Courtenay & District Museum

  • 85 Million Year Old Discovery on Trent River
  • Step Into Wilderness
  • Exhibit: Finding a Voice
  • Photo of the Month
  • Gift Shop News
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference
  • In Memoriam for Betty Braithwaite
  • Watershed Moments
  • Just For Fun
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Tuesday – Saturday
    10:00 am to 4:00 pm

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Mary Everson
    Julie Fortin

    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

    Strathcona Wilderness Institute

    Project Watershed

    Sid Williams Theatre

    Comox Valley Art Gallery

    Comox Valley Arts

    We respectfully acknowledge that we and our members live, work and play within the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.​


    85 Million Year Old Discovery on Trent River

    Summer 2020 has been an exciting time for staff and volunteers at the Courtenay and District Museum. Natural History Curator, Pat Trask, discovered a fossil on the Trent River that may be the fossilized remains of a juvenile elasmosaurus, a longnecked, marine reptile. This follows Trask’s brother, Mike Trask, having discovered the large Puntledge elasmosaur in 1988 and others having made significant discoveries.

    Popular fossil field trips are part of the museum’s year-round museum programming and Pat Trask, who leads these tours, had found some pieces of the skeletal remains which had fallen from the bank over the past three years.

    Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project and to the Ngan Page Foundation for their 2020 donation towards natural history projects at the Courtenay and District Museum.

    If you’d like to learn more about this exciting discovery here are links to explore:

    Times Colonist - Twins find two 85-million-year-old dinosaurs 32 years apart

    Chek News - Dinosaur find near Cumberland could be second elasmosaur found by brothers

    Comox Valley Record - Fossil discovery could be Comox Valley’s second elasmosaur


    Step Into Wilderness

    The Courtenay and District Museum staff and volunteers are happy to announce that Harbour Publishing will release Step Into Wilderness - A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and around the Comox Valley in October. This is a full colour hardcopy book with narrative built around 150 images from family albums, professional photography and journals, diaries, news accounts, maps and ephemera.

    From shores to peaks, Step Into Wilderness recounts moments of ingenuity and hardship as well as fun and enjoyment in and around the Comox Valley. The book will retail for $39.95 plus GST.

    From now until September 30, the museum is offering pre-sale opportunities of a 10% discount for non-members and 25% discount for current Historical Society members.

    Anyone interested in a pre-purchase can email the museum at or phone 250-334-0686 ext. 2 to place their order. All proceeds from Step Into Wilderness go to the Courtenay and District Museum.


    983.781 Emily Elinor Dunsmuir by Ernest Castelein. Dated 1924. Courtesy of Craigdarroch Castle

    Exhibit: Finding a Voice

    Now to October 19, 2020

    A reminder that this travelling exhibit from Craigdarroch Castle is on display in our second floor gallery for just a few more weeks.

    Make plans to drop by and have a look.

    Read More


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #p80-202 View of Comox taken from the spit, c. 1905

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


    Gift Shop News

    The museum gift shop has unique gifts for that hard to buy for person.

    Some of the most popular items we carry are small trays imported from the UK. Each sports a fun design, is 7.5 x 5.5 inches and is made of sturdy plastic.

    These trays can be used instead of a coaster and their lip saves furniture from the occasional spill. There is even room for a couple of biscuits to go along with your cup of tea!

    Trays are $8.50 each plus taxes.

    The gift shop also has freshly made local blackberry jam ($6 per jar) and lucky horseshoes which make a great welcome gift for new arrivals.

    You can also see some of our merchandise on the museum Facebook page.


    It's All There in Black and White

    Fitness through long distance running isn’t for everyone but 40 years ago Bent Harder was taking it all in stride. In this article from the September 26, 1980 Comox District Free Press, Debra Martin profiles Harder’s journey from short jogs to marathon training.

    Read More

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


    Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference

    Purchasing a membership to the Courtenay and District Museum, now in its 59th 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


    In Memoriam for Betty Braithwaite

    Elizabeth Connolly Braithwaite, (August 1934 – July 2020) or "Betty" as everyone knew her, worked with the Courtenay and District Museum for over twenty five years and was instrumental in helping to navigate a ship through rough and smooth waters. We are grateful for Betty’s significant contributions to the museum and we will continue to remember her. We extend our condolences to her daughter Heather, and son David and their families.

    Click here for more information


    Watershed Moments

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

    Photo credit: View of the river from the Courtenay Bridge, 1909. Lewis Park is on the right and the building in the back is identified as the "old slaughter house." Photo CDM Stubbs Collection. Page 63.

    Click Here for a Larger Version


    Just For Fun

    Mrs. C.E. Humphry’s 1897 book Manners for Men generates some smiles as it details accepted behaviour in Victorian-era England in a variety of settings.

    The following excerpt about how to eat dessert at dinner-parties shows how times have changed.

    “With regard to the dessert fruits, &c., there are a few puzzles to be found among them for the inexperienced.

    Read More


    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