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Courtenay & District Museum

  • Courtenay Museum Gets REDI
  • NIC Pro Photo Show
  • What's In A Membership?
  • The Way We Roll
  • Heritage Fair Projects
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Sleep at Home and Save
  • The Garden at Capes Escape
  • Photo of the Month
  • Donations
  • Before Television
  • Museum Sponsors
  • 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


    Courtenay Museum Gets REDI

    The Courtenay and District Museum takes a giant step forward this summer with assistance from Community Futures Strathcona and the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), as it embarks upon a project to enhance its position as British Columbia's premier marine fossil destination and invests in the Comox Valley's dinosaur-age fossil resources.

    The project, Destination Courtenay Museum & Palaeontology Centre, engages exhibition designers, fabricators and production people to activate the cumulative research and interpretation accomplished to date by museum staff, board, volunteers, scientists and historians.

    With support from Community Futures in the planning and development stages, REDI BC approved $147, 000 which the museum and donors will match. The museum will continue to work with Community Futures throughout the project.

    Continue Reading


    NIC Pro Photo Show
    Exhibit Opening and Reception

    Photo by Jessie Cavanagh

    On Friday, June 1st from 7 – 9 pm, join North Island College's Professional Photography students at the Courtenay and District Museum for the opening of the programme's 15th showing of student work. The event marks the third collaboration between the museum and the photography programme by utilizing the museum's spacious second floor gallery.

    Alana Atto, Lori Bishop, Ava Breakwell, Jessie Cavanagh, Calista Fleming, Hannah Manfredi, Emily Murray, Tamara Newman, Amanda Snyder, Melosie Sucay-Tancon, Kareen Western and Bruce Wheatley will display personal favourites as well as images created especially for the show. The secret to success of a group show is variety and talent and these enthusiastic students have clearly met that challenge.

    As diverse as the regions of Canada from which they come, the students' reasons for choosing photography as a career vary widely. All, however, have been captivated by the visual expression and lure of a medium that continues to evolve and dominate our lives.

    The NIC Pro Photo Show will be on exhibit until the late afternoon of Saturday, June 16th.


    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


    The Way We Roll

    A grateful tip of our hat to the Comox Valley Monarch Lions Club and Daryl Wright of Francis Jewellers who provided the funds to purchase blinds for the recently renovated Katherine Capes Archives and the Rotary Gallery spaces.

    The areas now proudly display roll down and black out blinds which are perfect to help regulate light and summer heat in these public spaces.

    Thank you Comox Valley Monarch Lions and Francis Jewellers!


    Heritage Fair Projects

    Several projects from School District 71's Heritage Fair 2012 will be on display in the coming weeks at the Courtenay and District Museum. The fair was a big success again this year and featured the efforts of hard working students inspired to explore Canadian heritage. It is a pleasure to offer students the opportunity to share their ideas with a larger audience so consider dropping in to have a look.


    It's All There in Black and White

    The Comox Valley was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family in 1971. But no Royal visit would be complete without some controversy!

    Have a look through this article from the May 12th edition of the Comox District Free Press to find out more.

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    Sleep at Home and Save

    Sleep at home and save…special discount for museum members at the Capes Escape Boot Camp for Authors July 20 - 24!

    Yes, you can attend Boot Camp for Authors, learn what you need to know, meet other writers, get inspired, have tons of fun and sleep in your own bed to save money.

    The special offer includes:

    • morning group workshop sessions
    • an evaluation of 20 pages of your work
    • a personal consultation with Paula Wild
    • an opportunity to read your work aloud
    • writing exercises to tone your writing muscles
    • appetizers, dinner & dessert
    • presentations & conversation with guest authors

    Special price for Courtenay and District Museum members registering by June 16 is $600.

    For details about the workshop visit www.paulawild.ca/workshops.

    For more information or to reserve your space, contact Paula at 250-338-7740 or paulawild@shaw.ca.


    Kerry in the garden, 1951.

    The Garden at Capes Escape

    Written histories of the Capes family often refer to the family garden. It was clearly an important part of their everyday life and old photos offer glimpses of the garden's former glory, with many traditionally favourite perennials showing in the background.

    Today, the Capes Escape property is still a beautiful place, well tended by mother nature and museum staff. Native plants such as ferns and oregon grape are abundant and healthy. A small Japanese maple, a species wonderfully adaptable to coastal B.C. sits near the front entrance to the house and is a familiar sight to visitors. On either side of the house stands a surprisingly tall Holly tree.

    A grand Birch towers over the entrance to the property while the ever popular Forget-me-not is currently in bloom along the winding, shady driveway and leads the way as one drives back onto Cumberland Road.

    For further information and availability please click here


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #979.3.10
    Coal wharf at Union Bay, 1906

    You can view more photos like this on our website. Click here to visit our holdings.



    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


    CDM 976.38.1

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    Here is a charming example of artistry in a hand painted dish that was donated to the museum in 1976. The dish had been owned by Mrs. Robb.

    Of course the name "Robb" is synonymous with colonial settlement of the Comox Valley and particularly with Comox.

    Valley author and historian Eric Duncan described his first view (1877) of the Comox Landing and Robb's property in his book From Shetland to Vancouver Island...

    Continue Reading


    Museum Sponsors

    Judy and Stan Hagen
    Comox Valley Community Foundation
    Daryl and Evelyn Wright-Francis Jewellers 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
    Comox Valley Monarch Lions Club

    Elizabeth Braithwaite
    Jean Hawthorne


    Lawrence Burns
    Sheila Carvalho
    Perlita Docuria
    Coral Dunn
    Bent Harder
    Dove and Mike Hendren
    Joanne Jacobson
    Inge Krahn
    Phyllis Long
    Ginny Lowrie
    Ruth Masters
    Mary McCaffrey
    Evelyn Martin
    M.E. McKerrow
    Mary Mobley

    D. Mobley
    Richard Monks
    Barb Page
    Bernie Poole
    Alice Potts
    Robin Potts
    Gordon Schnare
    April Shopland
    George E. Sprogis
    Jean & Ian Sibbald
    Chuck & Mary Slemin
    Roberts and Adela Smith
    Donald Taylor
    M & J Tevington


    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