The Campbell River Museum is one of the main reasons why this town attracts visitors from all over the world. It is interesting to see the boat building tools and historical fishing tackle that was and still is a passion to some. You can also learn how the art of trolling, gillnetting and canning was done.
Learn about First Nations Identity in the Form of Art and History
The exhibits at this museum are very carefully put together to give guests an accurate portrayal of European settlement lifestyles and First Nations identity. You can see pieces done by local and current artists designed specifically for the museum as well as relics and ceremonial treasures.
I particularly appreciated the “Transitions” exhibit that touches on some of the more tragic memories for the First Nations tribes, such as the residential school system and the epidemic situation. The museum also acknowledges the current stigmas the First Nations still struggle with today.
Highlights of the Campbell River Museum
This museum has a lot of energy! There are historic boat tours that explore Desolation Sound, Yorke Island, Sonora Island, and Hardwicke Island to name a few. Check for prices and schedules as they vary for each specific trip. Not only will you get to see the remnants of settlers and an industrial past, you will also get some real insight from the boat tour guides on daily life in and around the Island.
If you prefer to stay on solid ground but still want to walk down memory lane, then keep the Haig-Brown House in mind. This 1920s historical family house opens up as a B&B in the summer months and in winter acts as a ‘writer-in-residence’ home, which is a program supported by the museum. Here, you will be up close and personal with the legacy left behind by Roderick Haig-Brown, a conservationist and writer, and his wife Ann.
Lego for the Kids and a Gift Shop for the Souvenir Seekers
The Campbell River Museum offers entertainment for kids in the summer in the form of massive Lego building groups. These are great especially on a rainy day and are held every second Saturday of the month in the spring and summer seasons. Its popularity makes these groups fill up early and fast, so it’s best to call and book ahead of time.
And if you love fine yet affordable First Nations art and jewelry, the gift shop is definitely worth checking out. It is a treasure trove for admirers of Native art, carved jewelry, baskets, Bentwood boxes, and books on the local history.
Seeing the history of Campbell River and the surrounding area through the museum’s influence is fun and interesting. Finding out more about the early settlers and the First Nations tribe gave me a broader view of the local culture, which is still very much alive today.
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