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Courtenay & District Museum

  • Lecture: Looking and Seeing
  • Agnes Deans Cameron
  • Donations
  • Back to Class
  • What's In A Membership?
  • New Kid on the Block
  • Capes Escape
  • Before Television
  • Photo of the Month
  • It's All There in Black and White
  • 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


    Lecture: Looking and Seeing – Visual Design in Photography

    Speaker: Boomer Jerritt
    When: 7pm, Tuesday, October 9
    Where: Rotary Gallery, Courtenay and District Museum
    Admission: $10 general public; $8 Courtenay and District Historical Society members (plus HST). Advance tickets recommended.

    Most images we make in photography seem to end their short lives with the overly worn "delete" button on the backs of our cameras. Why?

    This entertaining 1.5 hr lecture and slide presentation explores the thought process and mechanics behind visual design and compositional techniques - why they work and why they sometimes fail.

    Click for Details


    Agnes Deans Cameron

    by Christine Dickinson

    The first school in the Comox Valley opened on Mission Hill in 1871. The first teacher was S. F. Crawford, who divided his time between farming and being a schoolmaster. After 10 years, Crawford moved on to open the school on Denman Island.

    Crawford's successor in 1882 was Agnes Deans Cameron, a young woman, who came with good recommendations, high ideals and strong opinions. She had been the first girl to graduate from Victoria High School, and was a fully qualified teacher at 16. At just 18 years old, Aggie Cameron already had two years of teaching behind her at the Angela College for girls, a private school in Victoria, run by the Church of England. Her new home was with the Robb family who lived at Comox Landing, and that meant each morning and afternoon she was faced with a 4 mile walk along the Estuary and over the rickety and wind swept Long Bridge which spanned the water before the Dyke Road was built. Tall and slender, her vigorous stride and uncommonly short hair caused some amusement for the K'ómoks people from the vantage of their village. She shared the joke as they greeted her each day.

    Continue Reading



    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


    Back to Class

    The Science & Nature Discovery Program exclusively for home-learners is back!

    This exciting program is a fun, hands-on way for children to learn all about science and is designed to help parents meet BC's prescribed learning outcomes.

    Registration is open for fall classes. This year, the museum is offering eight classes to accommodate the high enrollment demand. Priority is given to returning students and 40 spaces are already filled, so, if you're interested, contact us at the museum.

    Click here for Details


    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


    New Kid on the Block

    Gillian Miller started her position running the visitor services at the museum in June. She enjoys the daily variety of work that the position offers. Never before has she sewn eyes on a dinosaur outfit or fed live worms to an African Lung Fish!

    Gillian's hometown is Brighton, England. She has been fortunate enough to have lived and worked in London, Vancouver, Washington DC, and Cape Cod. Gillian moved permanently to Vancouver in 1986 where she married and worked in credit card services for a major credit card company. Gillian has worked at numerous other occupations, everything from being a nanny, Montessori teacher, manager of the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre and working, marketing and sales at a winery in Cobble Hill. On Vancouver Island, Gillian has lived in Sooke, Chemainus, Courtenay and, a year ago, moved to her funky Royston home where she lives very happily with her Bascottie dog, Gertie. Gillian feels that the Comox Valley is the best place she has lived and loves working with all the dedicated staff at the museum.


    Check out this video tour of the Capes Escape vacation rental created by Shawn Pigott and K. Bannerman, co-owners of the Cumberland media company, Fox & Bee.

    Click here to Watch


    Blue Heron, CDM 998.236.1

    Before Television
    What Happens When We Turn off the Remote

    "Before Television" is a newsletter feature that shares the Courtenay and District Museum collection with readers and highlights the ingenuity and creativity of people as they added beauty and personal style to items from their home and work life.

    This painting of a blue heron is from an instruction booklet created by Rose Baikie (later Rose McKenzie) when she was a teacher in the Comox Valley. Rose carefully painted images of a dozen local birds and gathered facts about their habits to share with her students.

    Rose (b. 1906 – d. 1979) spent her first years of teaching at the McGuigan School (Camp 3) in the 1920s. She also taught at Lazo School and Comox Elementary before marrying William Samuel McKenzie in 1927. Rose left teaching until 1957 when she returned and taught again for 13 years before her retirement.


    Photo of the Month

    CDM #p170-254
    Courtenay Hotel, c. 1900

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


    It's All There in Black and White

    How does the Fall Fair of 1949 compare with today's Comox Valley Exhibition? Check out this advertisement from the Comox District Free Press of August 25, 1949 to count the ways!

    Read this newspaper article from our archives


    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