Construction on a new theatrical spectacle at Britannia Mine Museum, just south of Squamish on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, is ramping up ahead of the anticipated summer 2019 opening.
And now, the production has been given a name: “BOOM!”
“Millions of people have driven up the Sea-to-Sky Highway throughout the years and wondered what is this giant building attached to the side of the mountain,” said Kirstin Clausen, executive director of the Britannia Mine Museum, in a statement.
“‘BOOM!’ is a compelling way for us to share the Mill’s authentic and heart-warming story, and its purpose and function as a historically significant community beacon to the more than 60,000 people who used to live and work here at the Britannia Mine.”
The live-action, multi-sensory special effects show will bring the near-century old Mill No. 3 building back to life, with visitors transported “back in time” to the 1920s when the mine was one of the largest copper producers in the British Commonwealth.
According to a release, the show will feature the “magical story” of the 20-storey mine, which is one of North America’s last gravity-fed concentrator mills, as it produced copper and zinc concentrates from the raw ore extracted from 200 kms of tunnels.
Port Coquitlam-based Dynamic Attractions – which has been involved with a number of rides at Disney and Universal Studios theme parks – engineered and manufactured the museum’s new movable skip for the show. This mechanism will demonstrate how mining equipment was hauled up and down the mill.
Construction involved moving the old original three-tonne skip — a rail car that was capable of transporting a 12-tonne load up and down a 45-degree incline to various levels of the mill. A new mock-skip was built out of raw steel to replicate the weight and movement of the original car.
The overall show is designed and produced by Vista Collaborative Arts, which assembled a talented team of producers, lighting, sound, and special effects technicians, many of whom work with IMAX and Cirque du Soleil.
The $4.2-million mine show has been a decade in the making, with $1.4 million provided from the federal government and the remaining $2.8 million from the museum’s fundraising efforts.
Britannia Mine was an operational mine until 1974, and it reopened the following year as a museum.
In 2017, it attracted over 75,000 visitors, including 11,000 students.