Courtenay & District Museum

  • Capes Escape Award
  • Exhibit: Rust in Peace
  • BC Day Hours
  • Exhibit Reminder
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

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

    Monday to Saturday
    10 am to 5 pm

    12 noon to 4 pm

    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


    Capes Escape Project
    Receives Award of Honour from Heritage BC

    On June 4, the Courtenay and District Museum received an Award of Honour from Heritage BC for the Capes Escape project. BC Heritage presents Awards of Honour each year for important contributions to heritage conservation.

    The Capes property, restored as a vacation rental on seven acres of park was donated to the museum by the late Katherine Capes. Rick Goodacre, Heritage BC Executive Director, presented the award to CDM executive director, Deb Griffiths, who accepted the award on behalf of the museum staff and board at the Heritage BC Annual Conference in Victoria.

    To see all Heritage BC award recipients click here.


    Exhibit: Rust in Peace
    Sunday, July 25th Only

    Sackville Road junkyard. Photo by Rick James.

    Back before the environmental movement was in full swing and the auto crusher was sent out to remove old cars from the landscape, many an old 1920s and 1930s coach and sedan was left in the back corner of an Island junkyard to quietly rust away. On Sunday, July 25th, the Courtenay and District Museum will be displaying Rust in Peace, a photo-documentary of these fascinating old car graveyards.

    The show coincides with Comox Valley Classic Cruisers Graffiti Show and Shine which takes place in downtown Courtenay the same day.

    The black and white photographs in Rust in Peace were taken by long-time Comox Valley resident, Rick James. In the 1970s, just before the vintage car collections disappeared for good, James spent time exploring the derelicts with his buddy and old car nut, Ken Gerberick. Gerberick was totally preoccupied with collecting interesting fenders, cowls, wheels and hood ornaments for his own old car junkyard, an on-going art project that he worked on for years.

    Although James did pick up the odd bit of rusty metal himself, he was more concerned with photographing the sites before their residents were turned into razor blades in Japan. The three junkyards featured in the Rust in Peace exhibit will be Lionel English’s Merville junkyard, ex-Campbell River mayor Ken Forde’s collection at Shelter Point and the unforgettable Gorosh pile that was a roadside icon next to the Old Highway near Nanaimo from the early 1940s to late 1970s.

    The framed photographs in the show will be for sale.

    Please note that to better accommodate Classic Cruiser show visitors, the museum will be open special hours (10 am to 2 pm) for Sunday, July 25th only.


    BC Day Hours

    Just a reminder that the museum will be closed on Monday, August 2nd. Have a safe and happy holiday!


    Exhibit: Headlines
    On Right Now!

    Cleaning up bricks at the Courtenay Post Office after 1946 earthquake. Credit: CDM 967.13.42

    Be sure to drop in to see the “Headlines” exhibit.

    The show features newspaper pages and photographs commemorating valley events of the 20th Century like the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1919, the 1946 earthquake and the burning of the Riverside Hotel.


    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 #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, 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