Stepping into Comox history

Comox Mayor Paul Ives opened the new space for the Comox Archives and Museum in the former library building on Comox Avenue. - Black Press photo
Comox Mayor Paul Ives opened the new space for the Comox Archives and Museum in the former library building on Comox Avenue.
— image credit: Black Press photo

The museum that displays the evolution of Comox has undergone an evolution of its own.

More than a month into its new space in the former library building on Comox Avenue, the Comox Archives and Museum (CAMS) along with the Pearl Ellis Gallery are embracing the expanded space, more visibility and new location.

“Having the two venues together, we’re getting arts and culture to overlap,” explained Kay Bukta, curator of CAMS. “What we put down for arts, we learn from culture. We really want people to come in and make it part of their lifestyle and watch the museum grow.”

Bukta says since the move from the lower level backside of the building, both organizations have recorded a significant increase in visitors.

She added the new space lends well to her vision of expanding a timeframe — a visual history of Comox that displays who was here and what they did.

In addition to more wall space, Bukta said she is also focused on adding books to the library.

“We now have three stations for people to sit and read, and a card file system for people to mark down where they finished reading so it’s easy to find their page when they come back,” she noted. “There will be slideshows running on an ongoing basis as well.”

Bukta added her main focus with the space is to highlight how an area of 100 people came to be the town it is today.

“I want to show the flavour on how the pioneers survived. I want people to get that feeling of how that is — to look around and see completely nothingness and how they developed with the economies (in Cumberland and Courtenay) around them.”

She noted the new space allows visitors to ‘step in’ to the timeframes to see to see what families were in Comox at the same time, and provides a way of bringing a physical element to living history.

Bukta said she encourages individuals to share their story or any other information they might have about the history of the area.

“We’re always looking for another source to make sure the information is correct. We encourage anyone to come in and add or make comments.

“I really want to make sure we have as much history as we can,” she added.

The museum has a variety of items for sale such as 2012 calendars and cards, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteer opportunities are available; for more information call 250-339-2885.

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