Project Impact —The Expansion of The Shawnigan Lake Museum

The current space limitations in the museum make it challenging to do the great programming and community work that the Society has become known for. 

The expansion project, aptly named Project Impact, will significantly increase the programming, gathering and engagement space - and provide public washrooms for the Village - a direct benefit to the community and visitors.


February 9, 2023 was an important milestone in our project to expand the
Shawnigan Lake Museum. Today are now one step closer to our goal…the
building permit has been issued. By this time next year we hope to be
ready to invite everyone in to check out the new space. Watch for

A museum is not just about the past...

It is as much about informing the future.

In 2016, the society was given a donation of $100,000. to begin an expansion to the museum - a significant donation from someone who really understood what the Society was trying to do for the community, valued what we did and was willing to invest in the future of the museum.

The Society has been writing grants and raising money toward the goal. We recently had another private donation of $100,000. for the project, and also a grant of up to $1.07 million from Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) - Rural and Northern Communities (RNC) Program.

We hope to break ground soon (Spring 2023), but as building costs continue to rise, we still need your support to complete the project!

(Pictured at right: Thank you to Tim Evans, from the Vancouver Island Region Porsche Club of America, for a generous donation to the museum on behalf of the club. Tim presented a cheque to Lori Treloar, Executive Director of the Museum, from a 50/50 draw held at "Porsches on the Pitch" at Shawnigan Lake School)

After over 40 years of collecting artifacts, and archival material, mostly donated by the Shawnigan community, the museum has outgrown the space. This hampers the Museum's ability to provide programming and service to the community.

The expansion will add roughly 3000 sq. ft., and seamlessly connect to the current building - the original Firehall. 

The new building form is derived from local context and historic images. i.e. a simplistic gable roof not dissimilar to historic hotels, mill structures, railway stations and the rowing club etc. Likewise, the finishes and materials are also local reference.

To put the scale of the building in perspective, it isn’t a particularly big building. The footprint is a reflection of the space the museum requires and budget realities.

The expansion will result in a building that it is comparable (6000sq.ft.) to the size of buildings in the immediate vicinity. The service station next door, the strip plaza kitty corner and even Aitken & Fraser are all of similar scale.

The need for more space at the museum is not as much a need for additional exhibit space as it is about space to expand services to the community.

Added value

-the museum will attract more cultural tourism to the region

-volunteer and employment opportunities in the area

-improved visitor experience

-space for community groups to meet

-larger E.J. Hughes gallery

-increased community and school programming

-exterior accessible washrooms for the Village

  • • A larger E.J. Hughes Gallery.

    • More exhibit space.

    • An archives and research area.

  • • A beautiful outdoor gathering space.

    • A storage area.

    • A kitchen 

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  • • Two public washrooms for the village that will be accessible from Elsie Miles Park

    • A courtyard/plaza space that will serve as a welcoming place for residents and visitors to gather

    • A new entrance to the museum that will allow visitors and groups to assemble safely, and under shelter, rather than on the road allowance; space to adequately offer regular school programming

  • • Space to engage visitors through community outreach with events and speakers

    • An increased gift shop area to attract tourists and residents; more volunteer and summer student opportunities

    • A much needed transfusion of energy for the Village of Shawnigan Lake, and a museum that will continue to flourish as a heritage attraction/destination

Project Team

Brian Kapuscinski - BJK Architecture

Will Melville - Delinea Design

Lori Treloar - Executive Director

Michael Battler - Board Chair

SLHS Board of Directors

Brian Farquhar - Parks Manager - CVRD

Fundraising to date

We are ready to break ground in spring 2023, for the expansion, but as costs continue to climb, we will continue to fund raise.

Support the Museum!