Courtenay & District Museum

  • Winners of BC Historical Federation Writing Competition
  • Statutory Closures
  • Remembering the 1946 Earthquake
  • Stepping into Wilderness
  • History and More
  • Gift Shop News
  • Photo of the Month
  • Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • 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
    Christine Dickinson

    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 the museum provides services within the traditional territory of K'ómoks First Nation.

    We respect the diversity of cultures, stories and experiences that form the richness of our regional heritage.


    Winners of BC Historical Federation Writing Competition

    Recognizing books that make significant contributions to the historical literature of British Columbia

    The British Columbia Historical Federation (BCHF) announced the winners for the 2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Historical Writing Awards on Saturday, June 5 at the online BCHF 2021 conference. Congratulations to all.

    1st prize, $2,500. Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow by Catherine Clement (Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia).

    2nd prize, $1,500. Step into Wilderness - A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and around the Comox Valley by Deborah Griffiths, Christine Dickinson, Judy Hagen, Catherine Siba (Harbour Publishing).

    3rd prize, $500. A Great Revolutionary Wave: Women and the Vote in British Columbia by Lara Campbell (UBC Press).

    Learn more about the British Columbia Historical Federation at their website.


    Statutory Closures

    The museum will be closed for Canada Day on Thursday, July 1st and BC Day on Monday, August 2nd, 2021.

    Have safe and happy holidays!


    Remembering the 1946 Earthquake

    CDM 972.51.14

    This year, June 23 marks the 75th anniversary of Vancouver Island's largest historic earthquake, a magnitude 7.3 event with the epicenter located in the Forbidden Plateau region. The tremors rocked the west coast from Port Rupert, BC to Portland, OR.

    The shaking demolished 75% of the chimneys in Cumberland, Courtenay and Union Bay, and caused damage to buildings in Comox, Powell River and Port Alberni. Tall buildings in Vancouver swayed back and forth, power was disrupted and a small fire started in the Hotel Vancouver. Lighthouse keepers along the coast recorded damages such as shattered windows and smashed dishes, and in Washington State, bridges and buildings were damaged in urban centers. The earthquake was so powerful, it knocked the needle off a seismograph at the University of Washington. In Seattle, the flagpole on the top of the Sears building -- the current Starbucks headquarters building -- whipped back and forth so violently that witnesses thought it might snap off.

    Continue Reading


    Stepping into Wilderness

    Here now is an image from the museum's newest award-winning book Step into Wilderness – A Pictorial History of Outdoor Exploration in and around the Comox Valley.

    Photo credit: Forbidden Plateau hikers, June 30, 1947. S.B.W. (Dusty) d’Esterre photograph.

    Photo: 998.219.221. Page 103.

    Click for Larger Image


    History and More

    While museums are a valuable resource for protecting an area's history and sharing its stories, the economic benefits of museums are often ignored.

    Museums can be an important economic driver. Canada has over 2,600 museums which employ more than 32,000 people and over 103,000 volunteers. These organizations provide an important hub for connecting community members while attracting local and regional tourists with an interest in learning.

    Not only do museums stimulate tourism and attract visitors, but they can also drive the restoration and protection of heritage buildings and natural areas, protect the history of marginalized communities who might otherwise be neglected, and bring together people using diverse programming, workshops, and events.


    Gift Shop News

    Looking for useful yet unusual items? Check out what we’ve got in store.

    String tins keep balls of twine from getting away from you! The shop carries three attractive designs to choose from and each retails for $11.95.

    "Loonie Pigs" offer an eye-catching way to round up your spare change. At only $5.95 they are a fun way to save. Unlike regular ceramic piggy banks, these metal pigs are easy to open and reuse.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #983.41.1 Meal break, Comox farm, c. 1900

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


    Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference

    Purchasing a membership to the Courtenay and District Museum, now in its 60th 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

    BC's provincially legislated prohibition lasted from October 1, 1917 to June 15, 1921. That means this month marks 100 years since its repeal and the start of retail sale at government liquor stores. Well…not quite 100 years of local retail as you will see in this article in the Cumberland Islander from June 18, 1921.

    Additional local history and bonus image follows the newspaper article.

    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