Wildlife Photographer of the Year

January 30, 2016 by Martin Vernon

The Royal BC Museum has welcomed back the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition from the Natural History Museum, London.

The quality of these stunning back-lit photographs becomes apparent when you discover that theyWildlife Photographer of the Year - Royal BC Museum are the top 100 selected out of over 42,000 entries. Many are nothing less than “awesome” (badly over-used word): of which we full of awe.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is open daily until 4th April 2016 at the Museum, by the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria.

The Royal BC Museum is one of those “must-see” places to visit in Victoria. So much more than a typical museum it brings the past alive through its permanent displays, major summer shows and its ongoing exhibitions. The 2016 summer show will be Mammoths – Giants of the Ice Age.

Allow two or three hours at least just for the floors of permanent displays. An adjoining IMAX big-screen theatre adds to its impact with a continually changing programme of dramatic presentations.

The Inner Harbour of Victoria

January 30, 2015 by Martin Vernon

As the kitchen is the heart of the house so the Inner Harbour of Victoria has been its heart for over 150 years. The early pioneers who came to Vancouver Island centred their defences around it and settlements steadily grew out from there. Travelling by water was the easiest option so it became the major trading centre of the region. Today the Inner Harbour has traded trade (ouch!) for tourism attractions and festivals yet it has never left the heart of its people: it is where we celebrate.

Some have the good fortune to enter Victoria’s Inner Harbour by ferry, seaplane or helicopter or they return to it The Inner Harbour of Victoria BCfrom a whale-watching tour. Beyond the busyness of the harbour are some imposing buildings with wonderful character. For these we owe much to Frances Rattenbury who designed the domed British Columbia Parliament Buildings, the classical columned Steamship Terminal now housing the Robert Bateman Centre and, front and centre, the Empress Hotel. Nestled among them, but rectangularly modern, is the Royal BC Museum with its IMAX theatre. Visiting all those will occupy a couple of days so many of our guests pick one or two (the Museum should not be missed) and soak up the vibrant life of the causeway and moorings. You can walk around the harbour and beyond; a lovely stroll on a sunny day. Do pop into the Tourism Victoria Info Centre to gather information about the many places to see and things to do in the Victoria area.

That vibrant life really comes to life with the sights and sounds of the many festivals such as these favourites. In May the Victoria Harbour Boat Show fills the Inner Harbour with 200 vessels and the Swiftsure International Yacht Race brings distant thrills and occasional spills. Street-life is celebrated with the Victoria International Buskers Festival on the causeway and Government Street in July, and the next month everywhere is crowded as 40,000 people and small boats cram in for our biggest annual party, Symphony Splash. The Dragon Boat Festival in August brings vigour and colour. Throughout the summer you can enjoy a browse through the artisan markets at Ship Point and Bastion Square. September visitors may see remarkable art created at the Victoria Chalk Art Festival and, lastly, there’s the fun of the Victoria Lighted Ships and Trucks Parades in early December. One thing is guaranteed: there’s never a dull moment at the Inner Harbour of Victoria.

See it on the BIG screen

March 20, 2014 by Martin Vernon

Large screen TVs may be big, but few are as big as the IMAX in Victoria – it’s over 60 feet high and 85 feet wide. Try fitting that into your home!

At the Victoria IMAX theatre at the Royal BC Museum Victoria IMAX Film Festivalyou’ll enjoy stunning visual drama with amazing audio sound. There’s no better time to visit than during the Victoria IMAX Film Festival from 21st March to 21st April 2014. You’ll enjoy a special selection of movies being shown from 10am to 9pm daily. The festival schedule offers these six films:

– Dolphins. Dive with these remarkable creatures.

– Majestic White Horses focusses on the beautiful Lippizan horses.

– Adrenaline Rush – The Science of Risk examines (spectacularly, of course) risks.

– Adventures in Wild California is a virtual expedition through dramatic settings.

– Penguins. The life of a King Penguin in his Antarctic home which he shares with six million others.

– D-Day: Normandy 1944. Why and how this operation took place.

View trailers for these six features at

Go to enjoy a single film or buy the IMAX Film Festival Pass ($36 + 5% GST). An annual Pass costs $46 + 5% GST.

Hint: sit at the back centre for the best view.

The Victoria IMAX theatre is open all year round with changing schedules of films including Hollywood full-length movies. Watching an IMAX movie is a good way to rest those weary feet, especially on a rainy day. You’re at the Royal BC Museum, one of the best in North America, so do enjoy the impressive exhibits there too.

Victoria IMAX theatre

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