Courtenay & District Museum

  • Lecture: Three Great Authors, Three Great West Coast Tales
  • NIC's Focus Exhibit
  • Capes Escape Mystery
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

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

    Tuesday to Saturday
    10am to 5pm

    Sunday & Monday

    John Wilson

    Vice President
    Daryl Wright

    Past President
    April Shopland

    Rick Ross
    Jim Haggart
    Ross Dingwall
    Harry Squire

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    Three Great Authors, Three Great West Coast Tales

    Guest Speakers:
    Betty Keller, Jo Hammond and Rosella Leslie
    When: 7pm, Thursday, October 21st
    Where: Rotary Gallery, Courtenay Museum
    Admission: $5 museum members; $6 non-members. Advance tickets recommended. Plus HST.

    The Courtenay Museum plays host to a trio of speakers on Thursday, October 21st with "Three Great Authors, Three Great West Coast Tales".

    Betty Keller, Jo Hammond and Rosella Leslie will each present a sampling from their recent books beginning at 7 pm. A book signing will follow.

    Continue Reading


    NIC's Focus Exhibit

    On Friday, Oct. 1, North Island College's Professional Photography winter intake students displayed the results of their efforts at the opening of the programme's 13th showing of student work in the Courtenay and District Museum's changing exhibition gallery. The event marks a milestone collaboration between the museum and the college by utilizing the spacious second floor gallery for student artists' work. The opening drew over 150 enthusiastic visitors from the Comox Valley community and North Island College. Led by North Island College Instructor, Paul Bailey, the collaboration was a success and the museum looks forward to future exhibitions with the college.


    Capes Escape Mystery

    Edith Coton

    CDM 2000.156.4

    This summer, Capes Escape, the Courtenay Museum’s vacation rental house, was the scene of a family reunion, hosted by Pam Wilkinson of Courtenay. As the family was celebrating they noticed a small watercolour sketch. The original is in the Courtenay and District Museum, but it has been scanned and a framed copy sits on the desk at Capes House. After examining the sketch carefully they realized that it had been done by a relative. It was a sketch done by Edith Coton in or around 1925! The family, of course, was thrilled.  

    Mabel (May) Edith Skerry was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1886.  As a young girl she studied watercolour painting at the Slade in London. It has been said that she was not athletic and never in very good health. She was a genuine person described by some as aristocratic.  May travelled to Canada with her mother Suzanna and stopped in Victoria where they rented a room from a Mr. Horace Coton.  

    By 1914 romance had blossomed and May married Horace Coton at the old wooden Christ Church Cathedral (where the present law courts now stand) and changed her name to Edith Coton.  The altar in front of which they were married, now stands in the Lady Chapel at the present Christ Church Cathedral. For many years May belonged to the Victoria Sketch Club, and went on many outings with them. Emily Carr also belonged to this sketch club.  

    The Wilkinson family has no idea how the sketch came to be at Capes Escape. Was Edith a friend of the Capes family? It is a mystery! We may never know for sure. What we do know for certain is that Edith’s little sketch was viewed by her granddaughters, great-granddaughters, and great-great-granddaughters, two of whom are Art teachers!  

    Thank you Pam for the information on Edith and for staying at Capes Escape!  


    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 #998.219.304
    Loading truck, Bevan, 1924

    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