Courtenay & District Museum

  • Our Fall Exhibit
  • Mountain Timber Lecture
  • AGM Coming Up
  • Our Fall Hours
  • Book Launch
  • Summer Wrap
  • Capes Escape
  • Sponsoring the Museum
  • 2008-2009 Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Tuesday to Saturday
    10 am - 5 pm

    Monday and Sunday

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Ruth Masters
    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    A Snapshot in Paint
    An artist’s rendition of the Comox Valley as she sees it today
    October 10, 2009 to January 16, 2010

    Trellis at the Old House

    Renowned Comox Valley artist Marilyn Timms will exhibit over twenty-five original paintings in the second floor gallery.

    The paintings on display will be recent works from Marilyn’s adventures in plein air painting – work created outdoors with natural light.

    She will also be providing a live demonstration of her skills on Saturday, October 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

    Timms’ achievements include international awards as well as full signature memberships in the Federation of Canadian Artists and Society of Canadian Artists.

    Opening Reception
    The Board of the Courtenay and District Museum will host a wine and cheese reception for the exhibition on Thursday, October 8th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

    This is a great opportunity to meet the artist and enjoy her new works.

    Please note that a portion of proceeds and donations received throughout this exhibition will support the Courtenay and District Museum Endowment Fund held by the Comox Valley Community Foundation.

    Seminar: "Acrylics – The Watercolour Way"
    Having explored transparent watercolours intensively, Timms has turned her formidable energies to working with acrylic paints in the flowing, elegant techniques for which she is known. For those who find watercolours difficult, this approach removes many of the barriers they face; for experienced acrylic painters, this is something new to try. Over the three days of this hands-on workshop, participants will receive step by step instructions and feedback so they can immerse themselves in this unique method of wet-into-wet painting.

    This seminar runs for 3 days (October 22, 23, 24) 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

    Fee: $170 (+ GST) plus supplies. Early registration is recommended, as class size is limited. For more information or to register contact the museum at 250-334-0686.


    Lecture Series
    Mountain Timber
    7:00 pm on Friday, October 16th
    3:00 pm on Saturday, October 17th

    Popular author and historian, Richard Mackie, will be presenting the same lecture on two consecutive days in our Rotary Gallery. Seating is limited and Mackie is known to sell out the space so two lectures have been booked to accommodate expected demand.

    Mackie’s illustrated lecture will be based on his newly released book Mountain Timber - the long-awaited sequel to his best-selling Island Timber.

    Mountain Timber explores Comox Logging’s later and higher fortunes in the densely-forested valleys and lakes of the Vancouver Island Mountains. The action in Mountain Timber takes place between 1925 and 1945 – the two critical decades when most of the available lowland timber was cut.

    On one level the story of loggers and their machines, Mountain Timber is also a dense and engrossing social history of the central Island in the mid-20th century.

    Copies of Mountain Timber will be available for purchase and signing after the lectures.

    Admission is $6 for the general public; $5 for museum members. Advance tickets are recommended.


    AGM Coming Up

    The Annual General Meeting of the Courtenay and District Historical Society will take place at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 30th in the museum Rotary Gallery.


    Our Fall Hours

    Please note that with the passage of Labour Day, the museum is now back to winter hours: open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.


    Book Launch
    Uncovering Treasures of the Earth, the Life Story of Prospector Thomas James McQuillan

    Author Gordon Schnare is hosting a book launch in the museum’s Rotary Gallery for Uncovering Treasures of the Earth, the Life Story of Prospector Thomas James McQuillan on Saturday, September 19th from 1 – 4 pm.

    Schnare spent almost 30 years researching Tom McQuillan, the man he first met in 1952 when he was a UBC student renting a suite from Tom and his wife Betty.

    Schnare’s research sheds light on the important role McQuillan played in BC’s mining history. His book also includes McQuillan’s varied life experiences as a seaman, logger, trapper and prospector.

    The book launch is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


    Summer Wrap

    This summer the museum hosted a full eight weeks of Kids Camp with 295 young people between the ages of five and twelve attending. These weeks included a new one week “Junior Paleo” camp which was a huge success and involved the children completing their own fossil exhibit case, displayed and properly labeled. Also new was an “Explore the Seashore” programme which was a field trip to the beach, near Seal Bay Nature Park to hunt for seashore life. Both the instructors and the children liked this one – and learned about a variety of shore dwelling creatures!

    During the months of July and August there were over 1070 people who went on the Museum’s Public Fossil Tour, which includes a lecture, museum tour and then a trip to the river, complete with goggles and tools to dig for fossils. All these people experienced hands-on discovery, finding fossils perhaps from 80 million years ago. They visited the Puntledge, Browns and Trent Rivers.

    From the pages of our Guest Book we can see that we have had visitors from all over Vancouver Island and BC, many other parts of Canada and all over the United States. England, Germany, Switzerland, Indonesia, Ireland, The Netherlands, China, Turkey and Mexico are a few of the countries listed in our book. Some examples of comments are: “Once in a lifetime experience” “Museums Rock!” ”An interesting mix of educational exhibits” “Grandkids loved it, us too” and “Esta todo jenial”.


    Busy First Summer at the Capes Escape

    A three star accommodation approval from Tourism BC for the Courtenay Museum’s heritage vacation rental, Capes Escape, gave us a great rating for our first year in operation!

    Capes Escape was fully booked this summer with visitors from all over the globe. Holland, England, Germany and Dubai were just a few of the locations from which guests travelled to enjoy the Comox Valley.  

    A few family reunions also made the Capes a great destination for people wanting to get together with their families and enjoy the grounds at the Capes Escape.

    Starting now, the museum is offering fall specials which include several days at the Capes Escape with a free guided fossil tour to one of the Comox Valley’s spectacular rivers.

    Keep the Capes Escape in mind for the holidays—it’s a great place to spend time.   

    Please contact us for more details.

    Read More


    Sponsoring the Museum

    It is with great pleasure that we continue our sponsorship initiative to support museum programming and extension. The Courtenay & District Museum is an exciting destination that interprets cultural and natural heritage of the Comox Valley through exhibitions, lectures, special events and programmes. The CDM hosts over 35,000 local, national and international visitors a year.

    Upcoming events in 2009 will include celebrations, tours, lectures and exhibits. As well, we will continue to provide ongoing programming and field trips to students in the Comox Valley.  

    Many of the museum's programmes would not be possible without strong sponsorship from our donors and funders. We respectfully request your one-year sponsorship in order to continue to carry out these worthwhile programmes.  

    The levels of sponsorship are:

    • $1,500 Dogwood
    • $1,000 Garry Oak
    • $750 Arbutus
    • $500 Fir
    • Up to $500 Seedling

    Sponsors at the Dogwood level will have their logo or name featured on the museum's newsletter, website and on any publications the museum produces. Additionally, the Courtenay & District Museum is a charitable organization, so contributions are tax deductible.

    Your contributions can also be made on a monthly basis. All sponsors above the $500 level will receive a CDM membership and a complimentary copy of the coffee table book The Comox Valley by Paula Wild.

    We hope you will consider being a part of this worthwhile initiative as we promote and interpret the exciting natural and cultural heritage of the Comox Valley. Please feel free to contact us at 250-334-0686 if you have any questions or desire further information.


    2008-2009 Sponsors

    Judy and Stan Hagen                 
    Daryl and Evelyn Wright-Francis Jeweller’s Ltd.  
    The Rotary Club of Courtenay Foundation
    The Robert Hunt Family

    Comox Valley Echo
    Marjorie Thorpe
    The Bickle Family
    Lorna Gunn
    John Wilson and Family

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Dove and Mike Hendren 
    Ruth Masters
    John and Joan Wilson
    Ed LaFleur
    George E. Sprogis


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #p275-283
    Royston Road, 1912

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


    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, Comox Valley Charitable Bingo Foundation, and from museum generated revenues and donations.

    Proud sponsors of the Courtenay & District Museum:


    The City of Courtenay


    BC Arts Councils

    BC Hydro

    Regional District Comox-Strathcona