Courtenay & District Museum

  • Membership Appreciation Week
  • Christmas Open House
  • A Cluster of Authors
  • Postcards to the Universe
  • Historic Notes
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Anniversary Give Away
  • Before Television
  • Capes Escape
  • What's In A Membership?
  • Donations
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



    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
    Mary Everson

    Elizabeth Braithwaite

    Member of...

    British Columbia Museums Association

    Canadian Museums

    Archives Association of
    British Columbia

    Heritage Society of British Columbia


    Membership Appreciation Week

    Our members only gift shop sale week is just around the corner!

    From Tuesday, November 22nd to Saturday, November 26th museum members will receive an additional 5% discount on their regular 15% discount from non-consignment and non-sale items in the shop.

    The gift shop stocks everything from dinosaur theme toys to jewelry, marble bowls to volcano kits, art cards to framed prints – all are available for your holiday shopping here at the museum.

    We also have scarves, children and adult books, t-shirts, sweaters and hats! And we’ve recently received a new shipment of trivets, tea towels, oven mitts and mugs, along with totes and zipper bags.

    For exceptional and unusual gifts – come and visit us at the Courtenay and District Museum gift shop!

    Would you like to become a member or renew your membership? If so click here.


    Christmas Open House

    We'll be ringing in the holiday season on Saturday, November 26th from 11 am to 4:30 pm with a special day of activities for the whole family.

    Museum entry on that day will be free to any family that brings a new or used, unwrapped toy or gift for Santa’s Workshop, or a donation for a local food bank.

    There will be a number of events throughout the day...

    Continue Reading


    A Cluster of Authors

    Mark Saturday, November 26th from 11am to 2pm on your calendars for there will be a gathering of a rather rare breed here at the Courtenay Museum – local Comox Valley history writers.

    For those few short hours authors will have their books on hand for purchase and signing - making it a great opportunity for Christmas gift shopping.

    Whether the books are pure Comox Valley history or a mix of fact and fiction you can look forward to meeting (in alphabetical order no less):

    Betty Annand - Voices from Courtenay Past; Voices from Bevan

    Kim Bannerman - Bucket of Blood

    Judy Hagen - Comox Valley Memories

    Rick James - West Coast Wrecks

    Ian Kennedy - The Life and Times of Joseph McPhee

    Harold Macy - The Four Storey Forest

    Gwyn Sproule - Whyte's Bay Days

    Paula Wild - The Comox Valley; Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park

    And Courtenay and District Historical Society/Museum Members please note that during this special event a 20% discount will apply to all of the above books.


    Postcards to the Universe:
    History and Iconography in Haida Argillite Sculpture

    Guest speaker: Carol Sheehan
    When: 7 pm, Wednesday, December 7, 2011
    Where: Rotary Gallery of Courtenay and District Museum
    Admission: $5 (plus HST) museum members; $6 (plus HST) general public. Advance tickets recommended.

    Working with a soft, black stone known as argillite, Haida sculptors created a stunning body of work that began as a souvenir art and quickly evolved into a high art that responded to dramatic, vital changes in Haida social and cultural history.

    Click here for Details


    Historic Notes

    Museum Receives Acknowledgment from Heritage BC
    Did you know that over 5,000 students from the School District visit the museum each year? This doesn’t even include the out of town students from across the province and the many visitors who participate in fossil field trips. This year, the Courtenay and District Museum is the proud recipient of a Heritage BC Certificate of Merit under the Advocacy, Awareness and Planning category for its efforts in paleontological programming. 80 Million Years and counting! Click Here

    Many Thanks to Past President, Judy Hagen and Donors
    Past President and Author, Judy Hagen, celebrated her 70th birthday in style at the museum on October 22 with cake, music, family and friends. Judy’s efforts brought over $500 in donations which have been deposited in the museum’s endowment fund with the Comox Valley Community Foundation. Thank you to everyone--including Mudshark’s Coffee Bar for their contribution.    

    A Bouquet
    To Marjorie Thorpe, Jean Sibbald, Jim Peacock, Peggy Hildebrand, Ted Lovegrove, and Jennifer Margetish  for their weekly volunteer work and donations to the museum. As well, to Christine Dickinson for the volunteer work and for bringing Elder College to the museum.

    A Request
    If you’ve ever had an inkling to make a donation to the museum that would really make a difference—here’s an idea. The museum’s Rotary Gallery is busy every day with school groups, lectures and events and it can get noisy with all of the boisterous fun! We need a good looking, quality door for the Rotary Gallery—and funds to purchase one. It’s a great time of year for donations so please keep us in mind.


    It's All There in Black and White

    Today's new technology can sometimes leave people born before 1980 scratching their heads trying to understand the language used in a text message. That slang "generation gap" is nothing new as illustrated in this February 5, 1958 Courtenay Argus newspaper article.

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    Anniversary Give Away

    This month our congratulations go out to the September winners of The Comox Valley book – Elizabeth Turnbull and Facebook fan M. Danielle McIntosh!

    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.


    CDM 974.10.38

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    Beautiful example of a hand painted Japanese food dish. Donated to the CDM collection in 1974 with the collecting locality listed as the "Royston Mill Hall".

    The Royston sawmill was started in 1913 by Grant and Mounce. The mill ran into financial trouble and Mr. Fugie, a log supplier, took over the business when he could not be paid. Fugie ended up selling the mill to Mr. Kaminiski, Mr. Iwasa, Mr. Minato and Mr. Tomihiro. It was this group of investors who hired George Uchiyama as manager. Uchiyama became chief share holder of the later renamed Royston Lumber Company located on the Royston Cumberland Road.

    A whole community grew up around the Royston Mill including homes, a kindergarten, a Japanese Language School and, of course, a community hall.

    The Comox Argus of April 16, 1942 under the headline "They're Gone" states in part that "Five hundred and eighty-six Japanese left on S.S. Prince George...all the Japanese of the Comox District from Oyster River to Fanny Bay, who have been living here, with the exception of eight or nine individuals who are helping the official custodian to close out estates and check property."


    This is a copy of the article that appears on the Heritage BC website:

    2010 Award of Honour

    Katherine Capes, a founding member of the Courtenay and District Museum, was one of the first female archaeologists in Canada and was an avid preservationist of both cultural and natural heritage. Born in 1913, her family moved to the Comox Valley in 1922 to settle on the Capes homestead on Cumberland Road.  Her father, Geoffrey Capes, owner of Courtenay Builders Supplies, was an avid outdoorsman and encouraged Katherine and her sister Phyllis to become members of the Comox Valley Mountaineering Club.

    Katherine lived an extraordinary life and made significant contributions to archaeological study in Canada. In 1949, after serving as a WREN during world war two, she attained a B.A. from UBC and went on to achieve an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Toronto. It remained her lifelong interest.

    Continue Reading


    What's In A Membership?

    Lots! News on lectures and events, fifteen percent discounts in the gift shop on non-consignment items, discounts on lectures and a chance to be involved with one of the most active regional museums in B.C.

    Buying a membership supports heritage, education and activities. If you’re not a member already, please join us today!

    Click here to Join



    Please consider supporting the Courtenay and District Museum through a charitable donation. Your donation helps support programming, museum activities and long term operating of the Courtenay and District Museum. This is a great time of year to donate and receive a tax receipt.

    You can donate online or by mail, details for both are available through the link below. Either way, we'll send acknowledgment and a receipt as soon as your donation is received.

    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 #990.24.135
    Women's Field Hockey, c. 1905

    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