The Museum’s Blog

May 2017 Watershed Moments

Here is the latest newsletter installment of an image and quote from the museum’s award-winning book Watershed Moments – A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District.

Photo credit: Staff of the Comox Valley Cannery, September 1934. Charles Sillence photograph. CDM 2004.42.133. Page 170-171.

Photo caption: “As the Great Depression took hold in the Comox Valley, P.H. Harrison’s decision to open a cannery on the banks of the Courtenay River was welcome news. He built a large two-storey building on the east side of the river, and operations began on May 30, 1934. About fifty women clad in white and green uniforms packed the first batch of Comox Valley spinach. Later in the season they were working with beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, cherries and pears.” Page 170.

May 2017 Gift Shop News


The museum shop is bursting at the seams! So many new items have been arriving that we’ve expanded its size and re-arranged the front reception area.

One new item that is very popular is a set of three storage caddies from UK manufacturer Emma Bridgewater. A recent customer found a novel use for them: fill with home baked goodies and give as a hostess gift. The caddies are also available individually and have matching rectangular shaped tins to boot.

Thanks to…

everyone who helped make the Spring Fling and Easter Things 2017 event such a huge success. This year we had over 600 visitors through the doors.

Special thanks to the following groups and individuals:

  • Shamrock Gumboots 4H Club
  • Hot Chocolates Easter bunny
  • Gillian Legendre from Detailed Face Painting
  • volunteers from MARS (Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society).

We look forward to doing it again next year!

Lecture: Nootka Sound Crisis

Time and Date: 7 pm, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum
Speaker: Catherine Gilbert
Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public (plus GST). Advance tickets recommended. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 5.

Questions about the settlement of Nootka Island will be explored by historian Catherine Gilbert in her pictorial presentation about the Nootka Sound Crisis.

Gilbert will also discuss the role played by the Mowachaht and the relationship between successive European captains and the powerful Mowachaht Chief Maquinna.

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April Watershed Moments

Here is the latest newsletter installment of an image and quote from the museum’s award-winning book Watershed Moments – A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District.

Photo credit: Coke ovens at Union Bay, ca. 1905. CDM 979.3.31

Photo caption: “In 1895, James Dunsmuir’s Union Coal Company built two rows of fifty ovens into an embankment on a foundation of limestone quarried on Denman Island. Workers built the ovens, which were eleven feet in diameter, with angled brick imported from Scotland. Japanese labourers and several Scottish bricklayers brought over specially for the project did much of the work with teams of horses.” Page 55.

April 2017 Gift Shop News

There are many new and exciting items arriving at the museum gift shop.

Just in is a delivery from the UK-based “Elite” tins. A favourite from amongst their giftware is the Emma Bridgewater designed children’s dishes. Each set consists of a dinosaur themed plate, bowl and cup – all contained within a matching carry case. An adorable pattern and very high quality item.

This would be a terrific gift for any young dinosaur fan. Easter is coming and if you are looking for something a bit different than the usual candy or rabbit stuffy here is a great alternative.

Lecture: The Promise of Paradise, Utopian Communities in British Columbia

Time and Date: 7 pm, Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum
Speaker: Andrew Scott
Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public (plus GST). Advance tickets recommended. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 5.

From Doukhobor farmers to Finnish coal miners, Quakers and hippies, many groups have struggled to build idealistic colonies in BC’s inspiring landscape. While most discovered hardship, disillusionment and failure, new groups sprang up-and continue to spring up-to take their place.

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