Province cancels funds for relocating Kits Point Maritime Museum

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Looks like the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s St. Roch may remain on Kits Point for some time to come.

The Globe & Mail is reporting that the BC government announced that it has pulled its financial support for the proposed replacement National Maritime Centre in North Vancouver, prompting the city to scuttle the ambitious mix of museum and community centre that would have celebrated the province’s maritime history. The centre was to replace the 50-year-old Vancouver Maritime Museum in Kits, absorbing that institution’s exhibits, including the St. Roch, an RCMP schooner that was the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America.

With much fanfare, including a 2008 announcement by Premier Gordon Campbell, the province put up $9 Million in funding, and was expected to contribute an additional $20 to $25 Million in capital costs for the 110,000-square-foot centre. The federal government pledged $20 Million in funding, contingent on provincial support.

Craig Beattie, president of the board of trustees of the Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, said his board executive will meet this week to consider its options, which could include a focus on bolstering the current museum in Kitsilano.

James Delgado, a former director of Vancouver’s maritime museum who helped develop the idea of the new centre, said the current space has been too small and the location too isolated from the public. Delgado suggested the current maritime museum is not up to the job, with the St. Roch in “an inadequate building that gets patched together, that will not adequately protect it over time.”

Last modified: January 12, 2010

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