There have been no reports of damage and a tsunami is not expected.
The quake hit at around 1:10 p.m. just west of the archipelago, and about 88 kilometres south of the Village of Queen Charlotte.
Hundreds of earthquakes have hit B.C. or its coastline over the past month, although most are not felt by residents.
One 4.6-magnitude quake that struck near Tofino, B.C., on Jan. 8 was felt by occupants of the small tourist town, as was a 5.4-magnitude tremor on Jan. 2 near Port Hardy, B.C.
At least one B.C. seismologist says there's a one in 10 chance that Vancouver Island will be hit by a major earthquake in the next 50 years.
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