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Courtenay & District Museum

  • Courtenay and District Museum Gets Creative
  • Children's Summer Programmes
  • Danke Schoen!
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Royston Imperial Pavilion
  • Donations
  • Dinosaurs at RBCM
  • What's In A Membership?
  • Before Television
  • Capes Escape
  • Photo of the Month
  • Museum Sponsors
  • Museum Funding

  • Phone:



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

    Monday to Saturday
    10:00am to 5:00pm

    12:00pm to 4:00pm

    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 and District Museum Gets Creative

    The CDM's REDI project, a project focusing on upgrading exhibitions, improving programme areas and expanding a web presence is ongoing and giving staff plenty of opportunities to work with some very talented local people with creative businesses.

    Case in point - Shawn Pigott and Kim Bannerman, owners of Fox & Bee Media are providing excellent content, film and soundtracks for a number of videos for the museum. You can see the first one, about the museum’s fossil tours, at the museum's new YouTube site. This site will be expanded over the summer as we add videos about all aspects of the museum’s operation.

    Click here for the Video


    Children's Summer Programmes

    Courtenay and District Museum summer programmes for kids are back and better than ever!

    Offering everything from Fabulous Fossils to Exploring the Seashore, this summer promises to be jam packed with fun possibilities for the young ones!

    Click for Details


    Danke Schoen! Thank you!

    The CDM has been the grateful recipient of several business donations recently:

    • City Transfer Inc. generously provided free haulage services
    • Thrifty Foods supported the Canada Day Open House cupcake walk
    • Mudsharks Coffee Bar supplied free coffee during the Diamond Jubilee Reception.

    Museum staff will miss Mudsharks owners Bruce and Darla Curror as they move on to new adventures.

    Thanks to all for their support.


    It's All There in Black and White

    Have you ever heard of any place in the Comox Valley that had such a regal sounding name as the Royston Imperial Pavilion?

    To find out more about its history and demise read this Comox District Free Press article from July 11, 1940.

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    Royston Imperial Pavilion

    McLeod Orchestra. CDM Sillence # 440A-1 Photographer C.W. Sillence.

    A 1935 photo of the Hibbert McLeod Orchestra inside the Royston Imperial Pavilion. The fire that destroyed the Pavilion is believed to have been caused by a short circuit in the electrical wiring of the orchestra stand.

    Front row (left to right):
    Tenor Sax – Bill Walker of Cumberland, Alto Sax – Tommy McMillan of Cumberland, Alto Sax – Bert McLennan of Cumberland

    On Piano: Cyril Davis of Cumberland

    Second row (left to right):
    Trumpet – Bob Crousier of Cumberland, Trumpet – Ray McLeod of Comox, Trombone – Jack Hill of Cumberland

    Back row (left to right):
    Drums – John Bannerman of Cumberland, Guitar – Harold Lashley of Courtenay, Bass Violin and Violin - Hibbert McLeod of Comox, Orchestra Leader.

    CDM 993.46.2

    Dance in progress inside the Royston Imperial Pavilion during the late 1930s.

    Exterior of Royston Imperial Pavilion. CDM Sillence #1331 Photographer: C.W. Sillence.

    This photo was taken from the Royston beach in 1931. The black banding on the top and bottom of the photo is caused by emulsion mirroring which often happens as negatives age. The negatives from this time period did not hold up as well as the older glass plate negatives.



    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


    Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries

    Now to September 16, 2012 at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria

    Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries is a ground-breaking exhibition that highlights ongoing, cutting-edge dinosaur research by American Museum of Natural History paleontologists and other leading scientists from around the world.

    Click here for more info


    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


    CDM 974.87.1

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    This artifact from the museum collection is a dog harness used in the Comox Valley during the Second World War. If you look very closely you can make out that someone took the time to carefully carve the dog's name "PHALCO" into the leather.

    Historian Rene Harding recounted the story behind this artifact in a 1977 edition of the Comox District Free Press:

    "...During World War Two Phalco could be seen every Saturday on Fifth Street in Courtenay with his master, Mr. Walter Rigler. On the dog’s back he carried a harness containing two Red Cross boxes, and very quietly Phalco would come up to a passerby and wait for a coin to be dropped in a box. If the person did not notice then Phalco would give him or her a gentle nudge."

    CDM 998.219.52
    Walter Rigler and Phalco.


    My First Impressions of Capes Escape
    By Gillian Miller

    Being the person working at Visitor Services and being responsible for the bookings, I had the privilege of visiting Capes Escape.

    WOW what a fabulous vacation rental! First impressions, the grounds are very impressive, extremely well maintained, with walking trails and very private. The pretty heritage house is nestled in an opening in a beautiful seven-acre woodland area.

    The inside of the house has been newly renovated to the highest standards. The three bedrooms are large and bright. There is one and a half bathrooms, a large fully equipped kitchen, dining room and comfortable lounge.

    My favorite room in the house is the beautiful sunroom, where you would just want to relax with a good book and cup of tea and take in the lovely location. Capes Escape is only a couple of minutes drive from downtown.

    This is truly a very lovely vacation rental, a home away from home. If you are interested to making a booking for visiting friends or relatives make sure you give us a call at the museum.

    Gillian is the museum's new Visitor Services Representative. She joined the team just last month. Welcome Gillian!

    For further information and availability please click here


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #979.3.22
    View of Comox town site from wharf, 1907

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


    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