By Ellsworth Dickson
Like many of you, I have visited many museums; however, I have never seen an attraction like the new one – entitled BOOM! – at the Britannia Mine Museum 55 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Now a National Historic Site, the old past-producing Britannia Mine was an important source of copper ore for almost 70 years and produced 650,000 tonnes of copper plus significant amounts of silver, lead, zinc, gold and cadmium before it closed in 1974.
The museum was established in 1975 and has been a popular tourist attraction while undergoing several major improvements and renovations since that time. BOOM! is part of the general admission for the museum that also includes an underground tour and mine train ride.
The BOOM! attraction, which is held in Mill #3, built into the side of a steep mountain, incorporates leading-edge special effects and an interactive theatre.
“BOOM! is our newest and biggest production since we relaunched the Museum almost 10 years ago back in 2010,” says Kirstin Clausen, Executive Director of the Britannia Mine Museum.
“BOOM! is a creative way of storytelling to share the Britannia story and how instrumental the Mill building was to the community of Britannia and its significance in British Columbia’s history.”
BOOM! will transport visitors back in time to the 1920s when the mine was booming as the largest copper producer in the British Commonwealth. The show shares the fascinating story of the 20-storey architectural marvel of a mill as one of North America’s last gravity-fed concentrator mills.
As may be gleaned from the title, BOOM! uses a lot of sound. Sound levels are mixed to the same decibel levels as an IMAX theatre, taking advantage of the Mill’s natural acoustics that have been compared to Carnegie Hall.
More than 130 artists, designers, trades, technicians, and engineers were involved in creating this unique one-of-a-kind immersive storytelling experience.
The Britannia Mine Museum, and now the unique BOOM! attraction, is a great way for you and your family to spend some time visiting for an entertaining experience while learning how mining plays a crucial role in our society. Admission is $29.95 for adults, $26.95 for seniors, $23.95 for youths 13-17, $18.95 for children 5-12, pre-school children are free. The daily family rate is $110.00. There are frequent tours throughout the day.