R.I.C. was the first cannery to be established in Rivers Inlet, which had the third largest sockeye run after the Fraser and Skeena Rivers.
The Rivers Inlet Cannery was the first of at least thirteen canneries built at Rivers Inlet.
In 1882 Robert Draney and Thomas Shotbolt established the cannery at the end of the inlet at the mouth of the Wannock River. Rivers Inlet had the third largest sockeye run in B.C., after the Fraser and Skeena Rivers, as well as runs of coho, chum, chinook, and pink salmon making it an ideal location for a cannery.
The cannery’s location was established somewhat accidentally. The barge carrying the building materials arrived in Rivers Inlet during a storm. When the crew was unable to access the chosen site, they unloaded the supplies some distance down the inlet. A foreman evaluated the spot where the barge landed, decided that sufficient fresh water existed at the new location, and built the cannery there instead.
In 1888 Rivers Inlet Cannery was sold to the BC Canning Co., who ended up in some disagreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada over their disposal of offal: “I do not think I need submit my views on the offal question, except that I know our canneries do not hurt anyone by depositing it in the river,” said Matthew Johnston, manager of the BC Canning Co. at the time. In 1924 the plant was purchased by the BC Fishing & Packing Co., which became property of BC Packers Ltd. in 1928. The last canning season was 1933 after which it was closed and used as a camp for Wadhams and Namu Canneries.