The museum’s beginnings were with the Alberni District Historical Society. Now we’re municipally owned and operated, with a Museum and Heritage Commission which advises on policy and objectives as well as fulfilling a broader community role of advocacy, coordination and advice.
We share our facility with the Historical Society who manages the community’s archives and we work in partnership with the Industrial Heritage Society and the Maritime Heritage Society to collect and present collections in each of their interest areas.
The Alberni Valley Museum envisions an Alberni Valley in which cultural heritage is recognized and valued as a defining aspect of community identity. The museum believes the preservation and interpretation of the community’s distinctive cultural heritage fosters a sense of regional citizenship, enriches the quality of life for the community and provides economic benefits through heritage tourism.
The mission of the Alberni Valley Museum is to work in consultation with the community to collect, document, preserve and present all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Alberni Valley and West Coast of Vancouver Island. Heritage resources held in the public trust will be made accessible to increase public understanding and appreciation of the region’s distinct cultural heritage.
ALBERNI DISTRICT MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Located in the Alberni Valley Museum
4255 Wallace Street, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 3Y6
The ADHS began in 1965, to establish and maintain a museum for the preservation and display of donated historical artefacts and archival materials. With strong support from dedicated early members and patrons such as Fred Bishop, Mayor of Alberni, Les Hammer, Mayor of Port Alberni, Meg Trebett, Keitha Adams, W.R.H. Prescott, Margaret Nightengale, Ann Thomson, George Clutesi, R. Hilton, and Dorrit McLeod, the Society was incorporated in 1967. The original Directors were Lila Mackenzie, William Jones, Jack Hills, Keitha Adams, and Helen Ford. The first years were spent in the old Army Camp Fire Hall on the corner of Roger St. and 10th Ave.
In 1971, the Alberni Valley Museum was established, the Historical Society artefacts and photographs were transferred, and the re-named Society then concentrated on ‘paper treasures’. In 1982 the Museum was expanded, making room for the Society’s archive collection and volunteer workers. The Museum and the Historical Society continue to work co-operatively to collect, preserve and display extensive collections acquired from local residents, organizations and businesses that reflect the social, political and economic life of our communities.
The Alberni District Historical Society has an executive of four table officers and three to seven directors, depends solely on dedicated volunteers, and is registered as a Charitable Society totally funded by tax-receiptable donations and small fees for research or restoration and conservation services.