5 Reasons to Visit the Museum at Campbell River This Fall

The Museum at Campbell River weaves together the threads of the past and present to tell the story of Campbell River. A visit to our city isn’t complete without stopping in to learn about the people, events and experiences that shaped our community. Here are 5 reasons why a visit to the Museum is an essential fall experience.

1) Special Exhibitions 

The changing gallery features a new exhibit every few months that speaks to a specific aspect of Campbell River’s rich history. This Fall’s exhibit is the “ Last Stand” featuring the works of David Ellingsen. “This travelling exhibit features the work of photographer and artist David Ellingsen, whose family has roots on Cortes Island, BC.  For five generations David Ellingsen’s family has been involved in British Columbia’s historical evolution of colonial forestry, from old-growth deforestation and clear-cutting to contemporary environmentally conscious harvest practices. Ellingsen’s consideration of these ancient remains, interwoven with his own personal history and familial responsibility, serves as a meditation of the contemporary disconnect between our commodity-driven culture and our environment.”- The Museum at Campbell River.

2) Historical Films 

One of the most notorious moments in Campbell River’s history is the explosion of Ripple Rock. Ripple Rock was a large underground mountain located in the Seymour Narrows, its proximity to the surface meant that navigating the already dangerous narrows was often deadly. Over 100 ships were wrecked, resulting in the deaths of 114 people. Because this was a key shipping route a plan was constructed to blow off the top of the mountain thus eliminating the hazard. The blast finally occurred after much careful planning in 1958 and was the CBC’s first-ever live broadcast. The footage from the broadcast can be watched at the Museum in the Van isle theatre. And is a must-see for any history buff or those who are interested in witnessing an engineering marvel. 


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3) Tyee Club History 

The oldest organization in Campbell River the Tyee Club has a long storied history. Founded in 1924 in order to become a member of the club you must catch a salmon that weighs over 30lbs while being rowed. You can learn more about the history here.

4) Indigenous History 

Campbell River is located on the traditional territories of the Wei Wai Kum and the We Wai Kai peoples. Whose relationships with the land have been present since time immemorial and continue to this day. The galleries in the museum explore a number of themes relating to the history of the First Nations peoples. Themes include First Nations fishing methods, archaeological evidence covering 9000 years of settlement and the devastating epidemics of the 18th and 19th centuries.

5) Interactive Exhibits 

The City of Campbell River’s identity is tied to its beginnings as a resource town. The stories of our coast are deeply rooted in logging and fishing. Experience how these early settlers lived by walking through a replica bunkhouse that was typical for logging camps at the time, sit atop a logging truck, walk through a model of a float house, step back in time and experience the famous Willows Hotel which was the favourite haunt of sport fishers, loggers and pretty much anyone who called Campbell River home at the time. Walking through these interactive and detailed displays will leave you with a new appreciation for early life on the coast and the changes our city by the sea has undergone.

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