Courtenay & District Museum

  • Natural Bounty Exhibit
  • Canada Day Open House
  • Tumbler Ridge Symposium
  • Summer Students Pitch In
  • Summer Kidscamp
  • Native Sons Hall Reno
  • Anniversary Give Away
  • A Word to the Wise
  • Summer at Capes
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Before Television
  • Membership Fees
  • Donations
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Monday to Saturday
    10am to 5pm

    Noon to 4pm

    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


    CDM 998.219.14
    Comox District Exhibit at Vancouver Fair, 1928.

    Natural Bounty
    Cultivating and creating in the Valley of Plenty
    July 1st to the Fall

    Living off the land, past and present, is explored in this exhibition of photos, artifacts and products related to settlement and agricultural life in the Comox Valley, also known in early exhibition fairs as the "Valley of Plenty".

    Innovation, creativity and plain hard work are part of rural life in the Comox Valley and the Courtenay and District Museum brings out many items pertaining to this lifestyle. Spinning wheels, grinding stones, butter making tools, quilts, kitchen gadgets, hand-made tools, house furnishings and products being sold today will be displayed in Natural Bounty which will run from July 1st to the fall.


    Canada Day Open House

    Help celebrate Canada’s birthday in style this July 1st by visiting the museum for the annual Canada Day Open House from 11 am to 4 pm.

    Admission is free and there will be balloons and door prize draws throughout the celebration.

    Children and adults alike will enjoy the legendary Museum Cupcake Walk, and a children’s craft project will be presented for some hands on fun.

    Gifted local musician Alan Jossul will also be on hand to provide a vibrant ambience to the day.

    Door prizes are awarded every half hour, so stick around the whole time for more chances to win!


    Museum Connects at Tumbler Ridge Symposium

    The Courtenay and District Museum was recently represented at the Ninth British Columbia Paleontological Association Symposium, held from May 20 to May 23, 2011 in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and featuring guests from all over North America.

    Pat Trask, Curator of Science at the museum, joined a myriad of other guest speakers taking part in two days of discussion about paleontology in British Columbia, Western Canada, and even stretching as far as China.

    Click here to continue reading


    Summer Students Pitch In

    Summer’s here and hiring summer students is a highlight of the museum’s annual activities. So far, the Courtenay and District Museum has hired two students for the summer of 2011.

    Click here to continue reading


    Summer Kidscamp

    Join us at the Courtenay and District Museum between July 4th and August 19th for an exciting and educational summer of children’s activities! The museum’s Kidscamp day programs invite children between the ages of 5-12 to experience a variety of classes that will engage and inspire as a well as provide a refreshing perspective of science, nature, and paleontology. We offer programs both inside the museum and outdoors.

    There are four indoor programs:

    Fabulous Fossils teaches kids about our local ancient marine reptiles, like the world-famous Elasmosaur, as well as other fossilized creatures, and even allows them to make their very own fossil!

    Discovering Dinosaurs, a favourite program of many children, focuses on the giant reptiles of ancient past through a slideshow, tour of the museum, cast-making, and much more.

    Earth Science explores the formation of everything from the earth’s core to its surface and discusses the multitude of raw materials that make our planet so intriguing.

    Wacky Science lives up to its wacky billing in a big way with fun-filled and extremely messy experiments that simultaneously teach kids the amusement and practicality of scientific discovery.

    There are three outdoor programs:

    Explore the Seashore combines a day at the beach with the intrigue of some of the ocean’s most colourful creatures, which kids will learn to identify and interact with.

    Finally, the Fossil Collecting programs at the Trent River and Browns River provide kids the hands-on experience of uncovering fossilized creatures that have not been seen for 80 millions years, and is sure to ignite the junior paleontologist in them.

    Remember, classes fill up fast, so sign your children up today for an experience that will highlight their summer! Registration is available at the Museum.

    Click here for pricing and dates


    Excellence Award for Native Sons Hall Reno

    Renovation in progress, January 2010

    "The innovative renovation of the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay has won the City a provincial award of excellence from the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association."

    Click here for original article


    Anniversary Give Away

    This month our congratulations go out to the May winners of The Comox Valley book – Dove Hendren and our Facebook fan Mars Shrum!

    We continue our year long 50th anniversary celebration of the Courtenay and District Historical Society with a monthly prize draw to receive a complimentary copy of the coffee table book by Paula Wild.

    All current, paid-up members to the Society are automatically entered to win, and now we’ve increased your chances of winning by doing a separate draw for fans to our Facebook page.


    A Word to the Wise

    This month’s Island K'ómoks word is Má7t'ey.

    "Má7t'ey 'horse clam' – the large whirlpool at the south end of Seymour Narrows is caused by an underwater rock formation which used to extend almost to the surface. This was known as Ripple Rock. The upper part of this underwater rock was blasted away in 1957 in order to minimize its danger to shipping. The Island Comox name refers to both the whirlpool and the rock, and is derived from the fact that the whirlpool at its maximum flow would "spit" like a horse clam."

    Once again, thanks to Sliammon Life, Sliammon Lands by Dorothy Kennedy and Randy Bouchard, 1983.


    Summer at Capes

    June and July are fairly well booked for the Capes Escape House. The sun shelter has been erected, and the bbq is ready to go! There are a few spots available in August and September, if you need a place for friends or family to stay while they are visiting the Comox Valley, please check out the Capes House. And, remember all proceeds from the vacation rental go towards the Historical Society and the Courtenay and District Museum.

    Click here for photos and availability


    It's All There in Black and White

    We were not always able to phone Cumberland without long distance charges. This article from June 21, 1961 shows the controversy.

    You will also see the mystery of how a west coast dog fish ended on the sand bar of a fresh water lake at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    CDM 974.103.3

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    "Brittany" doll donated by Kath Kirk in 1974. Doll was hand made by Betsy Howard. Betsy and her husband John lived in Merville (they are the namesakes of Howard Road), Comox and finally Nanoose. Betsy became internationally known for her hand crafted dolls before her untimely death in 1956.


    Membership Fees

    Is your Courtenay and District Historical Society membership up-to-date?

    Ever since the society formed as an official non-profit group in 1961, membership support has been crucial to its success with fees used to help maintain museum programming and extension activities.

    A valid membership does have its benefits: free admission to the museum, 15% off gift shop purchases, discounts on lectures as well as invitations to openings and a special Christmas shopping event.

    Please consider supporting the museum by purchasing or up-dating your Historical Society membership. Memberships are valid for 12 months from date of payment.



    Please consider supporting the Courtenay and District Museum through a charitable donation. Click on the link below to support donations to us directly or through the Comox Valley Community Foundation.

    Click here to Donate Now


    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
    Bruce McPhee

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

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne

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


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #989.69.74
    Strand Café, Courtenay, late 1920s

    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, 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