Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A homemade Christmas...

What a fun and memorable Christmas we had this year on Gabriola. My parents, Randi & Jack, still live in the same house that we grew up in so for Jennifer and I there are many great memories in each of the rooms. This year we aimed to make most of the gifts that we gave away, and I found it much more exciting then the few items I ended up purchasing.

I completed a mosaic piece from the course I took with Karen Aaker and gave it to my husband, the kids received a teddy bear (well, dog and alien to be precise) designed from their drawings- a technique I learned from trading art classes with a special friends, and my sister received a painting. I was very pleased to receive an art course at Jupiter Ranch in February and a beautiful pair of felted gloves from my sister.

The weather was perfect for a Christmas walk, we shared too much good food, and had great company, all the perfect recipe for a great Christmas.

We were so thrilled at how the kids marvelled in everything homemade, that we are starting early this year, and looking for creative ideas for Christmas 2010 - if you have a great craft/gift idea, please let us know or even better yet, send us the instructions!
(submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Market during the Holidays

While many people are gearing up for the holidays and spending time with loved ones, others are incorporating house shopping into their plans. As this is a time that many people are traveling to visit one another, we find that there are a few that are making a stop to do some house hunting along the way. This is a great time to view a house, the decorations and lights make homes glow with ambiance. With the new year approaching and people re-visioning their future, it makes sense that they want to explore the possibility of a move.

Whether a new house is on your list this Christmas or not, we wish you all the best during the Holiday Season !

Monday, December 14, 2009

A walk through Bethlehem

Last night I took my kids to the Bethlehem Walk in Parksville, this was our 4th time attending the walk which is held over a 4 day period just before Christmas.
They have re-created what a walk through Bethlehem was like when Jesus was born. You wander past the donkeys, sheep, chickens and goats to the manger where there is a beautiful newborn with his mom. There is straw at your feet and stars (a string of small lights) that guide you through the walk.
On your way you stop and talk to the store keepers who let you know that a baby was born just outside of Bethlehem. The storekeepers are all in costume (well over 250 volunteers), on our walk we watched a blacksmith working- he gave them each a penny that he turned into a "shekel" with the Star of Bethlehem inprinted on it. We also got to visit a candlemaker, an essence store, a tailor, shoemaker, jeweller, fish store, and baker. A scribe was there to translate your name into hebrew, and my daughter learned how to make a bagel.
At the end you are led to "Jerusalem" for a cup of Hot Chocolate, cookies and carolling. The event is free, any donations of food and money go to the Salvation Army.
This has become one of our favorite Christmas traditions, I'd encourage you to take the ferry from Gabriola and drive 30minutes to attend this event. Dress warm, as a large portion is outdoors and we were there for three hours, also lines were shorter after 7:30pm. (submitted by:Tina Lynch)
Bethlehem Walk Village is open December 12 through 15, 2009 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Parksville Baptist Church -- 550 Pym Street.
Shalom !

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crafters & volunteers raise money for Gabriola students!

Last Saturday, the Gabriola Elementary school was filled with energy and the road in front was lined with cars. Volunteers worked hard to organize this annual event which included; Christmas tree sales, a cookie walk, concession, kids craft room, raffle, silent auction, and the craft tables. It was great to see so many people supporting the PAC in so many ways. Jennifer and I were in the Kids Craft Room and had fun watching the kids make sales and trade for other items, it was a really good opportunity for the kids. Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gabriola Events - What to do on this little Island !

There are numerous things to do on Gabriola and we wanted to share these events with you, so we created our "Gabriola Events" Calendar. We list as many events as we can so that you can see the diversity of activities you can partake in. You'll find something for every age and interest group. If you see something listed, why not make a trip to the Island and attend the special event, you may never want to leave!

If you have an event that you would like us to put on our online calendar, please send us an email and let us know about it.

View our online “Gabriola Events” calendar to see what's happening here, and check back often as it's constantly being updated!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Settled in for Christmas?

It’s usually the time of year when Real Estate on Gabriola is a bit quieter as the Christmas season nears. During the past week we’ve seen a surprising number of offers, and a little more surprising is the quick closing dates – before Christmas. The Christmas season can bring on stress for many families and adding a move onto it can become a huge endeavor, but these buyers and seller seem up to the task. Apparently ‘tis the season to move.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Congratulations Gabriola - Semi-Finalists in the Aviva Community Fund Competition...

The dedicated volunteers of the Gabriola Health Care Society have proclaimed the year 2010 to be The Year of the Clinic and are committed to raising $1,000,000 to develop and build a permanent community owned emergency treatment and medical care facility. We believe that a permanent, community owned, ecologically friendly, seismically-engineered and technologically advanced emergency treatment room will provide a desirable long-term solution to the health care needs of our increasing population.

Part of their fundraising efforts included applying to the Aviva Community fund, which offers a chance to share in the $500,000. The voting ensures that it is the most popular ideas as chosen by Canadians, the top “25” most voted on will go to the “judging” finals. Gabriola’s request to the Aviva Community Fund is in the range of $250,000 to cover the costs of the emergency treatment room for this facility. You can view, a complete history of the Gabriola Health Care Society . Gabriola is now be amongst the semi-finalists with the vote counters having been reset to 0, this semi-final runs until Dec 16th. Thank you Gabriolans and all the voters from around the world – be ready to start voting again Dec 2nd you can vote here! (Just a reminder that you can vote every day!!!)

You can see why the Lynch’s are casting our votes daily, and why we appreciate the excellent health care service here on the island at our: Discover Gabriola Blog .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Red Roaster - A fresh cup of coffee

Recently, we were greeted with a pound of fresh roasted coffee and we were pleased, we thought you might want to know about one of Gabriola's new businesses. If you send us an email with "red roaster" in the subject line we will enter you into a draw for a pound of coffee on December 7 2009.

Here's what Red Roaster had to say about their new venture:

"Darrin and i have always wanted to do some sort of business together. Over the years coffee roasting has come up many times. Darrin originally started to research the idea in 1994 and by the time we were together in 1998 he had also travelled and explored some coffee growing regions in the world, which further inspired him.
This past summer we were on the sunshine coast, with a contract job for Darrin and when we came back we were VERY happy to be home. We were energized and wanted to keep the momentum going, as well we wanted to branch out into the community some more. Having a small child and both working from home, was more socially restricted than what we were used to prior to baby and Gabriola life. It seemed like the perfect time to start the coffee roasting that we had long since discussed. It all came together quickly as Darrin and I have been following the coffee industry movements and trends for so long. I have said this before.....red roaster had a very long gestation period and a super quick birth!
All of our beans are always certified organic, fairly traded and ethically sourced. Our packaging is 100% biodegradable (vs. the foil bags most competitors use that are petroleum based). And we stamp the "roasted on" date on every bag. We don't want our customers to hold on to their beans-they are meant to be consumed fresh (preferably with in about a week+). We are all about the true fresh roast.
We will be offering a home delivery service, where roast to order the night before. There will be 3 sizes of bags to choose from, so you can best suit to your households weekly coffee consumption. We have chosen to do the home delivery for a number of reasons. This way we will have more direct dialogue with our customers and we can then work with them to customize blends/roasts that produce the perfect cup for their individual needs. Gabriola is small enough for us to be able to do door to door deliveries and this will ensure that everyone is getting fresh fresh fresh roasted coffee. Also, by skipping the middle man we are able to do more fundraising for the community.
We are working with community groups to generate fundraising from every pound of coffee we sell. This is very exciting to us, as it was initially and still continues to be the community here that makes Gabriola so special for us. We are excited that red roaster will be giving back to our local community directly and we are also committed to giving back to the coffee growing communities in the world as well, through profit percentage donations.
Red Roaster will be at the GES xmas fair (dec. 5th), with bean samples, bags of beans for sale, sign up sheets and tons of information on us and how you can donate to the local community cause of your choice, from your weekly coffee beans purchase."

Contact info for red roaster is:

(Submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gabriola Island Emergency Care Facility- it gets my vote (daily)!

On June 24 2008 my husband was driving along North Road on Gabriola at just after 10pm. His vehicle was pulling a trailer and in a quick moment his instincts had him swerve for a deer, sending the SUV into a tree and across the road (yes, you should never swerve for a deer). Frequently, the roads on Gabriola at this time of night are very quiet, he was lucky to have someone on the scene quickly who called 911.
The firefighters (many of whom are first responders) had just ended practice when they got the call, which allowed them to be on the scene within minutes. We also have the fortune of having Dr. Bosman live on the Island, he also was on the scene in a short time as were the local RCMP. The advanced life support team was sent from Nanaimo, and a request was put in for a helicopter evacuation. I heard the sirens from the rental we had while we renovated, and knew that I was about to receive a dreaded phone call. While they worked on stabilizing my husband for transport, other firefighters set up the Rollo/McClay ball field for a helicopter landing. During this time, the heli-vac team also had a call to respond to on Vancouver Island and for a time that call was going to have priority, 3 hours after the crash the heli-vac team had set my husband as priority, and he was being transported with the life support team to Victoria General Hospital. At the hospital his spleen ruptured and they lost his vital signs twice, after days in the Intensive Care Unit he was considered to be in stable condition.
With broken ribs, punctured lungs and a splenectomy he began his long road of recovery. We strongly feel, that had priorities on the helicopter not been changed and if he was transported on the harbor patrol vessel, he wouldn’t be here to parent his kids today. Even on a calm night, his spleen would surely have ruptured on that vessel.
We have the resources on the Island; our Paramedics, Doctors and First Responders have outstanding knowledge, but they need somewhere to treat patients.
If you have a minute, please take the time to vote for the Gabriola Island Emergency Care Facility. You can vote daily, you only need to fill in your name and email address to register and we may just get $250,000 funding for this facility.
Voting for this round closes on Nov. 29, please ask anyone around you to take a minute to do this. (submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Festival of Trees

On Saturday night we loaded up the car and took the kids over to the Vancouver Island Univeristy in Nanaimo (a 5 minute drive from the Gabriola Ferry) for the Festival of Trees. We made a stop for a bowl of soup at a friend’s house and then a group of us headed up. There were some amazing trees, from traditional to contemporary, my daughters favourite was a pink tree with lots of silver feathers. After admiring the decorations and gingerbread houses, we ended the night with “sleepy time”, a nice collection of Christmas stories read as we sat in a circle amongst the decorated trees.
The festival runs until Nov 29 2009, for more information visit : Festival Of Trees .
(submitted by:Tina Lynch)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fairy Fridays

When my daughter was 6 weeks old, one of my neighbors started a small group on the island for moms with newborns. We met on Fridays for lunch, exchanged parenting ideas from books and experience, shared little milestones, passed along clothes and toys to each other, and supported each other when parenting presented a challenge. Each Friday we would rotate lunch dates at one of our homes.
It’s now been over 6 years, and the 4 girls that started this group still meet on Fridays, now they often meet without their mom’s in tow. It’s amazing to watch them grow together, see how the play and interact, play sports, and create art.
It’s been a special group and a great way to make life long connections. If you have children but haven't been in a play group, I'd definitely suggest that you start your own- I think you'll be happy you did !
The first photo was taken of the girls when they were 6 years old, the second photo shows them when they were between 6months - a year. (submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happenings on the Island.

You may have visited the Island during the summer and caught a glimpse of where the new retail space “Madrona Marketplace” was going to be created (on North Road, where the T&T gas station used to be). Progress is happening quickly, the footings are in place, the framing of the East phase is nearly complete, and the trusses were delivered last week.

With the first phase 90% leased, here's a list of local businesses to look forward to at the new marketplace; Tree Frog Sports and Clothing, The Sounder, Architrave Design Build, Woodfire Pizza and Pasta, Blueapples Metaphysical and Wellness, a contemporary coffee house, as well as two private offices.
We’ll update you as progress is being made and retailers have been confirmed so that you know what the Island looks like and what you’ll be greeted with the next time you visit Gabriola.
(photo taken on Nov 18 2009)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's the end of the roll

And the beginning of a new art project ! If you are looking for an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of starting a painting, consider getting a newspaper end roll from the Nanaimo Daily News(1-2575 McCullough Rd, Nanaimo). They have an assortment of them, I picked this one up last night for $3.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Clients & Friendships

When you live on an island that centers on community, it seems only natural for clients to turn into lifelong friends. I’ve experienced this several times during my Real Estate career and I’m so thankful that this is one of the benefits.

One of my first sales was to a family from the United States, buying a vacation home on Gabriola. Over the years, they have become our extended family. My husband, kids and I just went down to visit them in California and had an amazing 10 day dream vacation.

I know that it sometimes can be difficult to mix friendships and business, but this was just a reminder to me that there is always a way to make things work and I’m so glad that we did as it’s a huge gift to have this family in our lives. (submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Trades on Gabriola

You’ll find that there are so many great ideas and ways to make things on the Island. Many people that live here, have the “back to the land” philosophy and are open to sharing their ideas with you. Recently I was approached to teach a special art project to some of the homeschoolers on the Island, and in trade, one of the parents from the group is going to show a few friends and myself how to make a pattern from our kid’s drawings and turn them into stuffed animals (this takes two Christmas items off my list).
I also have a trade lined up from one of the jewelers on the Island. This might be one of the easiest years for checking coveted items off my Christmas list. Getting to give gifts that are created locally is a gift to the local economy and creates a fantastic story to go with it.
Keep on trading ! (submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The tree that became your table!

Clients of ours recently told us about a Vancouver Island company called Live Edge Design
(www.liveedgedesign.com) that make spectacular west coast furniture. They salvage trees brought down by storms or left by forest companies. They incorporate "the living edge", the layer behind the bark into most of the designs, and often follow the organic lines of the tree.
The tables are a piece of art on their own, but you can also find the history of your furniture and use google earth to pinpoint the location where the tree came from. The company will provide you with the GPS location, and accompanying story books are available on request.
Can you imagine sitting around one of thees gorgeous dinning room tables, enjoying a meal and conversation with friends, and being able to tell them the history of the tree that became your table!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Kerplunks add colour to your life

The Kerplunks will be entertaining an enthusiastic crowd at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Saturday Nov 14, 2009. They're excited about this, so excited in fact, that they are having a colouring contest to give away some FREE TICKETS to their show!
To enter, go to their website and click the red ticket on the top of the site to download the colouring page.
Deadline to enter is Tuesday, Nov 10.When you're finished, print your name, age and contact information and send it to:The Kerplunks1970 Murray Road Gabriola Island BCV0R 1X7.
Remember this band is a lot of fun, go wild !

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stressed over the Holidays ?

I'd like to suggest Chocolate.
I'm in the midst of organizing the fundraising packages for the Nanaimo Diamonds Synchronized Swim club. Each swimmer will be visiting friends, family and neighbors to collect orders for Purdy's chocolates, orders will be collected by November 10th and delivered on December 14th. If chocolate is the answer for any of your holiday stress, then please plan ahead and come by the Coast Realty office on Gabriola and fill out one of the order forms on my desk. (submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gabriola's Sleepy Hollow

The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department with the support of the Community held it's annual fireworks display last night at Twin Beaches, it was amazing - the weather couldn't have been nicer & the bon fire & hot cocoa kept the viewers warm.

From there it was over the haunted house, hosted by Deborah & Jim, there amazing halloween display this year, surrounded the suspicious untimely death of Sir Edgar Allen Poe. Year after year, this haunted house is more and more amazing, thanks to the tireless efforts of so many volunteers - you guys are amazing!

For the next few evenings, the pumpkins that were around the island, are dropped off on North Road, in an area that islanders refer to as the tunnels. Come dusk, they are lit up! Beware that cars travel much slower on North Road during these evenings, as they go through the tunnel stopping at nearly all of the carved pumpkins. This years display is exceptional - if you haven't taken a walk or drive down the tunnel at dusk - it's a must do! Have a spook-tacular evening...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fireworks are in the air!

We have absolutely loved the tradition of going to the Gabriola Sands Provincial Park (the “twin beaches”) on Halloween to watch the Fireworks since Jennifer and I were about 4 years old. This is a great community event, where the kids can get some treats, the firefighters serve hot chocolate, there is a large bonfire (well under control), and a fantastic display of fireworks to delight the eyes. The Gabriola Volunteer Firefighters have been treating islanders to this event for over 30 years. It’s always been a strong family tradition for us to attend, and with youngsters in the family we will surely continue to attend for years to come. If you’re looking for Jen on Halloween, she’ll be “dressed up” in her firefighting gear helping out at the Fireworks.Saturday, October 31. Fireworks start at 7pm.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Working with Glass

I had the opportunity of taking a fantastic Mosaic workshop offered by Karen Aaker (www.purpledoormosaics.com ) through Artstart on the weekend. She had the supplies & equipment well organized, and taught two classes with 12 in attendance. I choose a fairly simple design, and became excited about the possibilities of this art form. Well, I'm now hooked, I'm signed up for one of her courses that she's offering on Sundays from 11-1, November 8-29. My goal is to make my Christmas gifts this year, and this will help me take one off the list.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Gabriola Elementary School took part today for 350.org, an international day of climate action. Students of all ages had been preparing with letters, power point presentations, a song, & coming up with ways that each of us can reduce our carbon footprint, which they presented in a very powerful assembly that the community was invited to.

The teachers, students, parents & volunteers did an amazing job in pulling this together… It provoked thinking about our environment and the effects of climate change.

The 350.org website shows 4457 actions taken in over 172 countries to take a stand for a safe climate future. It’s also a great resource to help fascilitate conversations with kids, with activities that they can do. We chose to do a project on “Icelandic Butterflies” which we created with the kids and submitted on the 350.org website. The Butterflies created will be in the display gallery as of October 24, 2009 – the International Day of Climate Action. Mor-more, kept busy this week painting 3 kids shirt with the 350 logo - they looked fabulous...

The embracing of 350.org in our community, and especially by the school just shows that there is hope!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Marathon.

It's now been almost two weeks since I ran my first marathon, a goal I've held for as long as I can remember. This year, I knew that this would be the year for me to do it. I've realized over the past few years that life can change in an instant, and I knew that I was in a time of my life when I had the physical ability to complete it.

I joined the Running Room in Nanaimo and completed my first half marathon in the Spring of 2009 and continued the training for the Victoria Marathon.

Some weeks of training went better than others, and there were a few little challenges that would pop up (limited sleep,work,young children, sunshine, camping, life, etc). I really enjoyed the process, and for me the nerves built as October 11 drew nearer, I was lucky enough to have the pressure of creating enough paintings for the Gallery Tour to distract me. On Saturday night, Lesley Standerwick, Keli Stapp and I packed up the car, left Gabriola and headed for Victoria.

My anxiety hit as we we're driving and I realized that I was in the car with two personal trainers- what was I thinking ? I started to relax as they brought out a two pound bag of jelly beans for the drive and told me that we we're going to have dinner at 9 when we got to Victoria, this was more my style.

The three of us completed our first marathons on October 11th. I couldn't imagine going through the process on my own and was so pleased to share this experience with such supportive and knowledgeable friends. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, there was no wind, and we had friends and family there to cheer us on along the way. (Submitted by: Tina Lynch)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Art Start: Fairy Wings Worshop

Perfect timing… Halloween being just around the corner and the Art Start weekend featured a “fairy wing” workshop. For those who haven’t seen the stunning wings around the island, at many events, the wings are hand crafted by a very talented young group of ladies on the island or participants of their workshops.

From start to finish Hayden & Genny, (wing creators extraordinaire), led the workshop with 12 eager participant of all ages. In three hours, the wire frames that sat at the tables to start were hand shaped, covered with nylons, vividly painted on & decorated with glue, flowers, and of course glitter. The results were amazing! Gabriola has 12 more sets of wings, thanks to the Arts Council & everyone for putting on this spectacular workshop.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Coast Realty - Future Focus Group

Last week, Jennifer and I went to Coast Realty's head office in Nanaimo to take part in a future focus group. This group included 17 Coast Realty Representatives from all of our offices. We're looking at helping our company to come up with a strategic plan and a clear vision for the future, and ensuring that we stay up with technology. We feel that by participating in this process we can help to ensure that our company continues to meet the expectations of our clients, and that our company can support us in the level of customer service we strive to provide. If you, as our clients, have any input that you would like us to bring forward, please let us know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beauty beneath the waves: Diving on Gabriola

It’s a different view when you explore what lies under the surface, can you believe that another world exists so close to us ? It seems so easy to miss this, until you see photos of the beauty below. Shannon Poirier & Don Knowles came to the Island as dive enthusiasts, quickly they decided to buy property and began building their home. They now have a company called Ocean’s Blue Diving which offers diver training from beginner to Divemaster. As someone that’s a bit reluctant to learn all the technical components of diving, I was excited to see that they offer a discover snorkeling course for $50, for me this is the perfect introduction to the world below. They also offer wreck diving, deep diving, night, navigation, drift diving, dive gear rentals and compressed air. Enjoy life at a different level and gain a new prospective.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Art : The Local Buzz

Well, if you we're out on the Gallery Tour during this past weekend you will have noticed that a lot of studios had a great energy buzz happening. After a 6 year break from being on the tour (2 children born during this time), I was excited and nervous to go back on. This is what my studio/living room (#14 on the tour) looked like for the weekend. If your looking at coming to the Island to immerse yourself in the arts and develop your own artistic endeavours, then I'd have to say this is the right place to do it. The tour was great, I met a lot of people, had a great time, appreciated the feedback and made some sales. I have a lot to be thankful for and I'll be back on again next year.
My 6 yr old daughter, displayed a few paintings and made 4 sales, proof of the supportive community here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's preview night at ARTWORKS !

Ok, it's time to grab your gallery tour map and head to ARTWORKS at 7pm tonight. You'll get to view artwork from numerous studios that will be on the tour this weekend. It's a great way to make some decisions on which studios to visit if your time is limited, and it's also a great way to see the diversity of local artistic talent.
You'll also see the stunning work of Corry Lunn And Darryl Nygaard, their burnished clay, Raku and found objects are absolutely amazing. If you want one of these pieces, you better plan on being there when the doors open.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Get stARTed !

The Gabriola Arts Council has a fantastic program called “ArtStart” which will be held on the weekend after the gallery tour (Oct 17 &18). For all those that get hit with inspiration on the tour, this is your chance to try a new art technique – and for only 10 bucks (under 18 is free).
Look at the list, choose your workshop and run to the artworks coffee bar with your cash to get you name on the list before it’s too late.

Saturday, October 17th
** "DRAWING FOR FOLKS WHO THINK THEY CAN'T DRAW" with Gerrit Verstraete ** www.gverstraete.com
A special workshop for people who "can't draw" but who are about to discover they do have talent. All under the capable supervision of Gabriola artist Gerrit Verstraete and with the help of some jelly beans. "Back in my commercial studio days," Gerrit says, "I once challenged a Toronto taxi driver that I could teach him to draw in one session. I won." Bring your enthusiasm and leave your fears at home. Some may remember hearing about his infamous "jelly-bean" method of cartooning - one of the simplest ways to learn to draw. So c'mon down.
TIME: Saturday, 10am to Noon LOCATION: The Commons (Maximum 20 participants Ages 8+)

** "WATERCOLOURS WITH MELINDA" ** ` www.melindawilde.com
Let's take it from where we left off last year. This will be a slightly more intermediate workshop so if you are a painter, come on along and if not, I will mentor you through....what have you got to lose? We'll splash paint around and have a good time exploring where it takes us. Materials provided.
TIME: Saturday, 10:30am to 12:30pm LOCATION: Rollo Centre (Maximum 18 participants Ages 12+)

** "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MOSAICS" with Karen Aaker ** www.purpledoormosaics.com
Join Karen Aaker of Purple Door Mosaics for an introduction to mosaics. Learn to create a beautiful mosaic using our tools, vitreous glass, porcelain, and other materials (supplied).It’s a lot easier than you think, Karen will show you how to cut and transform the colourful pieces into your own mosaic art! Bring safety goggles if you have them, and rubber gloves for the Sunday grouting session. Start a piece on Saturday afternoon. Complete it on Sunday morning. Most materials provided, bring safety goggles and rubber gloves.
TIME: Saturday, 2 to 5, Sun 10 to 11 LOCATION: Agi Hall (Maximum 12 participants Ages 14+)

** "WANNA PLAY IN MUD? " with Simone Bell ** (Maximum 6 participants Ages 12+)
Get your hands dirty making a decorative or functional hand-built item out of clay. Discover texture, form and color... the possibilities are limitless! Start a piece, then return for an hour two weeks later (Simone will set a time that works for the group) to glaze/paint your piece for the final firing. Materials provided.
TIME: Saturday, 2 to 5pm LOCATION: Simone’s studio at 390 Tamarack (247-0166)

** "INTRO TO MIDDLE EASTERN DANCE" with Lynette Harper ** www.lynetteharper.harpfin.ca With her unique style, developed over 3 decades of teaching and performing Middle Eastern dance, Lynette will introduce the vibrant, sensuous and passionate rhythms and movements of Middle Eastern and Roma (gypsy) dance. Men and women welcome – in the Middle East, everyone takes part! Wear clothing that lets you move freely, bring a long scarf or decorative belt to wrap around your hips, and be prepared to have fun!
TIME: Saturday, 2:30 to 5pm LOCATION: Rollo Centre (Maximum 25 participants Ages 12+)
NOTE: The A-Frame Restaurant is preparing a special Middle Eastern meal on Saturday evening beginning at 6pm. Lynette will perform. All are welcome. Please reserve your table! 247-8224

** "SINGING FOR THE TERRIFIED" with Penny Sidor ** www.pennysidor.ca
You think you can't sing and you're scared to death of trying? Come to this workshop and get your feet wet in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. We'll breathe, make some noise, and start the process of turning those noises into music. It won't hurt a bit, and you’re guaranteed to have some fun!
TIME: Saturday, 3 to 5pm LOCATION: The Commons (Maximum 25 participants Ages 12+)

Sunday, October 18th

** " THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MOSAICS " ** (This is a continuation of Saturday`s workshop.)
TIME: 10 to 11am LOCATION: Agi Hall

** " KNIT ONE, PURL ONE" with Noni Fidler **
Get ready for a winter of knitting with this introductory workshop. Noni will get you going on a cotton dishcloth that will introduce you to the basics – casting on, increasing, decreasing, basic stitches and casting off. Leave the session with some primer sheets and the skills to tackle a bigger project. Yarn provided; you may purchase needles at cost.
TIME: 10:30 to 12:30pm LOCATION: The Commons (Maximum 10 participants Ages 12+)

** "DRUMMING WITH VOODOO DAVE" ** www.voodoodave.com
Experience the profound effect that drumming can have on your life. Mudge Island’s Voodoo Dave is an experienced and enthusiastic drum circle facilitator and teacher. In a fun and relaxed atmosphere, Dave will take you through some hand drumming rhythms. Drums provided or bring your own along.
TIME: 11am to 1:30pm LOCATION: Rollo Centre (Maximum 30 participants Ages 10+)

** "HAPPY HOOKING" with Lois Anderson and Marilyn Geater **
Lois and Marilyn have been creating rugs from canvas and wool for many years. This demonstration and hands-on workshop will allow you to get started on your family heirloom right away. Canvas and wool provided; you may purchase hooks at cost.
TIME: 1pm to 3pm LOCATION: The Commons (Maximum 12 participants Ages 12+)
** "FROM FLEECE TO YARN" with Taylor Turrie ** www.alpacas-pif.com
In this ―hands on‖ workshop at Paradise Island Alpacas, learn how the fleece from the alpacas is turned into beautiful, soft and silky yarn. Try your hand at carding and colour sorting...then test your dexterity with a turn at the spinning wheel.
TIME: 1pm to 3pm LOCATION: Paradise Island Alpacas 785 North Road (Maximum 6 participants Ages 5+)

** "WINGING IT!" with Hayden Harvey & Genni Cooper **
Faeries, Dragonflies, Angels, Demons – this is the season for costumes! Create your very own pair of wearable wings! They make wonderful costumes, gifts or decorative art. We will play with wire, nylon, paint and faerie dust to create a unique and magical set of wings. Wings are fun for everyone! Materials provided.
TIME: 2pm to 5pm LOCATION: Agi Hall (Maximum 15 participants Ages 8+)

** "BEACH TREASURE SUNCATCHERS" with Kathy McIntyre **
Learn to shape wire to create a unique sun catcher that will show off your tiny beach treasures. Bring your found objects—beach glass pieces, shells, tiny pebbles, feathers and pieces of driftwood—to create your own one-of-a kind window charm. Other materials provided.
TIME: 2:30pm to 4:30pm LOCATION: Rollo Centre (Maximum 12 participants Ages 12+)

Friday, October 2, 2009

A fresh new look!

As fall approaches and more time indoors lurks around the corner, it’s a great time to transform your living space. Our past clients and good friends decided to hire a painter when they went away. It’s always hard to come home from a trip, but if Helene Tremblay has been there while you were out, you’ll find coming home to be a pleasant surprise. Jane and Jake are enjoying the spacious and fresh feel that the new coat of paint has given their main living space. If you’d like to have some painting done, we’d recommend calling Helene at 250.247.7513 for a consultation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Gallery Tour kicks off with a good start !

There is a buzz around the Island as the Gallery Tour approaches. You'll find that the week is filled with events that center around the arts community on Gabriola, we will give you an update on each of the events as they approach.
The Partini Night is a kick-off event which will be held on Fri., Oct. 9, 2009 from 7-10 at the Dragon’s Lodge. This is your chance to get your Tour 2009 martini glass, and mix and mingle with the artists.
Host: Shelagh Rogers. Music by Dinah D and Myles Black. Martinis (virgin and not) by Veronica Holroyd and Jen Demler, Draw for the ArtBucks raffle! Hope you have your ticket, the event has SOLD OUT, let's hope that this is a good indicator to the success of this years tour.

Gabriola 6 yr old hits the pool!

Last year we took our kids to swim lessons at the Beban Pool in Nanaimo, which just happened to be at the same time that the Nanaimo Diamonds Synchronized Swimming Club trains. This year, my daughter talked us into signing her up for the team. The clubs first fundraiser was a swim-a-thon, after only once class I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about the situation. Bianca, my six year old daughter, led her little brother and dad around the neighborhood and collected pledges, our community is very giving and I’m not surprised that she raised $145 in an afternoon, but I am very thankful. The swim-a-thon went great, she swam with the use of a kickboard for 50 solid minutes and managed to get in 16 laps. Her little brother was kept busy too, he had made up a sign and ran up and down beside the pool cheering her on. Submitted by: Tina LYNCH

Monday, September 28, 2009

We won, everyone's a winner!

The Gabriola Health Care Society collected 3 beautiful handmade glass pieces from local artists to auction off in their Auxillary raffle. Volunteers were busy this summer selling raffle tickets at the Gabriola Farmers Market and at the Village Medicine Center and raised $3,900. We we’re lucky enough to receive a phone call letting us know we had won this beautiful platter made by Jill Adamson. I’m a bit nervous to take home such a beautiful piece of work, but looking forward to enjoying it in our home.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunshine in the end of September

We’ve been lucky to have such gorgeous weather this past week, what a nice way to celebrate the arrival of fall. We went to the Gabriola Sands Provincial Park, commonly referred to as “Twin Beaches” on the Northwest side of Gabriola. The kids kept busy in a big pool of water and along the seashore, a great place to enjoy the 27 degree weather. Sumbitted by: Tina LYNCH

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gabriola Wine Festival!

To be honest, I really enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day and I’m still training my taste buds to distinguish a good glass of wine. On Saturday, September 26 the Surf Lodge ( 885 Berry Point, Gabriola Island) is hosting the 6th Annual Wine Festival from 3:30-6pm. You’ll be treated to a selection of over 100 wines to taste, you’ll want to pick up your $30 ticket soon from the Village Liquor Store or Artworks. Submitted by: Tina LYNCH

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot Meals!

Gabriola Elementary School has been lucky to have Carmen Mattes preparing hot lunches for students twice a week over the past years, and she’s back at it again. The suggested price is $2.50 per meal, and the aromas of home cooking linger around the school hallways on the days she’s cooking. If you have any produce from your garden that you can’t use, they are always looking for donations and the full tummies in the school are always thankful for it!

Local BC Fruit & Veggies for the kids at School!

This year the Gabriola Elementary School has been selected by the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation to take part in the BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program. All kids and school staff that wish to participate will receive a fresh BC fruit or vegetable snack twice a week every other week. This will help their health and improve their concentration, with only 20-25% of children in BC eating the recommended daily minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables this seems to be a critical step to better nutrition for our future generation. To learn more about this program or to get an application for your school please visit : http://www.aitc.ca/bc/snacks .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Got Your Number.

If you’re new to the Island, changed your name or your number, or if you started a business you’ll want to make sure that you fill out a business or residential application from the http://gabrioladirectory.com/application/ . Applications, artwork and payment are by October 31 2009. The Gabriola Island Community Directory is the most commonly used phone book on the Island for looking up friends, businesses and services so you don’t want to miss out, we may be looking you up to go for a coffee !

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kicking the can (garbage that is)

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is aiming to divert 75% of the waste in the Regional Landfill by 2010. They have done a pilot project with over 2000 homes and want to implement the program district wide in 2010, Gabriola will be included in this. The idea behind the program is to take items such as food scraps (even cooked meat and bones), soiled paper, and dairy products and turn them into a resource at the International Composting Corporation's (ICC) processing facility, located at Duke Point in Nanaimo. The finished products include compost, fertilizers, and soil amendments. My friend in Nanaimo was one of the participants in the pilot project, she has a family with two small kids and says she's amazed how this has impacted what she takes to the curb. For those already composting in their backyard, you'll want to continue to do that as it is more cost-effective and good for your garden, but for items that aren't suitable to place in your backyard composting bin, this offers an interesting alternative to throwing it in the garbage bin.

Supporting Terry Fox

The Terry Fox run is a great event, and what a way to spend some time with your family. We attended the run on Gabriola which started at the Twin Beaches on Sunday Sept 13. Paul Gray gave an inspiring speech in which he shared his story, it touches home to hear someone sharing their personal experience. Val then led us in a warm-up and we were definately warm enough by the time we started the run. There were two distances you could choose, either the 5km or 10km toward Olebar point. I had a great time on the run, while my 6yr old daughter rode ahead, my 4yr old and I worked hard to catch up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gabriola makes it in the New York Times

If you read the New York Times this weekend, you may have seen one of our listings featured in the Escapes section. A few weeks ago we were approached by the New York Times who found our website and wanted to include our listing at 109 Malaspina in their paper. Gabriola is a great place to live and we're proud to have it recognized.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

See you at the Fall Fair…

Gabriola’s annual fall fair, is set to take place on 20 September 2009 at the Gabriola Commons, from noon to 3:00. There will be something for everyone this year, from the local musicians, 4-H displays, demonstrations, a petting zoo, quilting bee, & so much more…

For those with a green thumb, there will be competition for ribbons in the agricultural categories & with the summer we’ve been having there’s sure to be some spectacular displays! The scarecrow contest, a competition, that the Lynch family won in it’s first year, is sure to be fierce – we still proudly display our scarecrow in mom’s garden, it’s the perfect perching place for the birds, it’s supposed to scare off!

If your interested in entering into the competitions, entry forms are available on island at Raven Feed, Wild Rose Garden Centre & Wheelbarrow Nursery. (Entries will be accepted on Sunday morning, competition day, from 9:00am to 10:30 am.

Come and find out what’s taking the place of the “recycle” fashion show! See you at the fair…

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Never to late to go back to school!

September comes around with a spark, the nostalgia of going back to school and seeing friends after a fantastic summer is never a difficult memory to bring forward. I'll have to stop myself from hitting the stores for a back to school outfit, unless I enroll in a continuing education course quickly. Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina College) offers a variety of choices for those that want to attend, part-time, full time or continuing education courses. You’ll find a variety of choices to fit your lifestyle, some programs they offer are: high school equivalency, certificates, diplomas, bachelor degrees, master’s degrees and continuing education courses.
If you’re looking to go back to school this September, visit their website at http://www.viu.ca .

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to school !

This year the doors will open at Gabriola Elementary School on Tuesday September 8 2009 and the 166 students in attendance will meet their new principal, Tricia McKay. If you are trying to figure out when to have the kids ready to be picked up by the bright yellow bus, you’ll want to visit http://www.sd68.bc.ca/edocuments/SD68News/busroutes_/route13/content.htm For those students attending high school in Nanaimo, Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS) opens on September 8th as well, there are 1078 students that attend from grades 8-12. There is bus service on Gabriola to the ferry and a bus that picks them up at the ferry terminal in Nanaimo and takes them to NDSS.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Growing tall on Gabriola

The Vancouver Island Exhibition (VIEX) was held over the August 20-23 weekend in Nanaimo and drew in a number of visitors. My kids took part of the “sunflower” competition; sunflower seeds were given away in the spring along with the entry forms. We eagerly set them in the ground and began watering, soon we could see them from our living room and we dug them up to take them in. The kids we’re over the moon to both receive a big blue ribbon for their age category and I was pretty happy to have the reassurance that Gabriola is a great place to garden.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Childcare Options on the Island

If you’re looking for the perfect place for your tiny tot on Gabriola there are a few options to consider:

Hope Center offers a few options, they have a daycare, preschool and after school programs. You can visit their website at www.gabriolahopecentre.com or phone them at 250.247.8730. They are located in the North End of Gabriola near the Elementary school and Village.

Perry Road Preschool is in the South End of the Island and is open on Monday and Wednesday mornings for 2.5-5yr olds, Christine Watt is ECE trained and can be reached at 250.247.7478.

Gabriola Co-Op Preschool is run out of the Community Hall in the South End of Gabriola and is held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. If you’d like more information leave a message at 250.247.9292.

Private you’ll also find people that will care for your children in your home, if you’re looking for some names let me know, I’d be happy to pass them along.

You’ll find lots of activities posted on the bulletin boards and in the Sounder to keep your little one busy, some are run privately and other are run through the Gabriola Recreation Society (www.gabriolarecreation.org). These include, swimming lessons (summer only), gymnastics, yoga, and art and dance classes.