Courtenay & District Museum

  • Lecture: Logging the Valley, A Century of Stories
  • Summer Jobs
  • Welcome Back Swifts!
  • This Space for Rent
  • Photo of the Month
  • 2018 BC Paleontological Symposium
  • Periodical Wisdom
  • Comox Valley Genealogy
  • Gift Shop News
  • Your Membership
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



    Mailing Address:
    207 Fourth Street,
    Courtenay BC,
    V9N 1G7

    Tuesday to Saturday:
    10am - 5pm

    Sunday & Monday:

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Mary Everson
    Julie Fortin

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    British Columbia Historical Federation

    Comox Museum

    Cumberland Museum

    Comox Air Force Museum

    Filberg Heritage Lodge

    I-Hos Gallery

    HMCS ALBERNI Museum and Memorial

    Nim Nim Interpretive Centre


    Photo by Walter Montgomery. CDM 2008.75.25

    Lecture: Logging the Valley, A Century of Stories

    Time and Date: 7 pm, Thursday, May 24, 2018
    Location: Rotary Gallery of the Courtenay and District Museum
    Speaker: Richard Mackie
    Tickets: $5 for Historical Society members; $6 for general public (plus GST). Advance tickets strongly recommended as lecture series frequently sells out. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 250-334-0686 ext 5.

    Popular historian and author Richard Mackie returns to the museum lecture series with a load of logging anecdotes to share.

    Continue Reading


    Summer Jobs

    Are you a student with an interest in cultural or natural history?

    We have two positions to fill this summer and will be accepting applications until Friday, May 11, 2018.

    Please note that the jobs listed are made possible with funding from Service Canada and are only open to students between the ages of 16 and 30 who are returning to school full-time in the fall.

    Read More


    Swifts on Oak-Beeville Texas 2013. Photo by: Jason Collins

    Welcome Back Swifts!

    The Vaux's Swifts have returned to the Courtenay Museum's brick chimney! As of Sunday evening, April 29, local birder and naturalist Krista Kaptein spotted two hundred and seventy birds enter the chimney and they've visited successive nights with arrival times between 7:30 and 8:30 and in varying numbers.

    Last year, the swifts which made an unexpected stayover in Courtenay's historic Post Office's brick chimney in mid-May 2017. Here's CHEK's May 13, 2017 take the on the event with help from Fox and Bee Studios. The arrival of the swifts became a popular destination for island birders and some arrived from as far away as Victoria.

    Upon their 2017 arrival, local birders helped and connected staff to Larry Schwitters, a Washington resident and scientist who leads the Audubon supported Vaux's Happening site which tracks numbers of the "wee birds" and roost sites and has a live cam inside Monroe Washington's Wagner Center chimney. Monroe residents even celebrate the swifts' large migratory event, more than 20,000 birds, with "Swift Night Out". Here's a closer look at swifts getting ready to leave the Monroe chimney this spring 2018.

    The City of Courtenay also helped last year with a soot clean-up and with taking measures to keep swifts safe in the chimney.

    We hope you have a chance to come down to see the swifts in the evening and to welcome them back.


    This Space for Rent

    Did you know that the museum has two spaces available to rent for public gatherings?

    The spacious first floor Rotary Gallery has seen many a lecture, presentation and party.

    There is also a space on the second floor known as the Dogwood Gallery. This area can accommodate approximately 25 people in theatre style seating or comfortably seat 10 around the board room table. Wifi is available.

    Rental of the Dogwood or Rotary Gallery is on a first come/first served basis.

    For more information on rental fees and requirements please give us a call at 250-334-0686 ext 5.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #990.24.291
    Steam donkey c. 1905

    You can view more photos like this on our website. Click here to visit our holdings.


    2018 BC Paleontological Symposium

    Don't miss the 2018 BC Paleontological Symposium in Courtenay from August 17-20. Keynote Speaker, Dr. Richard Hebda and Special Guest Speaker, Artist, Ray Troll, will lead off the 2018 12th BC Paleontological Association Symposium in Courtenay. Everyone is invited.

    Supported by the Vancouver Island Paleontological Society and the Courtenay and District Museum, the symposium will feature 15 formal presentations, field trips and a fossil prep workshop. Historically, the BCPA symposiums feature an art exhibit of varied media and paleo-imagination and this tradition will continue. In tandem with the symposium, the museum will be hosting an exhibit of in-house and private fossil collections from May to December.

    Symposium registration fees are $150 + GST for professional paleontologists and non-BCPA members; $120 + GST for BCPA members and $100 for students. This includes all activities except field trips and workshops.

    Here's more information on the symposium outline and guest speakers

    Click here to Download the Registration Form


    Periodical Wisdom

    Women's magazines and periodicals from the past offer some great advice on things like how to economize, care for your baby's teeth or even the proper way to make social introductions.

    We've scoured the archives for some examples to share with you. As always, please remember to take the information with "a grain of salt" and use your common sense before implementing.

    This month's write-up is an article is from The Ladies' Review of May 1908 and offers "Some Homely Cleansing Agents."

    Read More


    Comox Valley Genealogy

    A reminder that the Comox Valley Genealogy Group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm in the Courtenay Library. Meetings feature guest speakers and a chance for members to share their discoveries. All are welcome!



    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: Bedroom suite in the Courtenay Hotel, 1941. Charles Sillence photograph. Photo: CDM Sillence Collection. Page 137.

    Photo caption: "Before World War I, [William] Lewis added a third storey, and there was no shortage of visitors when the E & N Railway arrived in Courtenay in 1914...Major renovations and additions in 1916 and 1938 left the building with a stucco finish and increased protection against flooding." Page 68.

    Click Here for a Larger Version


    Gift Shop News

    The gift shop is now selling local free range honey. The hives of very lucky bees spend their summers taking pollen from fireweed on Mount Washington. The cost for a good size jar is $12.95. Very tasty for your own use or a nice, sweet touch as a gift for visitors.


    Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference

    Purchasing a membership to the Courtenay and District Museum, now in its 57th year, supports heritage preservation in the Comox Valley through special events, lectures, education programmes, research and exhibitions. Your membership benefits these award winning programmes on a year round basis and we appreciate it!

    Becoming a member provides you with discounts in the gift shop and on lectures and an opportunity to support one of the most active regional museums in British Columbia. Thank you for your support.

    Click here to Join

    Click Here to Make a Donation


    It's All There in Black and White

    Another May long weekend fast approaches. The Comox District Free Press' Lee McKenzie took a historical look back at the origins of the maypole dance in this article from May 20, 1988.

    Read More

    With legacy support from the Bickle Family and the Comox Valley Echo.


    Museum Funding

    The Courtenay and District Historical Society was registered as a nonprofit society in 1961 to preserve and interpret cultural and natural heritage of the Comox Valley. It has functioned as an independent society since that time. Funds are derived from the generous support of the City of Courtenay, British Columbia Arts Council, Comox Valley Regional District, British Columbia Gaming Branch, and from museum generated revenues and donations.

    Proud sponsors of the Courtenay & District Museum:

    The City of Courtenay

    BC Arts Councils

    Regional District Comox-Strathcona

    British Columbia Gaming Commision