Plan your visit to this engaging Museum in the Cowichan Valley

Explore the beautifully appointed exhibits when visiting the Village. 

The Museum will be closed for holidays and annual maintenance
from Dec 21 - Feb  3.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Museum is thrilled to announce that it has just received $250,000 from the Island Coastal Economic Trust for the Shawnigan Lake Museum expansion, 'Project Impact'.

Project Impact is capital project to triple the size of the current Museum to draw increased cultural tourism to the region, improve visitor experience, support new business development in Shawnigan Lake, and improve cultural programming for members of Shawnigan Lake and the CVRD. If you would like more information on the project, how to support the project, or ways to get involved, please contact Lori, at 250-743-8675 or by email at

You can see the ICET press release here: 


Winter Hours:
Thursday - Sunday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM


By donation


Friendly guides
Interactive displays
Historical slide shows
EJ Hughes gallery
Kinsol Trestle models 


1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Rd.,
Shawnigan Lake, BC

What we're asking our visitors:

  • Wear a mask during your visit to the museum.
  • Sign in with contact information upon entering.
  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Use the hand sanitizer available in the museum.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, even when wearing a mask.
  • Keep your family unit together throughout your visit with children within reach at all times.
  • Maintain physical distance - 2 metres away from others.
  • Please be patient!

Please don't come to the Museum if you have:

  • Any flu or cold like symptoms, or if you are feeling sick
  • Travelled outside of Vancouver Island within the last 14 days.
  • Been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Here is a link to the BC self-assessment tool: 
  • To keep you safe we are :
  • Limiting the number of visitors in the museum
  • Encouraging physical distancing with signage, spacing stickers and route markers.
  • Providing physical barriers such as Plexiglas shields in customer service areas.
  • Closing all hands-on, interactive elements to limit visitor contact in our galleries.
  • Providing access to hand sanitizer.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting throughout the facility
Please note:
  • The washroom in the museum is closed to visitors.

As with all museums and businesses, the COVID-19 crisis has hugely impacted our revenue. Admission to the the museum gallery is by donation. However, if you would like to support our museum on a larger scale you can do so by considering a donation for a tax receipt (minimum $25), set up a monthly donation, and/or become member.

We appreciate your support!


E.J. Hughes lived at Shawnigan Lake for over twenty years until he found it too busy and noisy (circa 1970) and moved to Cobble Hill. Hughes' last studio, in a modest house in Duncan, was a spare bedroom, with a table and easel set close to a single north window. He painted there, in the afternoon, six days a week. Sunday was his day off.  

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Your GO TO SOURCE for information about the Kinsol Trestle at Shawnigan Lake.  Stop by the Museum on your way to/from the Kinsol Trestle to learn it's history. We have two scale models: one 3 foot and one 10 foot!  There are also historical and a time lapse restoration video of the Trestle for your enjoyment.

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The Last Spike was  ceremoniously placed by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1886, at Cliffside. He used a silver hammer and pounded a gold spike. In 1883, the British Columbia Government appealed to Robert Dunsmuir to build a railway. The 72 miles of track, which was laid starting from Esquimalt and Nanaimo met at Mile 25 (Cliffside, Shawnigan Lake).

Learn  More > 

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I love history at its core.

What to Find at the Museum


Provided by The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society
Contact The Shawnigan Lake Museum

Box 331 - 1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road , Shawnigan Lake, BC Canada V0R 2W0

Phone: 250-743-8675