Reminder: Sale Event Especially for Members

A reminder that this week is the gift shop sale event especially for members.

From November 13 – 17 museum members will receive an additional 5% discount on their regular 15% discount from non-consignment and non-sale items. The shop has been well stocked in anticipation!

There is a wide array of books for both children and adults, tea towels, oven mitts, shopping bags, scarves, mugs, water bottles, jade jewellery, prints, t-shirts, hoodies and native carvings.

If you are looking for gifts for kids we have a fantastic variety of unusual and very reasonably priced toys. There are fossil and dinosaur excavation kits, t-rex chompers, dinosaur umbrellas, tons of great quality stuffies, dino grows, flash lights and crystal growing kits – just to mention a few.

Make sure you pay the gift shop a visit and take advantage of your museum membership!

New Reptile in Town

Valley’s most famous dinosaur welcomes a juvenile elasmosaur just in time for birthday

The team of workers hang the fleshed-out juvenile elasmosaur at the museum.

Almost a quarter-century has passed since Mike Trask and his daughter Heather discovered the fossilized remains of an 80-million-year-old elasmosaur on the banks of the Puntledge River near Courtenay.

But at last he has come face-to-face with what the fearsome creature would have looked like when it was alive.
Trask was at Courtenay and District Museum to witness the arrival of its latest exhibit – a scientifically-accurate fleshed out version of the species from the Age of the Dinosaurs—a juvenile elasmosaur.

For years, a star exhibit at the museum has been a cast of the skeleton of a 40ft-long adult elasmosaur, suspended over displays highlighting the fascinating fossil and natural history of the Comox Valley. The original fossilized bones found by Trask and his daughter are also on exhibit.

Now as part of a major upgrading of the museum’s displays, the recreated cast and real bones have been joined by a young elasmosaur. It was created especially for the museum by Palcoprep Inc – a company based in Drumheller, Alberta, with an international reputation for accurately casting, moulding and reconstructing creatures ancient and modern.

Company President, Frank Hadfield, was on hand to see the juvenile elasmosaur hung in place at the museum – with its open mouth full of sharp teeth lunging down towards visitors as they step into exhibition areas.

The model was created by Palcoprep, Artist Jim Wood, and the museum’s Executive Director, Deborah Griffiths, is thrilled with the result.
“I’m sure the kids will love it,” she said, “On Nov. 17th we’ll be displaying this new addition to the exhibits at the elasmosaur’s annual birthday party. It gives us some idea of what a juvenile elasmosaur could have looked like”.

Mike Trask was equally impressed. “It’s hard to put into words after all these years, but until now, people have had to imagine what an elasmosaur would have looked like in the flesh. It’s great to see this young version of what we found added to the exhibits here – it really helps bring the story to life”.
It was in 1988 that Trask and his then 12-year-old daughter were prospecting for fossils along the banks of the Puntledge when the elasmosaur remains were found.
After months of investigation involving scientists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, and the Royal BC Museum, the discovery proved to be the first elasmosaur recorded in British Columbia—the first of its kind west of the Canadian Rockies.

Within months of the marine reptile’s discovery, the Courtenay Museum, working with the province, secured the elasmosaur location as a legislated provincial heritage site; set about to excavate the rest of the creature using staff and many volunteers. The excavation was led by Dr. Rolf Ludvigsen and the late Dr. Betsy Nicholls of the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Since then, there have been many other fossil discoveries in and around the Comox Valley, and the museum’s collection of prehistoric remains now numbers around 6,000 items.

The new exhibit is part of an upgrade to the museum’s exhibits, sponsored by Community Futures Strathcona and the Rural Economic Development Initiative of B.C. and the museum; all of which see the project as boosting local tourism, business and jobs; as well as opening up a treasure trove of exhibits to a much wider audience.

From 11am to 4pm on Saturday, November 17, the museum is inviting the community to drop by and join in the Elasmosaur birthday celebrations.

Christmas Open House

11 am to 4 pm, Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mark your calendars for our Christmas Open House celebration.

The museum will be decked out for Christmas. Enjoy a beverage and sweet treats. There will be crafts for children to make. View all the fabulous new exhibits and enjoy a lively, interactive discussion of the history of Christmas Traditions. Enter to win door prizes.

We also have a special deal for our members: for this one day only we are offering museum members 25% off in the gift shop on non-consignment and non-sale items.
Museum entry to the Open House will be free to any family that brings a new or used, unwrapped toy or gift for Santa’s Workshop, or a donation for a local food bank.

Christmas Craft Saturdays

10 am to 2 pm, December 8 and 15

Looking for activities for the kids? Join us on Saturday, December 8 and 15 for Christmas crafts. Kids will have a chance to make some old fashioned crafts such as Christmas stars, spice balls or painted pinecones that they may want to use to decorate the museum Christmas tree. This is a great chance to explore a number of hands-on activities to celebrate the season.

Admission is by donation.

Before Television: Seals and Wax

CDM 997.530.2

What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

Before computers, television or even telephones we used to write letters. Lots of letters. And if one of your letters called for an extra decorative flourish you might close the envelope with some wax and a seal like the one pictured above.

This seal dates from approximately 1900 and bears the initials SEM that stand for Sylvia Edith Markle. Sylvia married W.A.W. Hames and the family moved to the Comox Valley in 1914.

Historically, the use of seals goes back to the earliest civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. And, apparently, the use of seals is making a come back today – at least according to Martha Stewart, modern design guru.