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Family riding the chairlift during summer
(Mount Washington Alpine Resort photo)

Comox

Culture & History

Comox remains a friendly and welcoming community proud of its past, proud of its produce, and proud of its prosperity.

Strangers have been known to arrive and never depart for lesser destinations. 

K'omoks First Nation

The K'omoks First Nation Aboriginals were the original settlers of the Comox Valley. They occupied the valley for thousands of years, leaving behind the Great Comox Midden, buried strata of discarded sea shells, testifying to a love of shellfish that still prevails on the coast. 

The K'omoks peoples knew the European traders who explored their shores in search of sea otter pelts. Buccaneering Sir Francis Drake likely dropped by on his secret expedition in 1579. The equally intrepid explorer Captain James Cook circumnavigated Vancouver Island in 1778. Both English and Spanish ships explored and exploited the coast thereafter.

European Settlers

The first European settlers arrived in 1862. They were no doubt excited to find an excellent natural harbour, abundant fishing, extraordinarily fertile land, fresh water and endless forest. They started their farms and built their town on the site of a K'omoks village. 

The town of Comox eventually expanded and evolved into a hub for the rich Comox Valley agricultural area and an important naval training centre. The Canadian Forces Base Comox opened in 1942 and remains just outside of town.

Comox Museums

Two museums bring different but vivid perspectives to the Comox past. The Comox Air Force Museum salutes the west coast past in aviation, has 19 vintage war aircraft on site and is currently restoring a Y2K Spitfire. The Comox Archives & Museum chronicles the town's maritime, pioneer and natural histories. Two contemporary Canadian actresses who spent much of their youth here are Pamela Anderson and Kim Cattrell. 

Comox Today

Nowadays, Comox is an easygoing seaside town with one foot in the ocean and the other up to the knee in rich agricultural soil. The settlers of the 19th and early 20th centuries might gawk at the shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs and spas that give the town its current sophistication. They would also glow with pride at the newfound glamour of Comox Marina and Fisherman's Wharf with their flotillas of commercial fishing and pleasure boats and magnificent view of harbour and mountains. 

Festivals & Events

The annual four-day Filberg Festival at Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park features more than 120 of the best artisans from across Canada expressing themselves in paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewellery, woodwork and leather. Shopping is fervent. Live entertainment and international bites from curries to gelatos fill in gaps between purchases. The festival is held every BC Day long weekend (end of July/beginning of August).