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Langford sets sights on cultural development

Museum, conference centre and performing arts theatre proposed for McCallum Road property

A state-of-the-art museum, conference centre and performing arts theatre are being proposed as an all-in-one development in Langford.

The project between the City of Langford and the Maritime Museum of B.C. is planned for 790 McCallum Rd., across from Costco’s Langford location.

The Pacific Maritime Centre will include an immersive planetarium theatre, an observational lighthouse-designed sky deck and a multi-storey business tower open to government or corporate offices.

The conference centre will span 40,000 square feet and the performing arts theatre will fit around 1,200 seats.

“Langford is in and we will try to push this as fast as we can, but we need help from the federal government,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.

It will cost an estimated $57 million to build the Pacific Maritime Centre and another $30 million for the theatre.

While portions of the project will be funded through tenant lease agreements and fundraising, there will also be a push to gain funds from federal government programs.

ALSO READ: Maritime museum makes bid to move back into Bastion Square

“We’re hoping that this will rise out of the ground,” said Captain John Clarkson, chair of the Maritime Museum of B.C. “I’d say we’re looking at 2023 to get this up and running.

We’re pleased to build this partnership in Langford because the museum has been looking for a new home for some time.”

Currently, the Maritime Museum of B.C. is located in downtown Victoria near the Empress Hotel. It’s been in tighter quarters since moving from its previous location in Bastion Square. Some of the collections had to be stored off-site. Clarkson says parking accessibility is a big plus in his books, something that the new space will provide for the public.

The two groups signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the proposed construction on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

While it isn’t a legally binding contract, an MOU usually means that a binding contract is coming down the pipeline. It outlines the expectations of the groups involved in the negotiation.

Looking ahead, the museum and the City of Langford will attempt to create partnerships with the Sooke School District, First Nations, post-secondary institutions, youth and daycare programs, and community-based arts and cultural organizations to improve the development.