Museums up North

Vancouver Island North boasts a surprisingly diverse range of cultural treasure boxes packed with colorful displays and exhibits

From First Nations culture to marine ecology, utopian settlements to logging, fishing and mining, Vancouver Island North boasts a surprisingly diverse range of cultural treasure boxes packed with colorful displays and exhibits.

• Go back to the source at the Port Hardy Museum and Archives, which houses artifacts from a local archeological dig at Bear Cove – the oldest known site of human habitation on Vancouver Island (circa 5850 BCE). Exhibits change regularly while shining thematic lights on First Nations history, the Hudson’s Bay Company and European settlement.

• The U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay is rated far and wide as one of Canada’s finest museums with its unparalleled collection of potlatch regalia. Modeled after a big house, it is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation. The gift shop features superb jewelry, carvings, textiles and more.

• Forestry has been the North Island’s leading commercial activity since European settlers arrived in the 1860s. Based in a sturdy log house, the Port McNeill Heritage Museum traces local history with archival photos, exhibits and vintage logging equipment.

• An easy walk from the ferry landing, the Sointula Museum is home to artifacts, archival records and displays related to the colourful history of Malcolm Island. A primary focus is on the Finnish immigrants who arrived here in the 1880s to launch a short-lived utopian commune.

• Boaters heading northwest across the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound are advised to linger in Echo Bay and visit Bill Proctor’s Museum and Gift Shop. The author and life-long area resident has collected fascinating memorabilia from the logging, fishing and trapping eras.

• Telegraph Cove’s family friendly Whale Interpretive Centre is dedicated to raising public awareness about the fragile ecosystem and migratory inhabitants of the Johnstone Strait. Highlights include interactive displays, a kid’s corner, educational films and the skeletal remains of whales, otters, dolphins and other regional wildlife.

• The Port Alice Heritage Centre above the fire hall offers a look at the town’s intriguing history. It’s also the site of the Visitor Information Centre and a gift shop that sells locally made art, crafts, fashion items, greeting cards, honey and jams.

(Click here for Port Hardy and Port Alice‘s tourism guides.)

Just Posted

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away from where RCMP shooting occured

The family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River”

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Gil’s Girls win Harvey Walkus Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament in shootout

This year the tournament was held at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena on April 12-14.

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read