Prepare to take a deep dive into the world of the West Coast’s magnificent orcas with the Royal BC Museum’s much-anticipated new feature exhibition.
After a year-long postponement due to COVID-19, the visually stunning Orcas: Our Shared Future exhibition makes its global debut April 16, and continues through Jan. 9, 2022.
Diving into the stories and science that surround the magnificent orca – the spirit of British Columbia’s wild coast and apex predator of all oceans – admission will be by timed tickets, available from rbcm.ca/orcas.
Through dramatic displays – including three life-size orca replicas and the skeletons of Rhapsody (J32) and her unborn calf – visitors will explore currents of ecological activism, popular culture and Indigenous beliefs to gain a deeper understanding of how orcas and humans are inextricably connected.
“This is a timely and challenging story – and one that we are uniquely qualified to tell,” says Royal BC Museum Board Chair and acting CEO Dr. Daniel Muzyka. “Our unique collections, curatorial expertise, and physical and emotional proximity to orcas and oceans combine in an edifying and ultimately hopeful experience that affirms we are all part of nature – not apart from nature.”
Among the 100+ artifacts on display are rare cultural objects by Indigenous artists, including an Articulated Dance Mask by Richard Hunt (Kwaguilth); an intricately carved Gold Killer Whale Box by Bill Reid (Haida); and a specially commissioned painting by Haida manga artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
The exhibition is complemented by a beautifully illustrated companion publication that brings together the work of marine biologists, Indigenous knowledge keepers, poets, artists and storytellers. The best-sellingSpirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History ($29.95; edited by Dr. Martha Black, Dr. Lorne Hammond, and Dr. Gavin Hanke with Nikki Sanchez), is currently available through local bookshops, the Royal Museum Shop and online at rbcm.ca/books.
The exhibition has been specifically designed to travel to other museums during the UNESCO Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030), when possible.
To learn more, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca