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'Come in and explore': BC Aviation Museum holds first open house since pandemic

Aircraft at the BC Aviation Museum are shown. (CTV News) Aircraft at the BC Aviation Museum are shown. (CTV News)

After being grounded for the past three years due to the pandemic, volunteers at the BC Aviation Museum in North Saanich, B.C., are ready for takeoff with the facility’s first open house since 2019.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, more than 40 tour guides will be on hand to provide visitors with an in-depth look into B.C.’s aviation history.

During the course of its 35-year history, the North Saanich-based museum has collected more than 30 aircraft and thousands of artifacts with each item representing a key moment in the province’s history of flight.

"We want people to come in and explore," said BC Aviation Museum board president Laura Lavin.

"Every year there’s new acquisitions, we get new planes like the [Grumann] Tracker. We’re the past of aviation and the future," she said.

The collection of aircraft on display range from military aircraft made famous in the Second World War, such as a Spitfire and a Bristol Bomber, to a 1950s era Tran-Canada Airlines Vickers 757 Viscount passenger airliner from the early days of commercial air travel.

"You can actually walk through the Viscount and see what public travel was like back then," said Lavin. "You can really see how aviation has changed and grown through our history."


In addition to the museum’s aircraft displays and exhibits, a number of guest fly-overs will take place during the open house.

Harbour Air's Electric Beaver, Canada's first electrically-powered commercial aircraft, will make an appearance during the one-day event.

"That’s going to be exciting for people to see," said Lavin. "It’s a prototype still, but having Harbour Air’s electric plane here is exciting and it's fascinating to see the development of aircraft."

Organizers have arranged for a number of other special guests to appear at the event. The Victoria Airport Authority will have its firetrucks on display and the Royal Canadian Airforce’s 443 Squadron will be on hand with a Cyclone helicopter for visitors to see.

"We’ll have kids’ games, food trucks, ice-cream and everything you’d want for a family fun day," said Lavin.

"We’ve been part of the community for 35 years and we’d like to celebrate that," she said. "We want people to come in and explore and have a good time."

The BC Aviation Museum is located at 1910 Norseman Rd., not far from Victoria International Airport.

The open house runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with admission by donation. Top Stories

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