The Museum at Campbell River will be seeking a replacement for retiring executive director Lesia Davis.

Campbell River Museum director retires

Lesia Davis oversaw major development in the museum's exhibits and reputation

Lesia Davis, the executive director of the Museum at Campbell River, has announced her retirement and the search is on for a replacement.

Davis, who said she initially moved to Campbell River imagining a five-year stint at the museum, is hanging up her hat after 14 years, but says she has no plans to move away the city – although a cross-Canada trip is in the works.

The Museum at Campbell River board president Norm Fair credited Lesia for transforming an empty shell into an award winning museum.

“When Lesia arrived, the building and exhibits were mainly empty,” Fair said. “She rolled up her sleeves, raised the funds, acquired grants and in the ensuing years was the driving force behind the creation of a smooth-running, award-winning, best-in-class museum.”

Davis also looks fondly on the exhibits that have been completed during her tenure.

“It really was an empty building,” Davis said. “It’s really gratifying to see the exhibits completed. Each piece has given me a feeling of gratification, of Campbell River history that wasn’t here before.”

She is also proud of the reputation that the museum has earned.

“Earning the credibility of the community and city, and our donors and members,” is a highlight of her time at the museum, Davis says.

According to a press release from the museum, Davis oversaw a number of milestones including: the creation and installation of the permanent exhibits; a five-fold increase in admissions revenues; a more than doubling of the asset value of the museum collection to $2.1 million; the development of the Millennium Park including the installation of the cod fishing boat Soyakaze; and retirement of the long term loan to build the museum.

During Davis’ time as executive director, the museum has been the recipient of the BC Museums Association Award of Merit, the Heritage Society of BC Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Business Award of Distinction.

“I am extremely appreciative of Lesia’s accomplishments,” Fair said. “Her strong leadership skills are illustrated by the support and dedication she receives from Museum staff, volunteers and Board members.”

She will be retiring April 30, which will give time for her to help with the transition to her successor who will be chosen by the Museum Board. Davis will serve as an ex-oficio to the recruitment committee, which will search on a local, provincial and national level for a new director.

“The museum and Campbell River are in a good position,” Davis said. “It is a job that will attract a lot of interest.

“I think, just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to have a good museum. I built on the success of what was here before me and I hope that success will continue.”