Courtenay & District Museum

  • Steamship into Oblivion
  • Provincial Budget News
  • Volunteer Week
  • Capes Escape Update
  • Sponsoring the Museum
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

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    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

    Ruth Masters
    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    Lecture Series:
    Steamship into Oblivion

    Peter Rendlisbacher rendition

    Guest speaker: Rick James
    When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, March 30th
    Where: Courtenay and District Museum
    Admission: $5 museum members; $6 non-members. Advance tickets recommended.

    On February 28, 1873, residents of Victoria opened the Daily British Colonist to read "Terrible Marine Disaster! Probable Loss of the Propeller Geo S Wright with all on board!" The American screw steamship was on its way south from Alaska to Portland, Oregon in late January that year when she disappeared somewhere in Queen Charlotte Sound in a raging gale.

    As the story of the loss spread throughout the United States by telegraph, tales of horrific deeds supposedly perpetrated by wild west coast people ran rampant.

    Over the next few months, as searches failed to find anyone still alive, hope slowly faded. Then, when a north Vancouver Islander came forward four years later with a tale of witnessing a horrendous massacre on the Cape Caution beaches, the Royal Navy gun vessel HMS Rocket was sent north to seize some Nuxalk First Nation suspects. When two of them refused to surrender, the village of Kimsquit was levelled by cannon fire.

    Did any of the Geo S Wright's crew and passengers actually make it to shore and, if so, did they become victims of a massacre? But, more important is the question of what became of the Geo S Wright since her wreck location remains a mystery to this day.

    If you're interested in learning more about this 19th century tragedy, then make your way to the Courtenay District & Museum to hear more from veteran West Coast maritime historian Rick James.


    Provincial Budget News

    A great deal of news has circulated lately about the provincial budget, the state of funding for the British Columbia Arts Council (BCAC) and the status of gaming funds for cultural organizations.

    Over the past several months, the executive of the BCAC, the B.C. Museums Association and the Heritage Society of B.C. kept museums and galleries around the province informed as events unfolded.

    Continue Reading


    Volunteer Week - April 18-24

    Volunteer week will be celebrated in Canada from April 18-24. On behalf of the board and staff of the Courtenay and District Museum we would like to thank the many volunteers who do so much to assist with operations and special projects. The April issue of the enews will feature volunteers and projects that make extraordinary things possible on a daily basis at the museum.


    Capes Escape Update

    At the Capes Escape property spring is in the air! The trees and bushes are budding and ready to blossom! One of our Courtenay Museum volunteers, David Dickinson, has pruned all of the fruit trees this year - thanks David! Capes Escape is available as a vacation rental and is beginning to book up for the season.

    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
    Don and Marie Gordon
    M. Jean McMullan Estate

    Comox Valley Echo
    Marjorie Thorpe
    The Bickle Family
    Lorna Gunn
    John Wilson and Family
    Judy Gurr
    Sue and Ian Leakey
    Ed LaFleur

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne

    Dove and Mike Hendren
    Ruth Masters
    John and Joan Wilson
    George E. Sprogis
    Gordon Schnare
    Mary Mobley


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #989.182.1
    Comox Bakery, Proprietor, H. C. Lucas, c. 1918

    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, Valley Charitable Bingo Society, 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