The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre is an active community-based maritime museum and is operated by the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society, a non-profit organization founded to preserve, exhibit and demonstrate the Maritime heritage and culture of wooden boats, especially as experienced on Canada’s West Coast.

The Society was originally conceived in the 1970s as a wooden boat building centre but has expanded its role to become a maritime centre, a museum and a wooden boat workshop. In addition to the exhibits and museum the Centre holds wooden boat building classes for adults and children in its superbly equipped workshop. The Society also operates an historic marine ways for the hauling and cleaning of boats and maintains a small fleet of traditional small craft.