We Need Your Help...


The museum may look small from the outside, but inside the story is big! The museum is a go-to for visitors to Shawnigan Lake, and a place where the community can come to connect and reconnect with their past. With the expansion, we envision a thriving centre of community history and knowledge. The new space will increase tourism in the area, allow for more educational programming, become a venue to host social gatherings and provide a place to promote local arts and culture

Museum staff and volunteers enthusiastically share their passion for Shawnigan Lake - past, present and future - with every visitor. The unique style of interpretation is what distinguishes the Shawnigan Lake Museum from other museums. Our Guarantee: We will surprise you!

Documenting the history of Shawnigan Lake began when local historian, Brownie Gibson, published Green Branches and Fallen Leaves – The Story of a Community, Shawnigan Lake, for the 1967 Centennial of Canada. A group of passionate community members, including Brownie, then spearheaded the need for a museum and archive to record and protect the rich history of Shawnigan Lake. The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society was incorporated in 1977. In 1983, the Society established the Shawnigan Lake Museum in the historic Shawnigan Lake Firehall.

Forty years later, the museum continues to thrive. However, due to the museum’s success, it has long outgrown the space. The facility is bursting at the seams! It lacks meeting/office space; there is no public access to the archives/research area; no programming space and no public/accessible washrooms. In 2016, the society was given a $100,000 cash donation to launch an expansion to the museum, aptly named Project Impact, which would allow us to better serve the community. Since then, the Society has continued to raise money for the project.  We have raised over $2 million to date.

The last few years have been challenging for everyone, including cultural organizations. The budget for our project has spiraled, and revenue and visitor numbers have not yet returned to pre-pandemic numbers.


That said, we are committed to move forward with the expansion as planned. Grants from Rural and Northern, (Federal/BC), Legacy (Federal) and ICET (Vancouver Island), two $100,000 private donations and your generous help in the 2021 Donor Appeal have been allocated to triple the physical size of the building.


We are so close…

The building permit has been submitted. If all goes well, tendering will happen in January 2023 and groundbreaking will be in February. Your donation, this year, will help to fund new exhibits for the expanded space. We are working with professional museum designers to create three new exhibits:

  1. An amazing interpretation centre for the Kinsol Trestle.
  2. An expanded gallery for the E.J. Hughes collection
  3. A welcoming entry that will highlight the pre-settler story of the area, developed in partnership with Cowichan Tribes.


We thank you for your ongoing support for the museum, and your help to ensure that the museum stays healthy and strong into the future. We also want to thank our supporters who have recently sent generous donations for the museum, ahead of our appeal.

There are 5 different ways to donate!

  • Go to: https://shawniganlakemuseum.com/pages/contact-form
  • Send an etransfer to: ShawniganLakeMuseum@shaw.ca
  • Phone us during business hours (Wed – Sat, 10:30-3:30) and we can do the transaction over the phone (250-743-8675)
  • Drop by the Museum, Wed-Sat (until December 22nd) 10:30 – 3:30 and donate by cash, cheque, credit or debit
  • Mail a cheque to:

Shawnigan Lake Museum
Box 331
Shawnigan Lake, BC
V0R 2W0



Lori Treloar                                                                                           
Executive Director, Shawnigan Lake Historical Society

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead