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Celebrating the Island’s

ancient cultures



o matter which part of the Island captures your interest, you’ll find opportunities to explore the fascinating culture of the region’s First Nations. Rich in tradition, Aboriginal history comes alive at the Royal BC Museum. Don’t miss the totems in Thunderbird Park next door and the Big House experience inside the museum. Around the harbour, find the Signs of Lekwungen, carved by Songhees artist Butch Dick and marking seven places of cultural significance to the Lekwungen, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. Pick up a map at the downtown Visitor Centre or visit In nearby James Bay, see Na’Tsa’Maht – The Unity Wall, a stunning mural painted along the breakwater by


A historical gold mining village fast becoming a favourite destination for kayakers, sportsfishers and nature lovers who want to experience the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Campsites, comfortable accommodation and several cafés welcome visitors.

local First Nations artists Butch Dick and Darlene Gait. In Duncan – the City of Totems – explore the town’s historic streets and more than 80 totems, many in the downtown centre where walking tours are offered. The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre offers interpretive tours, demonstrations and authentic native cuisine. Nanaimo’s Petroglyph Park features ancient carvings in stone while at the Nanaimo Museum the interactive Snunéymuxw exhibit explores textiles, basketry, trade, fishing and more. Hop the ferry to Newcastle Island, a provincial marine park known as Saysutshun by the Snunéymuxw people, who oversee the island. Tofino offers a coastal adventure blending whale, marine and wildlife watching tours with First Nations history and culture, along with art galleries and studios. In Courtenay, check out the I-Hos Native Gallery and the Courtenay and District Museum. The Museum at Campbell River boasts an extensive First Nations gallery, including the outstanding theatre presentation Treasures of Siwidi. In Campbell River, Aboriginal Journeys is a wildlife viewing and adventure tour company, while August Point Lodge, at the head of Zeballos Inlet, is famous for its outstanding fishing. A short ferry trip from Port McNeill, discover the small community of Alert Bay and the celebrated U’mista Cultural Centre, with its amazing display of masks and ceremonial regalia. In July and August enjoy dance performances by T’sasała Cultural Group, a Big House, totem poles throughout the community, and for art lovers, amenities such as the aboriginal-owned Culture Shock Gallery. Near Port Hardy, the Copper Maker Gallery is a working artist gallery on the site of an ancient village. Learn more about exploring Vancouver Island’s Aboriginal culture at

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Whale Interpretive Centre

North Island Attractions COMOX VALLEY Comox Airforce Museum – Canadian Forces Base Comox, 250-339-8162, Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre – 207 Fourth St, 250-334-0686, Cumberland Museum and Archives – 2680 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland, 250-336-2445, Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens – 6183 Whitaker Rd, Courtenay, 250-338-6901, Seaview Game Farm – 1392 Seaview Rd, Black Creek, 250337-5182, CAMPBELL RIVER Aboriginal Journeys – Whale watching, grizzly bear tours, Campbell River, 1-888-455-8101, Coast Mountain Expedition – Sea kayak expeditions in the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River, 250-285-2823, Destiny River Adventures – Guided river rafting tours and snorkeling with salmon, 250-287-4800, Discovery Marine Safaris – Whale watching, grizzly bear excursions, 1-866-501-6722, Discovery Pier – landmark fishing pier ideal for strolls, 700-block Island Hwy, Discovery Passages Aquarium – At the entrance to the Discovery Fishing Pier, 250-914-5500, Maritime Heritage Centre – 621 Island Hwy, 250-286-3161, Museum at Campbell River – 470 Island Hwy, 250-287-3103, GOLD RIVER Get West Adventures – Adventure cruises aboard the historic Uchuck III, 1-250-283-2515, TELEGRAPH COVE Stubbs Island Charters – whale watching cruises and tours, 250-928-3185 or 1-800-665-3066, Tide Rip Tours – Grizzly bear tours, 250-339-5320, 1-888-6439319, Whale Interpretive Centre – marine mammal education, 250-928-3129 (May to October), ALERT BAY U’mista Cultural Centre – First Nations art and culture, summer dance performances , 250-974-5403, PORT HARDY Cape Scott Water Taxi – Marine transportation and tours, Port Hardy, 250-949-6541 or 800-246-0093 Port Hardy Museum – 250-949-8143, 7110 Market St, Starfish Charters – Fishing charters, Port Hardy, 888-3634741,

Profile for Vancouver Island Visitor

2016 Vancouver Island Visitor  

What to do. What to see. How you get there.

2016 Vancouver Island Visitor  

What to do. What to see. How you get there.