Why donate to the expansion?

Shawnigan Lake Museum is a place to connect and re-connect.

To have a vital community, people must have a strong sense of community. One way is to reinforce pride in community - that is what this museum is all about. Museum docents offer a personal experience for every visitor, using a collection of stories, artifacts and photos highlighting the history of Shawnigan Lake dating back to the late 1800s.  In return, visitors often enhance the stories by adding their own connections, regardless of where they come from.

Who manages the Shawnigan Lake Museum?

The Shawnigan Lake Historical Society is the governing body for the museum. The Board of Directors is comprised of six community members representing a broad range of professional services.

The day-to-day operations are managed by a team that includes a full-time Executive Director, a part-time administrator, volunteers and seasonal staff. With the expanded space, the Society will offer more employment and volunteer opportunities for the community.

Why is there a museum in Shawnigan Lake?

The museum may look small from the outside, but the story is big. Shawnigan Lake has a rich history of people, places and events on topics such as the Kinsol Trestle; E.J. Hughes, logging and mill history; hotel history, recreation destination and school history.  Over the decades, the museum has become a go-to destination within Shawnigan Lake. Staff and volunteers share their passion for Shawnigan Lake – past, present and future - with every visitor. The guarantee? It will surprise you…

Why is the expansion of the Shawnigan Lake Museum needed?

The Shawnigan Lake Museum is bursting at its seams. There are no accessible washrooms; it lacks community programming space and has no space for in-house events. The society is in the process of expanding and enhancing the existing museum facility to improve the visitor experience, increase community and student programming and ensure future sustainability. The Society has been writing grants and fundraising toward this goal. 

  • Every dollar invested in the Museum will be paid back many times over through economic, social, cultural, educational and other benefits to the community.
  • Powers our economy through jobs and tourism through its presence in our local community.
  • Creates a venue for understanding important issues like reconciliation, diversity and inclusion.
  • Educates citizens of all ages.
  • Safeguards and interprets our community and province’s rich history and culture.
  • Brings community members together.

What are the future plans for the Shawnigan Lake Museum?

The expansion, known as “Project Impact”, is a capital project geared to triple the size of the current museum. The project was put in motion with a private donation of $100k in 2016. Since then, the Board and Staff have been working with the CVRD (Regional District), Architects, Consultants and Funders to make the expansion a reality. One of the most exciting elements of the expansion will be tripling the size of our E.J. Hughes Gallery. The Society is privileged to have a serious collection of Hughes’ original drawings. Many cannot be displayed due to a lack of space. In 2021, we received a second $100k donation from The Cameron Family who have had a long history in the area.

What makes the Shawnigan Lake Museum different?

The Museum is a true community project…from the commitment of passionate volunteers over the past 44 years to the generous donations of artifacts, photos, archival records and, of course, money. The Society is about creating a great experience for the community, every visitor, and staff.

Through the pandemic the Society didn’t just survive – it thrived. We believe that we are not here to be average. We are here to be awesome!

What added value will the expansion of the Shawnigan Lake Museum provide for the community?

The expansion of the Shawnigan Lake Museum will:

  • increase cultural tourism to the region
  • improve the visitor experience
  • support new business development in Shawnigan Lake
  • improve cultural programming
  • increase employment and volunteer opportunities
  • increase space for expanded youth and community programming
  • offer a venue for community events
  • increase the dedicated gallery space for the E.J. Hughes collection
  • provide space for community groups to meet
  • offer local artisans a place to sell their art and wares
  • ensure future sustainability
  • provide accessible, and public, washrooms for the museum and the Village

How much does the Shawnigan Lake Museum need to raise?


How much has been raised?

As of April 2022, the Shawnigan Lake Museum has raised just over $2.1 million through grants, fundraising and private donations.

Funds committed:
            $1,077,903      Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program/
                                    Rural and Northern Communities Program
            $100,000         Private donation - 2016
            $250,000         Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)
            $480,000         Legacy Fund (Canada)
            $150,000         Gas Tax Monies
            $100,000         Private donation - 2021
            $ 20,000          Museum fundraising - 2020


2021 August          Construction manager (Aral) retained

2021 August          Development permit pending

2021 October        Final drawings completed

2022 January        All funding in place

2022 November    Building permit submitted   

2023  Jan/Feb       Break ground

2023  Q4               Project complete

Thank you for considering a donation to this project.



If you have any questions, please contact:

Lori Treloar, Executive Director

Box 331

1775 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road 

Shawnigan Lake, BC Canada V0R 2W0

Ph.       (250) 743-8675

Email:  museum@shawniganlakemuseum.com