Saanich’s very own Ken Lane is a passionate historian and former wax museum director who is hopeful that others across the country will take the lead on opening wax museums elsewhere in prospective Canadian cities.
It’s been 12 years since the Royal London Wax Museum closed its doors, and he recalls a time when his wax museum saw double the tourism that other popular museums in Greater Victoria did.
Now, he’s selling what remains of his vast collection – most of which are in boxes in his basement and storage units, well-kept and in many cases, climate-controlled.
Lane operated the museum for many decades after inheriting it from his father until its closure in 2010.
His home is quirky and full of decorations aligned with the time of year – during Black Press Media’s visit, there were plentiful spring and Easter decorations. He and his wife go all out for Valentine’s Day, Christmas and most other holidays, too.
Upon entry, you will find Queen Victoria and Prince William sitting at the dining room table. Lane’s figures are life-size reflections of the person they are down to every pore, wrinkle and distinctive feature.
As he moves on he is hopeful that other big cities in Canada catch onto the opportunity that lies in opening a wax museum – such as Regina, Sask., or Calgary, Alta. – in places where there is growing volume and diversity.
“Victoria real estate is too expensive now and if you’re going to display 200 figures at a time you need that space, and it hasn’t got the visitor traffic anymore,” said Lane. “Any city is missing such a bet by not having a wax museum in it.”
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