visit us

 at 505 South Road
just up the hill from the ferry

Gift Shop

  features local Gabriola artists

Online Gift Shop Launching May 17!

These have certainly been extraordinary times for everyone, and like other organizations on the Island, the Gabriola Museum has been closed to volunteers except by appointment since mid-March. However, the museum board and committees have still been working virtually behind the scenes, exploring how the museum can continue to offer programs and activities relevant to our community yet feasible and safe given the current and evolving public health and governmental guidelines.

Celebrating the museum’s 25th anniversary – as well as acknowledging Canada Day and National Indigenous Peoples Day, both popular community events at the museum – are also on the agenda in the months ahead. As of May 6, Premier John Horgan, BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix have given the green light to permit BC museums to open soon, albeit while respecting restrictions on large gatherings and physical distancing guidelines. What that will look like for Gabriola Museum is still to be determined, but what is certain is that the museum will remain strongly connected with the island community over the summer. One project is a series of Sounder articles, called The People of Gabriola, which aims to highlight the historical aspect of various island groups such as the BC Ambulance Service, island medical services, the fire department, as well as settler and Indigenous histories.

Unfortunately, the museum’s traditional Opening Day event for the community this May long weekend has been cancelled. This has also been the traditional seasonal opening of our Museum Gift Shop, which is an important source of financial support for the museum in addition to donations for admission. The Museum Gift Shop also supports our island’s local artisans as a consignment venue to market their work. However, like other museums, Gabriola Museum has been working on what can be done virtually, through our website and other social media. As a result, the museum is formally launching its online gift shop on Sunday, May 17, 2020. This date would have been museum’s Opening Day for 2020 and the launch of the museum’s 25th Anniversary celebrations for the community.

Please check out the new online gift shop and support the museum by making a purchase; perhaps a thank you gift for a frontline or health-care worker who is helping to keep you and all the community safe and healthy. Or donate on their behalf to the museum to help support museum operations and programs. Here’s how you can support the museum and its work:

  • Become a recurring donor online through the website Canada Helps
  • Make a one-time donation through Canada Helps or by sending a cheque in the mail to: Box 213, 505 South Road, Gabriola, BC, V0R 1X0

Thank you, Gabriola, we are all in this together!

Due to COVID-19, the Gabriola Historical and Museum Society is currently closed as a public health precaution.

We look forward to seeing you again when we are able to reopen in a safe manner. Until then, stay well! We will continue to provide updates on social media, and here on our website.

Thank you for your understanding 💕

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Gabriola Museum Exhibit

Connections From the Ground Up

The Museum has undergone a major transformation of its constantly changing exhibits to create a permanent display, which represents a broad perspective of Gabriola Island and its people.

Connections From the Ground Up, our new permanent exhibit, explores the island’s cultural landscape through rocks, shores, ocean and forests. The exhibit shows the interdependence of this natural place with the humans who have called it home and loved it. Gabriola’s stories reveal diverse ways of knowing and living: Snuneymuwx stories, settler stories, scientific stories, and many more.

Three new themes have been introduced-On the Rocks, At the beach, and In the Woods.  

On the Rocks

On the Rocks includes an extensive look at our island origin stories and its geology from a variety of perspectives. Artifacts of Snuneymuwx tools and fossils are displayed in drawers and give a real sense of our collection. Local geologists and those who study rocks and fossils on our island explain land formations that puzzle us, such as Malaspina Galleries. This is just a small taste of what is in store for you in our geology section.

At the Beach

At the Beach includes a revised Beach Quest exhibit, and touch tubs of intertidal shells remnants of live animals and seaweed. Magnifiers are available to look closely! Learn about undersea animals and plants and the impact of our tides.

In the Woods

In the Woods is still being developed but we have an exciting display on Cedar and basket weaving. Snuneymuwx weaver, Dave Bodaly has contributed one of his woven cedar hats to this exhibit, which also shows a number of baskets from our collection.

Gossip Corner 

Gossip Corner is a new exhibit, which offers visitors an opportunity to leave mail and messages. Historical photos show the importance of Gossip Corner for early settlers. Next to that is our famous Hippy Display, which is loved by all.

Future exhibits 

Future indoor exhibits will show the industries of Gabriola such as fishing, farming and forestry. These are yet to come. As well, a geology group has been creating a map of Gabriola with a power point that shows the land and its formations.  We look forward to sharing this important piece of geological history with all.

The new exhibit includes something for every one of all ages, with activities and experiences that will engage you in a variety of ways.

A group of Gabriola Elementary grade 7 students have been worked with the museum for over a year and developed interpretive activities and games for all ages. Our thanks goes to Mia Cereno, Kira Fullerton, Tully Ivany, McGill Parcher, Nisha Strauss, John Swift, and Ava Teichroeb for their ideas and enthusiasm in helping to set the direction of the museum’s displays.

Join us in learning, sharing and connecting together to celebrate this place now called Gabriola Island!


The museum would like to acknowledge community funders whose support made this exhibit possible. Special thanks goes to the Gabriola Lions Club, Village Food Market, Arbutus-Home Hardware, and Sea to Sky Construction. As well, a number of private individuals have made anonymous donations, which are greatly appreciated.