Courtenay & District Museum

  • Kids Camp for Spring Break
  • Homeschool Programme Success
  • Fossil Club News
  • Ancient Octopuses & Squid Lecture
  • Shipwrecks 2010 Conference
  • Gold Medal Gift
  • Capes Escape Update
  • Sponsoring the Museum
  • Museum 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


    Kids Camp for
    Spring Break 2010

    Back by popular demand, museum staff will be presenting science and nature exploration classes over the March break.

    Programmes are geared for children ages 5 to 12 and there are no prerequisites. Cost is $14.70 per class, which includes GST. Pre-registration and prepayment is required.

    Tuesday, March 09: Seashore Life
    10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm

    Wednesday, March 10: Earth Science

    Thursday, March 11: Fossils and Dinosaurs
    10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm

    Friday, March 12: Wacky Science

    You can register by giving us a call at (250) 334-0686.


    Homeschool Programme Success

    The Science and Nature Discovery Programme was created exclusively for homeschooled children ages five to twelve.

    The programme has had a wonderful response from homeschool groups and parents throughout the Comox Valley.

    Due to the popularity of the course, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday classes will be offered beginning in March.

    The programme is based on British Columbia’s prescribed learning outcomes and at the end of each session parents will receive a list of PLOs that have been covered during the course.

    The three main areas that will be covered are Life Science, Physical Science and Earth & Space Science. Seven different sessions of four classes each will be available throughout the year, with session #3 beginning March 17, 2010.

    Classes will consist of a mix of interactive presentations, discussions, demonstrations, slideshows, hands-on activities, games and projects to take home.

    Cost for one session (4 classes) per child is $60.00 plus GST.  For more information on this and other exciting programmes please call (250) 334-0686 or check our website at


    Fossil Club News

    Session #2: Saturdays, March 13 - May 1 (8 weeks)
    Session #3: Saturdays, Sept 18- Nov 6 (8 weeks)

    The Courtenay Museum Family Fossil Club is open to all ages and is geared towards novice fossil collectors and enthusiasts.

    The club runs in eight-week sessions, consisting of three meetings and one guided field trip per month.

    Meetings are every Saturday from 10:30am to 12:30pm.

    As a member of the Fossil Club, you will be entitled to the following: monthly agenda of Fossil Club events, weekly club meetings, monthly guided field trip, a “Puntledge River Elasmosaur” ball cap, the book Heather’s Amazing Discovery and a complimentary Museum membership.

    Cost for the Fossil Club membership per eight-week session is $175/family, $75/adult, $50/youth (5-16).

    Please book now as the next session begins March 13th.


    Ancient Octopuses and Squid subject of Museum Talk

    International fossil octopus expert Dr. Dirk Fuchs will be giving a lecture here at the Courtenay Museum on Friday, March 5th at 7pm.

    The vast fossil beds of Vancouver Island have been recognized as something rare and unique. It has now become apparent that the sedimentary rock that our fossils are buried in preserves the remains of prehistoric octopus and other squid-like creatures. Recent discoveries by local collectors have caught the attention of scientists around the world. Very little is known about the lineage of many species of octopus and squids. Simply put, this type of animal usually rots away and leaves no traces of their existence. On Vancouver Island the chemistry of our ancient seafloor has the right conditions to preserve the aptychus (beak) and just recently discovered internal stiffeners or gladius of prehistoric octopuses and squids.

    Dr. Fuchs is from the University of Berlin and is one of the world’s leading experts in fossil coleiod cephalopods. His talk will cover the evolution of octopuses and squids from ancient to modern times.

    Tickets at the door. Cost: $5 per museum member; $6 per non-member. Doors open 6:30 pm.


    Shipwrecks 2010 Conference
    The 24th annual Shipwrecks conference, western Canada's oldest underwater heritage event.

    The Conference
    Location: Maritime Museum of BC, Victoria, BC
    Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
    Time: 9:00am - 4:30 pm
    Cost: $35.00

    (1) Greg Evans, Executive Director MMBC: Warship into Oblivion: Loss of HMS Condor
    (2) Rich Hutchings, UBC: Rising Tide: Pacific Northwest Coast Marine Heritage
    (3) Dan MacKay, Training Director GUE: Deep Water Wreck Surveys
    (4) Keith Tamburri, Asst. Manager ROPOS Exploring the Deep using the Scientific ROV ROPOS
    (5) Jacques Marc, UASBC: Historic Shipwrecks of the Central Coast of BC
    (6) Dr. Phil Nuytten, Nuytco: Dentalia Harvesting by BC First Nations

    Dinner and Woodward Lecture
    Location: Gorge Vale Golf Club, Victoria, BC
    Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010
    Time: 6:00pm - 10:00 pm
    Cost: $40.00

    Keynote Speaker
    Dr. Chris Horrell, Marine Archaeologist, US Minerals Management Service Deep Water Archaeology in the Gulf of Mexico: Surveying, Mapping and Managing Fragile Cultural Resources in the Middle of the Offshore Oil Fields

    For more information and to purchase tickets please visit or phone John (250)743-4495 or Jacques (250) 474-5797.


    Gold Medal Gift

    Past Museum Chairman, Judy Hagen and Past City of Courtenay Mayor and Comox Valley Community Foundation Director Ron Webber with new Courtenay Museum monitors.

    Courtenay Museum Receives Gold Medal Gift from Foundation

    Just in time for the 2010 Olympics, the Courtenay and District Museum is presenting the sports exhibit, “An Enjoyable Region” with an added boost from the Comox Valley Community Foundation which supported the purchase of large screen monitors for exhibit areas.

    John Wilson, CDM Chairman, who was on hand to receive the cheque presented by the Foundation in late January, said the grant to purchase monitors for the museum’s exhibit areas will be “the gift that keeps on giving”.

    The monitors will be used on a year round basis throughout the museum’s galleries to display more of the 40,000 historic images, film clips and documents the museum holds. Future Shop Courtenay also partially sponsored the monitor purchase. 

    Museum staff say this was perfect timing for the Foundation’s gift as it coincides with the opening of the museum’s sports exhibit and the 2010 Olympics.

    Highlights of the exhibit include graphic panels and artifacts related to an array of sports and recreation activities in the valley including golf, skiing, team sports, river rafting, boxing and general good times in the great outdoors. 

    If people are in downtown Courtenay they can stop in and see the exhibit and view Olympic or Paralympic events during the day. The “Enjoyable Region” exhibit will run until late May.         


    Capes Escape Update

    A word to the wise...

    Capes Escape will be available for rentals again in the beginning of March after our long term tenants depart. Please keep it in mind for out of town guests.

    Click here for photos and availability


    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.

    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.


    Museum Sponsors

    Judy and Stan Hagen
    Comox Valley Community Foundation
    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
    Judy Gurr

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne

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


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #990.29.1
    Native Sons Hall, Courtenay, 1928

    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