Discover the Community Culture of Campbell River
The City of Campbell River is situated on the traditional territories of the Ligwiłda’xw people; the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations. Destination Campbell River invites you to #DiscoverCampbellRiver, a community teeming with history, culture, and a unique, town-by-the-sea vibe. Discover one of the many places within the community that share pieces of our past, present and future.
Living Indigenous History
Living Indigenous history is an integral part of the fabric that makes up the community of Campbell River. To experience living history for yourself, visit:
- The Museum at Campbell River, which brings alive the rich traditions and heritage of this fascinating region and its peoples.
- The Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre, on Quadra Island is known for its potlatch collection and totem poles.
- The Carving Shed, of Master Carver Bill Henderson, functions as a work space, with an open door to the public to come and witness traditional carving methods that will leave a profound and lasting impression on its visitors. * Note: This is a workshop and has no set hours.
Local indigenous artists;
- Thomas D. Hunt
- Raymond Shaw
- Max Chickite
- Jessica Chickite
- Cody LaFrance
- Bill Henderson
- Sonny Assu
** Please note this list is not representative of all of the local Indigenous carvers, artists, etc. we are always learning and finding new resources to highlight artists, please reach out directly to be added or provide more information so that we may continue to support.
Community Gathering Places
Despite its growth and change, Campbell River remains a small town at heart. Get to know the local way of life, at these popular meeting spots:
- Shared harvest tables at Beachfire Brewing encourage a communal atmosphere and facilitate easy conversation. Every Tuesday the brewery puts out a specialty small batch that draws in a crowd of locals and visitors alike.
- Nightlife in Campbell River is about enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Beach fires are a popular evening activity, year round. It’s not unusual to see beach fires dotting the coastline. Joining in the fun is easy, grab your favourite roastable snacks (we suggest smores) and head down to Ken Forde Park, get a fire going as you admire the coastal mountains and marine traffic going by. *Note: Be sure to check the coastal fire centre for any bans/restrictions in the area.
- Cruise Ship watching is practically a professional sport around here. In the summer months they sail through the Discovery Passage on their way to Alaska. Popular spots to watch from are the Discovery Pier or around a beach fire.
- Fogdukkers Coffee is a local and unique community meeting place. Located along the scenic Rotary Seawalk, this is a popular spot to stop and get a coffee with a view.
Art unique to the flavour of Campbell River can be found throughout town both in public spaces and in local shops. To discover what the Campbell River art scene has to offer visit:
- The “drifted creations” are sculptures made from driftwood and are a favourite with locals and visitors alike. These unique creations are placed throughout town, look for Peabody the Raccoon greeting people as they drive into downtown CR along Hwy 19a and Mayhew the Sasquatch roaming around Rebecca Spit Provincial Park on Quadra island. See how many you can find!
- Downtown Campbell River is home to a number of west coast inspired murals which make for an insta worthy selfie backdrop.
- The Campbell River Art Gallery brings the work of Canadian artists into the gallery throughout the year linking many of it’s exhibitions to local educational opportunities for youth. To see what the current exhibition is visit.
- Locally owned stores like Mussels & More and The Bower Store and Studio are must stops for those looking for truly west coast souvenirs. Mussels and More specialize in creating ocean inspired pottery, and The Bower carries wide variety West Coast themed artisan crafted items.
- Quadra Island is home to a number of talented artisans, many of which have studios that are open to the public for a full list visit.
Industrial History & Culture
The City of Campbell River has firm roots in the fishing and logging industries. Though the town has undergone many changes over the years, these elements are still woven into the fabric of the community. To learn more about how these industries inform the past and present, visit:
- The Museum at Campbell River, which provides an abundance of information providing a glimpse of how loggers used to live in a recreated float house. Learn about early fishing and canning methods and the history that is ingrained in this coastal community. Finishing off your visit with a film in the Van Isle Theatre exhibit, about the infamous Ripple Rock Explosion.
- The Maritime Heritage Centre houses the historic BCP45 a local fishing seine boat that was featured on the Canadian five dollar bill in the 1970’s. As well as an eclectic collection of marine artifacts that help give visitors a full picture of our marine history.
- The Discovery Fishing Pier is a popular fishing spot, in the summer locals gather here to cast their lines and admire the ocean views. A recent visitor had some words to share about her experience at the pier; “we took a walk around the marina, got ice-cream from the Discovery Fishing Pier Ice Cream Shop (most insane portions it’s incredible!), and while the sun set we watched everyone fishing off of the pier (the most social fishing I have ever seen)” – @hollylouwerse, IG