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Courtenay & District Museum

  • AGM Coming Up
  • What's In A Membership?
  • A Treat for the Eyes
  • Donations
  • Capes Escape
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • Before Television
  • 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


    AGM Coming Up

    The Annual General Meeting of the Courtenay and District Historical Society will take place at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 12th in the museum Rotary Gallery. New members welcome!


    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


    A Treat for the Eyes

    A recent archives re-shuffle brought these beautiful 1930s McCall's magazine covers to light. Three are presented here for your viewing pleasure.



    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


    The summer of 2012 at Capes Escape is steady for bookings. Overall, Capes Escape is gaining ground with increased bookings and word of mouth referrals each year. The average stay for the summer months over the past three years is 55 nights.

    The museum is seeing repeat guests at the Capes Escape. Two families from the lower mainland stayed for the last two annual Music Fests and reserved Capes for 2013,2014 and 2015. They praise all that Capes has to offer. Two queen bedrooms and a bedroom with two singles accommodate more than enough for the average visit. If needed, there are two pull out beds available. The kitchen is fully equipped, and there's a barbeque on hand that is ideal for larger groups.

    There are still a few nights available for August but space is likely to fill up fast. If you wish to book or need more details you can call the Courtenay and District Museum at 250-334-0686.


    It's All There in Black and White

    In this installment of "It's All There in Black and White" you can read about standing in line just to get a peak at a television set, who to thank for helping with the new swimming pool, a case of mistaken identity and dancing with a chicken. You will find all this in the August 11, 1949 edition of the Comox District Free Press article "The Way We Heard It .. at The Free Press".

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    CDM 993.376.28

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    The hand-tinting of this image is a perfect example of embellishing an everyday item.

    The photograph was created by Hamilton Mack Laing (1883-1982) who sent the image as a Christmas card signing it "...from Mack Laing and the gulls of Mittlenatch Isl. rookery, Straits of Georgia, B.C.".

    Laing, of course, was a well-known local naturalist, author and photographer who’s life was chronicled in Richard Mackie’s 1985 book Hamilton Mack Laing: Hunter-Naturalist. Mackie quotes from Laing in regards to a 1922 trip to the "gullery" at Mittlenatch Island and its bird "song" as follows:

    "Oh it was a Wagnerian symphony of the birds, a chorus of lost souls crying out from some realm of the damned where the sweetest sound that echoes from the portal is a chorus of wailing. It was a savage, cruel place this nursery; discord was more than phonic; strife was in the air...I came down from the nursery full of the wonderment of it all – this savage nursery where bickering and quarrelling and disaster and death were the order of every day – apparent on every hand that colossal selfishness of Nature that makes one ponder on the meaning of it all." *

    The CDM has several hand-tinted nature photographs by Mack Laing in its collection.

    *H.M. Laing, Bird Rambles in British Columbia, Ch. IV, pp. 30-31, Provincial Archives of British Columbia.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #989.22.1
    Comox School class, 1892

    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