Dec 13, 2009 - British Columbia, Canada, Travel    No Comments

The Museum at Campbell River

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon perusing the displays of the Museum at Campbell River.

Two exhibits made the $6 admission fee worthwhile.

The first is one about the local First Nations culture, including a spectacular show featuring a storyteller and carved masks. No photographs were allowed in this exhibit, so it’s really hard to convey just how great it was. It was a feast for the eyes to view all those colourful carvings and the mask show was a breathtaking journey to a world below the ocean. This appears to be a permanent exhibit, thankfully!

The second exhibit I liked was one of the three videos viewable on demand in a theatre at the end of the tour. The video in question is a documentary about the Ripple Rock explosion, which I’ve previously discussed in my post about Seymour Narrows. The video was comprised of footage of the day, that is from the 1950’s, which added an additional level of interest. I was amazed by the engineering feat that was the destruction of these underwater peaks. Tunnels were dug under the channel and up into the mountains and then charges were laid. Three times as many explosives as would have been needed in an open air project of this size was needed to displace not only the rock but also the water.

In between the First Nations gallery and the Ripple Rock video were galleries about pioneer life in the Campbell River area, a popular hotel, and the local salmon fishing industry. There is a final, temporary, gallery about climate change that I do not feel was sufficiently tied in to the history of Campbell River. A panel showing how climate change has possibly affected the fishing industry would have sufficed.

While I found the exhibits to be over all very well done and informative, I had come expecting to learn more about Campbell River’s general history and left feeling that I’d only been giving small snippets of it. So, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my visit but do not feel that this is the museum’s fault; I should have checked my expectations at the door and enjoyed what was offered.

Be sure to walk the grounds before or after your visit; there is a wonderful native plant garden to explore!

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