The Shawnigan Lake Museum is operated by the Shawnigan Lake Historical Society, a not-for-profit and registered charity incorporated in 1977. The sole purpose of the Society was to establish a Museum. Members and volunteers immediately started to collect artifacts, photos and Archival records from the Community. The Museum opened soon after in a waterfront shed on Shawnigan Lake but moved a few more times before finding a permanent home. In 1983, the Society took over the redundant Firehall in Shawnigan Village and has continuously operated a Museum in the same building.
A Board of Directors governs the Society. Day-to-day operations are managed by a full-time Executive Director, a part-time administrator, volunteers and seasonal staff. The Museum is a member of the BC Museums Association, Heritage BC, the BC Historical Federation, and the Chamber of Commerce.
A Small Museum With a Big History!
Meet the Board of Directors
Lori Treloar, Executive Director
Board Member since 2005
As a lifelong educator, Lori’s varied work experience began on the pool deck as a swim instructor/lifeguard followed by teaching in the elementary school system. Along the way Lori gained many skills that have been an asset to her museum work - from working in a corporate head-office and raising a family of three. Possessing a natural urge to be creative and to give back to the place she lives, Lori bravely took over the management, administration and curation of the Museum in 2005 when it was at death’s door. Even though the learning curve was huge - Lori, with the help of many committed volunteers, brought the museum back to life and expanded its service to the community. Lori was fortunate to grow up with a cottage on Shawnigan Lake and believes that the lake is part of her DNA. She is grateful to have multi-generational roots to the lake and her goal is to ensure that this rich legacy continues to be enjoyed now and for the future.
Michael Batter, Board Chair
Board Member since 2020
Considered a relative newbie, Michael has been visiting and recreating at Shawnigan Lake for over 25 years. He has lived in the community since 2017 with his wife and extended family. Michael is grateful to live, play and work in such a beautiful place as Shawnigan Lake and considers this one of the best parts of what he likes to call, Fantasy Island. Michael comes from a celebrated and rewarding career working in the retail sector for over 35 years, from coast to coast. Starting with an entry level position, he worked his way up through many levels of chain store operations, merchandising, and store design to management in a number of successful national retailers including a franchise organization. Now on the vendor side, Michael uses his years of experience specializing as a store design consultant to manufactures, product brands and small to mid-size retailers. Over the years, Michael has demonstrated a keen commitment to the Retail community through his active participation in association programs and industry events. This commitment resulted in him being elected to the provincial board of directors in 2006 and chair in 2010. During his tenure as a leader in the Retail community over 6 years, he led the association through a significant change in strategy resulting in a successful merger agreement in 2012 between the provincial retail association and national association of retailers, to join the Retail Council of Canada. Throughout this period, Michael gained extensive knowledge and experience in managing the needs of various stakeholders, volunteer leadership, board governance, strategic planning and performance management. Michael currently volunteers on the Advisory Planning Commission for Electoral Area B - Shawnigan Lake, is an Executive committee member at Silverbridge Toastmasters Duncan and is Past President Seymour Speakers Toast Masters Vancouver Downtown. Michael feels that contributing as a Member Advocate and Project Impact volunteer for the Shawnigan Lake Historical Society over the past 2 years continues to be very rewarding as it always seems to give more back than he could ever possibly hope to give. As Chair, Michael sees an opportunity to see the Society’s goals through and to ensure that the passion for Shawnigan Lake, as a very special place in our lives, its mission and its vision are preserved, protected and realized for the future.
Bill Camden, Treasurer
Board Member since 2020
Bill and his wife Jill have been full time residents at Shawnigan Lake since 2016. Before that the family owned property on the lake since 1971. Bill Camden is a businessman and former politician who served as the mayor of View Royal, a municipality in the Greater Victoria area of British Columbia, Canada. He is also known for his work as the Managing Principal at Baker Tilly Victoria, an accounting and advisory firm with three offices in the Greater Victoria Area. Bill was raised in Victoria. He attended the University of Victoria where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After completing his education, he began working in the accounting industry, obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 1983, and eventually jointly founded the Victoria office of Baker Tilly (then operating as Norgaard Neale Camden) in 1993. He has served on the Board of Baker Tilly Canada from 2015 to 2022. Bill was first elected to View Royal's council in 1988. In 1990, he successfully ran for mayor and was re-elected until his retirement in 2002. During his time in office, Bill was known for his dedication to economic development and improving public services in the community. Bill also served as a member of the Capital Regional District Board. He was involved in a number of community organizations, including as a View Royal Volunteer Fire Fighter and with the View Royal Community Association and the Fannin Foundation (Royal British Columbia Museum).
Lauren Miller, Secretary
Board Member since 2022
I was born and raised on Vancouver Island and have been a resident of Shawnigan Lake for 3 years. I have been a volunteer at the Shawnigan Lake Museum for the past two year and a half years and have assisted in research projects, Grant applications, hosted a virtual talk on Alice Ravenhill and assisted in financial reporting for Grant funding utilized for Project Impact. I have a Bachelor of Science Kinesiology degree and worked in the exercise rehabilitation field for a number of years before completely changing my career path into the real estate development field. I currently work as a Project Coordinator with the Cowichan Tribes Capital Projects department and am also a part-time student completing my Diploma in Urban Land Economics through Sauder School of Business. I completed my diploma in September 2022. In the small amount of free time that I have, I enjoy my volunteer work at the museum, photography and working on old cars. I am also learning about gardening now that I have a yard with a garden. I am also learning all about life in the country and all that comes with wells and septic systems, storms and generators.
Suelle Stewart, Director
Board Member since 2020
Originally from Halifax NS, I came to Vancouver Island when my husband was transferred to serve at CFB Esquimalt. We moved to Shawnigan Lake in 2004 and it’s our home. I love the area for its beauty and easy access to nature. I have an extensive administrative background, having worked for government agencies both in NS and BC. I own my own business, working with clients creating content for traditional and digital media. I help clients tell stories that connect them to their communities. I have a strong background in volunteerism and have served on the executive for Girl Guides and Toastmasters. I currently volunteer for Toys, Toiletries and Toques, a Christmas fundraiser collecting non-food items for the Cowichan valley food banks. I also volunteer as a classroom facilitator for Junior Achievements. It is through volunteering that we best get to know our community. I am excited to be a part of this new board and hope I can serve its members well.
Jillian Lawrence, Director
Board Member since 2020
Jillian has resided in Shawnigan Lake since 2008. She was drawn to this community to raise her two kids and she sees it as a beautiful sanctuary where they can enjoy nature and connection to others in a collaborative, supportive environment. The Shawnigan Lake Alliance Church Preschool is where they first found their connection to the people of the community and began to build lifelong friendships. Jillian volunteered as the Community Preschool Playgroup Coordinator to facilitate connection between young families in the area. She has also been featured in a video series from the CVRD addressing the Shawnigan Lake watershed and our community. As a long time business owner, Jillian offers the board her expertise in marketing and story telling.
Blaise Salmon, Director
Board Member since 2023
A long time resident of Shawnigan and Mill Bay, Blaise retired from the Board of the Cowichan Valley Regional District in 2022. He has an honours BA from York University, a diplôme from the Sorbonne, and an MA in history from UVic. He has worked in construction, finance, and international development with a focus on poverty reduction, small business, and microfinance. Blaise has volunteered for many organizations over the years, and has written numerous newspaper articles on a wide range of local and global issues. Locally, he served on the boards of both the Shawnigan Residents Association and the Shawnigan Basin Society before becoming the CVRD director for Mill Bay/Malahat. His CVRD duties included serving on the Vancouver Island Regional Library board, and member representative for the Island Corridor Foundation. He is currently an alternate director at the CVRD, and local government rep with the Te’mexw Treaty Association. Blaise and his family have always enjoyed their visits to the Shawnigan Museum, where they are longstanding members, and chatting with Grant and Lori. His family has made several donations to the EJ Hughes Gallery at the Museum. He is particularly keen to support the Museum expansion project in any way he can.
Jim Ward, Director
Board Member since 2023
Jim is a retired geologist with a lifelong passion for genealogy and history. Combining that interest with his mapping background has allowed him to create maps which show settler owners of land in the Cowichan Valley. He is compiling an electronic database and a Geographic Information System (GIS) of all property owners spanning 1858 through the early 1950’s in the Cowichan Valley. An interactive website will soon be available. Jim is on the board of directors of the Cobble Hill Historical Society. He is a member of several other local historical societies and The Friends of the BC Archives. Jim is originally from Calgary. He and his wife, Karen, purchased their property in Shawnigan Lake and moved here in 2006. Jim immediately became involved with the local historical societies.
We are committed to being fair, inclusive, and respectful with all visitors and volunteers and to conduct business in an honest and professional manner.
We provide consistent and reliable service to visitors and the community and ensure that the Museum’s business is transparent and accountable.
We believe in teamwork and in developing and nurturing community partnerships.
We are dedicated to providing visitors with exemplary customer service through engaged, interactive, and individual experiences.
We communicate our passion for Shawnigan Lake in fun and creative ways through events, programming and maintaining regular Museum hours. We actively encourage the community and visitors to participate and benefit fully from the Museum.
We recognize the importance of sound planning and financial sustainability, with minimal risk taking, to facilitate the growth of the Museum both physically and operationally.