Museum Mandate

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.


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 Valley Heritage Commission


The Port Alberni City Council holds the ultimate authority to fund and manage city-established heritage facilities, including the Alberni Valley Museum and McLean Mill National Historic Site.  Established with City bylaw No. 4687, the Heritage Commission advises City Council on matters related to the operation of these assets, and to broader heritage issues in the region.  As such matters arise, or as City Council requests, the Commission will provide such advice.  In addition to this official role, the Commission also:

  • provides community input to the staff of the Museum and the Heritage Network.
  • acts in a coordinating role to integrate community priorities with volunteers and staff.
  • provides a forum for the exchange of information between the various community heritage organizations.

The current organization of the Heritage Commission brings together, on a monthly basis, the volunteer groups and government organisations that have a particular interest in heritage and culture, and acts as a clearinghouse for the heritage sector.  The Commission fosters support for heritage and culture in the community.  As well as its official role of advising City Council, its volunteer members function as an informal advocacy and lobbying group, and assist in promoting the importance of community heritage.

The Heritage Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month (except July & August) at the Alberni Valley Museum at 7:00 PM.


The Heritage Commission has sixteen seats, composed of:

  • 2 members of the Alberni District Historical Society;
  • 2 members of the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society;
  • 2 members of the Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society;
  • 2 members representing the community at large;
  • 1 member representing Alberni Valley Tourism;
  • 1 representative appointed by the Board of School Trustees of SD 70 (Alberni);
  • 1 member of the Council of the City of Port Alberni;
  • 1 member of the Hupacasath First Nation;
  • 1 member of the Tseshaht First Nation;
  • 1 member of the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley;
  • 1 member of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Meetings are open to the public.