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Cowichan companies come through for museum renos

Phase 2 of extensive renovations is underway
The Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives is getting extensive renovations thanks to grants and local businesses. (Citizen file)

By Peter Rusland

Cowichan’s heritage-conscious businesses are helping restore more of downtown Duncan’s Cowichan Valley Museum.

Sheila Kitson, vice-president of the Cowichan Historical Society, reports phase two of extensive renovations is underway to repair various parts of the siding on the heritage train station that houses the popular Cowichan Valley Museum.

Phase one saw the society recently install a cost-saving, energy-efficient, heat pump from ExchangEnergy for $50,000. Funds came from the Next Great Save competition sponsored by The National Trust for Canada, with sponsor Ecclesiastical Insurance providing the grand prize.

“We are already seeing a reduced use of power and expenses thanks to this modern equipment,” Kitson noted. “Our thanks to Ecclesiastical Insurance and 100+ Women Cowichan for their generous contributions that made this change possible.”

Kitson and her many members are delighted with the generosity of various valley businesses supporting upgrades to return the 1912 station to its former glory.

“To repair the siding on various walls of the building we needed lumber, and it has generously been donated by Murray Logan, manager of Dogwood Lumber Company,” she said.

Not only that but CHS member Bruce Mathew and Keith Price CHS director, hauled the material to Nova Forest Products where Mitchell Grant, owner and operator, and his crew planed the boards.

Primer has been purchased using a gift card from Home Depot.

Next up is painting, and window work.

Weather permitting, painting of the museum will be undertaken by Dave Kilmer and his helpers at Housecalls Painting and Decorating. The paint they will be using has been donated by another local company, Cloverdale Paint. There will be some more preparation done before the painting is undertaken.

“The work will, we hope, create greater ‘curb appeal” to a somewhat sad-looking building,” said Kitson.

But she happily notes even more renovations are on track. Those fixes include rebuilding the chimneys, repairing, and painting windows and doors, repairing gutters and downspouts being replaced, replacing the cedar shingles on the upper wall of the building, and finally, the roof will eventually need replacement.

“With the goodwill shown by the local companies, one more request,” she said “We need physical help, otherwise known as volunteers.”

Kitson can be contacted regarding work or donations at 250-748-8569, or by email at

Written and submitted on behalf of the Cowichan Historical Society.