Courtenay & District Museum

  • Swift Observations
  • May is Asian Heritage Month
  • Online Lecture: Travel Journal 101 – Proof of Life
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Gold in the Oyster River
  • Collection Selections
  • Online Lecture: “Lest We Forget”
  • Laver’s Department Store Building Turns 100
  • Photo of the Month
  • Your Membership and Donations Make A Difference
  • Gift Shop News
  • 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.


    Swift Observations

    Ever wonder how Swifts perch inside of chimneys? Here’s an example from a stopover in Washington.

    Photo: Salem KATU TV Channel 2 news Sept 30, 2010

    The Vaux’s Swifts have returned to the Courtenay Museum’s brick chimney. With help from Mayor Bob Wells, City of Courtenay staff and ACS solutions, museum staff have placed a live camera on the chimney to view the swift traffic on their migration from Central America to Northern BC and Alaska.

    To learn more about Vaux’s Swifts Click Here


    May is Asian Heritage Month

    Numerous diverse communities of Asian heritage helped shape history in the Comox Valley and British Columbia and continue today.

    In Canada, to honour these ongoing contributions, May is Asian Heritage Month. As Canadian Heritage states, “Since the late-1700s, people of Asian heritage have made important contributions to Canada’s history and identity. Each year, as part of its annual Asian Heritage Month campaign, the Government of Canada encourages Canadians to learn about how Canadians of Asian heritage have and continue to help shape Canada as we know it today.

    Read More


    Online Lecture: Travel Journal 101 – Proof of Life

    Date: Tuesday, May 17, 7 pm
    Speaker: Wayne Wilson
    Location: Online
    Admission: Free admission
    Zoom Link:

    Join artist and travel journaler, Wayne Wilson, for an inspiring Zoom presentation, where he will show you how to create your own travel journal. Drawing from his museum career and from outdoor expeditions, Wayne will share his tips and tricks for keeping a lasting memory of your experiences.

    Continue Reading


    It's All There in Black and White

    Community Leader and Business Owner, Norman Leung receiving the 1986 Citizen of the Year award, published in this January 28, 1987 article from the Comox District Free Press.

    Read More

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


    Gold in the Oyster River

    See more historical images and stories like this in the museum’s 2020 book Stepping Into Wilderness published with Harbour Publishing.

    Dedicated prospectors John Brown and Jimmy Aston had found placer gold on the Oyster River, and hoped to find the mother lode near their camp at Circlet Lake. Photo: CDM Stubbs Collection

    The Oyster River has long been a magnet for gold seekers. Placer mining, which uses water to separate gold deposits from river gravel washed downstream from the mother lode, could be done with something as simple as a pan or as complex as a series of sluice boxes.

    Continue Reading


    Collection Selections

    For this edition of Collection Selections we take a look at this 1:24 scale Puntledge River Powerhouse model, made by John Henry Boffy and his son, James, in 1935. Thank you to the Cumberland Museum and Archives for donating it to the Courtenay Museum in 2021.

    Continue Reading


    Online Lecture: “Lest We Forget”

    Conserving an Unforgettable Scrapbook

    Date: 7 pm, Tuesday, May 31, 2022
    Speaker: Tanya Richards
    Location: Online
    Admission: Free admission
    Zoom Link:

    Join art conservator Tanya Richards for a special Zoom presentation in which she will detail the various challenges of conserving the one-of-a-kind scrapbook, “Lest We Forget,” and the process of making a facsimile copy. The leather-bound compendium was created by Ruth Masters in the 1970’s to commemorate the men from the Comox Valley who died in the First and Second World Wars.

    Continue Reading


    Laver’s Department Store Building Turns 100


    This month marks the 100th anniversary of the T. Booth & Sons store opening at the corner of Cliffe Avenue and 5th Street in May 1922. Mr. R. Laver purchased the building in 1927 after a prosperous season in the space, and Laver’s Department Store remained open until the Spring of 1989.

    Over the last century, the building has been the home to many businesses: Laver’s Department Store, Zocalo Cafe, Cornerstone Taphouse to name a few.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #p55-145 May Day Celebration, Courtenay, 1923

    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 61st 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


    Gift Shop News
    Spring is in the air and in the Courtenay Museum gift shop

    The Creative Eye @ the Courtenay Museum Gift Shop

    Ever wonder who the creative eye is behind purchasing at the museum gift shop? Gillian Miller, Visitor Services and Gift Shop Manager has a long history of knowing what visitors like. Having formerly managed the Chemainus Information Centre and worked with the Comox Valley Chamber as well as having international tourism experience, Gillian orders items that please most visitors.

    Enthusiastic about items made locally or from afar, Gillian says, “I am always looking for new unique gifts. This week, some amazing new items have arrived from the Eric & Christopher line. They’re high quality and made from 100% cotton canvas. They include cushions with sunflowers, lavender, and cute rabbits with bow ties and tutus. The tea-towels are extra large with bright coloured dragonflies, bees, sunflowers and lavender. We also have totes with very sweet rabbits.”

    All gift shop proceeds go to museum programming. Happy spring to Gillian and to all!


    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