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FAQ

Interpretive Centre and Chapel

When can we see the Chapel and Interpretive Centre?
Do you have seasonal hours?
Is there a cost?

Can we have a tour?
What was St. Annís Academy?
When was it built?

Is the chapel Catholic?
Do you hold mass?
Can I come to pray?
Are the Sisterís of St. Ann still an active order?
Where is the entrance?
I understand that there are facilities available for rent?
I would like to see the Auditorium
Where can I park?
I have business with the Ministry of Advanced Education at St. AnnísÖ?

When can we see the Chapel and Interpretive Centre?
During winter we are open Thursday through Sunday from 1pm to 4 pm. and closed Statutory Holidays. During summer we are open daily 10am to 4pm and open Statutory Holidays.

Do you have seasonal hours?
Yes, we are open September to April from Thursday to Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm. Starting in May and running until the beginning of September, the Interpretive Centre and Chapel is open seven days a week 10 am to 4 pm. Access may be limited if a wedding or other event is scheduled.

Is there a cost?
Admission is by donation with the recommended donation of $5.00 per adult. A donation box is available for visitors who wish to make a contribution to the operation and maintenance of St. Annís.

Can we have a tour?
Self-guided tours of the historic interiors and grounds are available in the Interpretive Centre during regular operating hours and volunteer docents may also be available to answer questions. These self-guided tours are available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese. Guided tours for groups can be arranged in advance for the cost of $5.00 per person. Each group tour should be no larger than 30 people. Tours last about 1 hour. Bookings are made through the St. Ann's staff; please call (250)953-8829. We try to book tours during regular operating hours however other arrangements can be made. Tours on various themes are available, including General History, Art and Architecture, Ghostly phenonmenon and others--please consult with staff at the time of booking. Tours in french are also available. Tours for school groups are offered free of charge for all BC schools; these tours must be booked in advance.

What was St. Annís Academy?
St. Annís Academy was Catholic girls school and convent run by the Sisterís of St. Ann. It also served as the Provincial Administration house for the Sisters of St. Ann in Western Canada until the closure of the school in 1973. The school is best known as a day and boarding school for girls however boys did attend in some years, mainly in the primary grades. The school was well known for its art program and also for its commercial school (an early business school for young ladies).

When was it built?
The Sisterís began teaching in Victoria in 1858 in a log cabin now located at the Royal BC Museum. The first permanent structure at St. Annís Academy was started in 1871 with additions in 1886 and in 1910. As part of the 1886 renovations, the original Catholic cathedral build in 1858 was moved to St. Annís and placed over the new kitchen of the school to become the school chapel.

Is the chapel catholic? Do you hold mass?
No, the chapel was deconsecrated when the building was sold to the provincial government in 1974. It was re-dedicated as an interfaith facility at the time of the restoration in 1997. Tthe chapel has been restored to appear as it did in the 1920ís. There are no regularly scheduled services.

Can I come to pray?
Yes, the chapel is available for during regular operating hours. Access may be limited if a wedding or other event is scheduled.

Are the Sisterís of St. Ann (SSA) still an active religious congregation?
Yes, they are an active congregation in British Columbia with most residing in Victoria. The mother house for the SSA is located in Lachine, Quebec. The Sisters of St. Ann also operate active missions in Haiti, Chile, the Congo and Cameroon. The staff of the Interpretive Centre work closely with the SSA archives to develop exhibits that help tell the story of the Sisters and the students. School records are kept in the SSA archives. Those making inquiries or wishing to visit the SSA archives should call (250) 592-0685.

Can I see any of the old classrooms or dormitories?

No, the building underwent a massive renovation to modern office space in 1995-1997, so former classrooms and dormitory areas no longer exist. The only restored historic interiors open to the public are those in the Interpretive Centre which encompass the parlours, foyer, Chapel and former Priest's Breakfast Room.

Where is the entrance for the chapel and Interpretive Centre?

St. Annís Academy is located at 835 Humboldt Street. Come up the grand staircase at the front of the building to the 2nd floor and enter through the wooden doors at the top the stairs. An alternative entry (with an elevator) can be arranged for those who have difficulties with stairs. Please call in advance or have someone who can manage the stairs notify the volunteer on duty as the access requires a key.

Where can I park?
Two hour free parking is available on the streets surrounding St. Annís 6 acre parklands. These streets are Humboldt, and portions of Quadra, Academy Close and Blanshard. There is pay parking on the property which is accessed from Blanshard Street. The limited number of spots cost $2 per hou to a maximum of $7.00 per day.

I understand that there are facilities available for rent?
Yes, the chapel is available for rent for weddings, lectures, business meetings, conferences, concerts, photo sessions and other appropriate uses. The foyer and parlours can be used for meetings and receptions. The Novitiate Garden can be used as a private outdoor venue for weddings, concerts, dinners, receptions, photo sessions or other appropriate uses. The building also contains a 200 seat Auditorium which can be used for lectures, stage performances, graduation ceremonies and other forms of presentations, etc.

I would like to see the Auditorium?
The auditorium is not open to the public for drop in visits. If you would like to view the Auditorium, please contact the business office in the Interpretive Centre to arrange for an appointment.

I have business with the Ministry of Advanced Education at St. Annís; where do I go?
General inquiries for the Ministry of Advanced Education, Technology and Training should be directed to (250) 387-4611. The Ministry occupies the renovated office space that encompasses most of the interior space of the modern building. The entrance to their offices is located to the west of the grand staircase through the glass doors. The reception desk is located inside this lobby. The lobby is open 8:30 Ė 4:30 Monday through Friday.