions, including project rationale, service delivery and procurement options, labour alternatives, and implementation plans and timelines. The business case resulted from extensive project evaluation during a five-year period, confirming the museum is at the end of its useful life with costs to upgrade existing buildings more than those to replace them with a new, modern facility.

Government’s capital planning process requires the development of a formal business case following approval of a concept plan. For additional transparency, government is also making the museum project concept plan available online. Developed in 2018, the plan assessed the cost of options to repair, revitalize or replace the museum, and showed that the cost of repair or revitalization would be more than building a new museum without meeting overall project objectives.

In-depth analyses in the documents identify that the museum buildings require extensive remediation and reconstruction to meet current building codes, including seismic, accessibility and energy efficiency standards, as well as to safely remove hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead and arsenic, and bring the museum up to international standards for hosting world-class exhibitions.

This is the first public release of a business case and concept plan for a vertical infrastructure project in B.C. Redacted content in the documents is limited to commercial and procurement elements affecting the competitive process. Competitive information is withheld in all documents released to the public.

The business case was informed under the following timeline:

  • 2006, 2014 and 2015 – Building assessments identify the need for major seismic and structural improvements.
  • October 2018 – Government receives a concept plan as required under the Province’s capital asset management framework for capital projects more than $50 million. Produced by Partnerships BC, now Infrastructure BC, with input from the RBCM and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, the plan outlines project need, alternatives to address the need and preliminary recommendations, such as detailed building assessments.
  • December 2018 – Government approves the concept plan, prompting the development of a formal business case for the replacement of the museum at the Victoria downtown site.
  • October 2019 – Government and the RBCM release What We Heard, a report on input collected from engagement with the public, including Indigenous communities, throughout the province.
  • Spring 2020 – Government receives a preliminary business case, approves the development of the Collections and Research Building in Colwood and requests further analysis related to the downtown museum. The preliminary business case will be available online in June 2022.
  • December 2021 – The business case is finalized by Infrastructure BC with input from the RBCM, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and the Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp.)
  • March 2022 – Government approves the final business case for the downtown museum.

Sharing the business case and concept plan with the public reflects government’s commitment to transparency.

Learn More:

View the 2021 business case and 2018 concept plan at:

View the 2019 What We Heard report at: