Schedule at a Glance

We are looking forward to this year’s conference in Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland and hope to see you all there.

The Comox Air Force Museum will be opening its doors — and opening the Comox Heritage Air Park for tours between 2:00 and 4:30.

Visit the Comox Air Force Museum and the take a tour of the Comox Heritage Air Park. The Comox Air Force Museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits artifacts relating to CFB Comox, its squadrons and its units. The Heritage Air Park is home to a collection of aircraft, all of which are models that have flown at 19 Wing Comox. From the Dakota to the CF-100, the Air Park allows you an up-close view of the planes that made the RCAF great. The Air Park also contains the Heritage Stones, a tribute to those men and women who served.

The nearby Comox Museum will be welcoming delegates between 4 and 7.

Step off the sidewalk and turn your clock back over 150 years. Explore the history of Comox and area. Visit the exhibit that shows timelines of the development from the exploration of Vancouver Island through to modern times featuring family histories, slide shows, maps and photos to build a picture of the transitioning through time.

At 7:00 newly-retired director of the Comox Air Force Museum, Jon Ambler, will be giving a presentation about the creation of the museum and its current role and aspirations in the theatre at the Comox Air Force Museum.  Delegates are welcome to tour the museum as well.

8:00 Registration, Native Sons Hall, Courtenay

9:00–4:00pm, Book Fair at Courtenay Museum

8:30-10:00 Native Sons Hall

Connecting People that Change the World in a Positive Way
Hosted by Deborah Griffiths, Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre

Daryl Hatton, Crowdsourcing pioneer

Daryl leads FundRazr, an innovative, award-winning global enterprise crowdfunding platform. He is a serial entrepreneur who loves the challenge of building companies from scratch, has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one, Optio Software, to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. Daryl is frequently called upon for expert commentary on nonprofit fundraising and crowdfunding topics for media sites including CBC, CTV, Global News, TVO, PostMedia, BBC, Forbes and Bloomberg. Today, Daryl serves as board member and advisor to multiple Canadian and Silicon Valley based start-ups including Canadian securities crowdfunding site FrontFundr. He is a Director of the PayPal Giving Fund (Canada), Director of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and sits on the Crowdfunding Working Group for #GivingTuesday.

10:00–10:15 Break

10:15-11:15 Native Sons Hall

1) Strategic Directions, Large and Small
Michelle Willard, Cumberland Museum and Archives

Michelle Willard discusses how the Cumberland Museum and Archives, a small non-profit organization, took strategic steps to highlight its collections, leading to rewarding outcomes.

Gary Mitchell, Provincial Archivist Emeritus of BC

2) Engaging Genealogists
Andrea Lister

Are you a historical organization in need of volunteers? Are you a genealogist looking for a project? Genealogists and family historians have a lot to offer historical societies. Hear about some examples of ways that family historians have contributed to research projects and learn how you can collaborate in your own community.

3) Japanese Charcoal Kilns in the Gulf Islands
Chuck Tasaka presents “Japanese Charcoal Kilns in the Gulf Islands”

Chuck will talk about his grandfather’s immigration journey and how he chose Salt Spring Island. In the summer season, he fished from Steveston and he returned to Ganges in the fall. To make money in the off-season, he built a charcoal kiln.

Duncan McLeod presents “The Lost Fleet: Japanese-Canadian Fishing Vessels on the Northwest Coast”

Duncan MacLeod will be discussing the “Lost Fleet” exhibition developed by the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The display examines the history of Japanese-Canadian fishermen on the BC Coast, and the racist policies used against them. The seizure of the Japanese-Canadian fishing fleet during WWII and subsequent internment of Japanese-Canadians is put in context of modern immigration and refugee crises and contemporary racial prejudices.

Around noon, we will be bussing to Cumberland, where we will have time to explore Cumberland and enjoy lunch in one of its many downtown restaurants.

Between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, four tours will be offered by the Cumberland Museum

Tour 1: Old Townsites including #1 Japantown and Chinese Townsite (uneven ground, gravel paths)

(No. 1 Town Historic Japanese settlement and Historic Chinatown settlement located in Coal Creek Historic Park). Village of Cumberland Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator, Kevin McPhedran, will provide an introduction to the sites and discuss how the Village of Cumberland partnered with the Cumberland Museum and Archives in the creation of the self-guided tours of these historic sites. After the talk, participants explore the site at their own pace. Walking tour brochures available on site.  Self-guided (uneven ground, gravel paths)

Meet at Chinatown, at 2pm.  Park in available lot, then walk down path to covered pavilion.

Tour 2: Cumberland Museum Tour

Join Marianne Bell who will lead participants through the museum. The tour focuses on exhibits that interpret various aspects of the community including the historic hospital and health, schools, cultural communities, local businesses, coal mining, logging and working class and labour history.

Tour 3: Historic Downtown (uneven ground)

Join guide Meaghan Cursons for a lively and engaging walk filled with facts, rumours, tragedies and tales from Cumberland’s colourful history.

Tour 4: Choice of self-guided tours

Pick up a walking tour brochure at the Cumberland Museum and Archives and do your own exploration of Historic Cumberland.  A choice of 4 brochures.

FOR ALL TOURS: Busses will return delegates to the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay around 4:00. Dinner is on your own.

7-9 BCHF Ideas Fair, Native Sons Hall
Join your fellow BCHF members and member societies as they set up displays showcasing their projects over the past year.  Mingle and visit and celebrate the accomplishments and energy of member societies from across the province.

Native Sons Hall
8:00 Delegate registration for the AGM
9:00–4:00pm, Book Fair at Courtenay Museum

9:00-11:00 BCHF AGM


Karen Aird presents “Not just Stones and Beads: Recognizing, Revitalizing and Protecting Indigenous Cultural Heritage in BC”.

A member of Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8 Territory of BC, Karen Aird has worked as an archaeologist then in cultural heritage management for the past 23 years on many projects that convey a strong sense of place in Indigenous landscapes, encompassing the stories, legal traditions and the intangible and tangible elements into Indigenous heritage. As a consultant, Karen has worked as the Cultural Heritage Planner for the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, the Tse’K’wa (the Charlie Lake Cave house) Heritage Society and the Nun WaDee (Dane-zaa Caretakers Society); as project coordinator for Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Cultural Heritage Study; and as Curator for the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park. And, more recently, Karen has embarked on the position of Heritage Manager for First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

Karen is one of the founding directors and now the President of the National Indigenous Heritage Circle, a non-profit organization focused on the identification, management and conservation of Indigenous heritage.

12:15—1:00 LUNCH AND LEARN

Pick up your lunch and join one of three informal sessions between 12:30 and 1:00 pm.

Paul Gravett, Heritage BC: “What we are learning from Heritage BC’s Provincial Roundtables”

Starting in 2018, Heritage BC initiated the Provincial Roundtables on the State of the Heritage Sector. We held 26 meetings and heard from nearly 500 people who told us about the influences, practices, values and visions of heritage in the context of community life. The roundtables were always thought-provoking, inspiring, challenging, and sometimes even surprising. In this session, we explore what we heard, and we consider the implications for the sector.

David Leverton, Maritime Museum of BC, “Future Plans of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia”

In the fall of 2015, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia relocated to a much smaller venue at 634 Humboldt Street in Victoria after spending over 50 years at 28 Bastion Square. The Museum has spent the past three years re-inventing it-self and plans are underway to try and relocate back to Bastion Square as part of a bold new vision to become the Canadian Maritime Museum. David Leverton, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum of BC will provide an overview of the Museum’s future plans and the collaborative approach that is being undertaken to accomplish this vision.

Comox Valley Fossil Discoveries

Patrick Trask will provide an overview of Comox Valley fossil discoveries and how those discoveries bring visitors from other communities and from around the world.


Tour One: Fossils at Courtenay and District Museum

An informative guide will give a brief lecture and show a short video about the famous discoveries made in the local area. Then, it’s a tour of the exhibit galleries to see the actual specimens and reconstructed casts of the Puntledge elasmosaur, the tylosaurus and other discoveries from local rivers and shorelines. A short 10-minute drive and an easy 5 minute forested walk brings you to one of the many beautiful fossil sites along local rivers.

Tour Two: Natural and Human History of Courtenay River Estuary

This walking tour will visit the site of Courtenay’s first commercial centre and discuss the important role the river has played in the City’s development.  Tour guides will also touch on industrial, military and recreational ties to the Comox Bay and Estuary.

Tour Three: Filberg House tour, Comox

Bus trip to the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park, nine acres of beautifully landscaped grounds are located on the harbour near the end of Comox Avenue. The estate was originally built for R.J. Filberg in 1929, and became a public facility after his death in 1977. It is now a Municipal Heritage site.

Tour Four: Self-guided walking tour

Self-guided walking tour of historic downtown.

7—10pm BCHF Book Prize Gala, Native Sons Hall

Cocktails, mingling, buffet dinner, keynote, awards presentation, and silent auction fundraiser. The winners of the annual Historical Writing Competition, best article award, best website, and recognition awards are announced.

There will be a short presentation by Fox&Bee Studio, a Comox Valley company that produces high-quality, affordable videos for community organizations, businesses, educational facilities and individuals. Past clients include the Courtenay and District Museum and the Cumberland Community Forest Society.

10:00 Informal cemetery tour TBC

11:30—2pm Choose to visit the Union Bay Historical Society 1913 post office, 1904 jailhouse, and 1901 church. Self-guided.

Visit the Union Bay Historical Society 1913 post office, 1904 jailhouse, and 1901 church, just 20 minutes from Courtenay. Union Bay was the shipping port for Cumberland coal from 1988 to 1960.

Conference wraps up — safe journey home!