Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eco-Friendly Home Staging

The art of home selling is very much predicated upon home staging and making your home attractive to prospective buyers. Eco-friendly home improvement is all the rage right now and staying above the trend makes your home even more appealing to the next generation of house hunters, especially first-time home buyers. There are various eco-friendly home improvements that anyone can do to get your home ready for showing on the market. Here are three eco-friendly lighting renovations that will exponentially increase the appeal of your home.

Energy Star Lighting:

By using energy efficient fixtures and light bulbs, you can help cut down on the monthly electric bill while also helping preserve the environment. Many potential buyers will appreciate the fact that the home they are considering has their environmental concerns in mind. Plus who doesn’t like saving a little money on their utility bills? Environmentally conscious consumers are now looking for the Energy Star logo when purchasing their lighting. According to ENERGY STAR, in 2008, Americans were able to save $19 billion on their utility bills by using ENERGY STAR compliant products. ENERGY STAR estimates that "families can save about a third on their energy bill without sacrificing style or comfort." ENERGY STAR compliant fluorescent fixtures use 75% less energy than incandescent fixtures. They are also cooler and last on average, about 9 years. This doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style; many Energy Star compliant lighting fixtures are incredible modern and chic looking. However, it’s the concept behind these fixtures that is entirely futuristic.

Eco-Friendly Outdoor Lighting:

Showing your home at night is much more common than it seems considering that many prospective buyers have to work during the day and are only available at night. Because of this, exterior lighting is a nice touch that will increase a prospective buyer's sense of security, while simultaneously adding aesthetic value to the house. As far as eco-friendly options go, look for Energy Star qualified fixtures and save big. Offering everything from fluorescent wall lanterns, post lanterns and illuminating address lights, to solar LED path lighting and deck lighting - your eco-friendly outdoor lighting options are endless. Solar spot lighting is probably the most eco-friendly method to adding nice light to your walkway or garden. Lighting that highlights a flower-lined walkway definitely induces that quaint, welcoming sense that you will want to instill in your prospective buyer. Be sure to let your client know about the eco-friendly additions to your curbside décor.

LED Pendant Lights:

A new home décor trend that we are seeing is the new-found popularity of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lights. Truly, they are extremely energy efficient, especially when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. In fact, LED lights can last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours vs. incandescents which are good for about 10,000 hours on average. Additionally, LEDs burn very cool, unlike incandescent bulbs, which emit about 98 percent of their energy as heat. The addition of a few nice LED Pendant Lights can work wonders for your house. Surprisingly, they work best in a kitchen setting, usually above a kitchen island to add a nice centerpiece to one of the most important areas of the home.

Submitted by: CSN Lighting visit their website at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tiller's Folly in Concert on Gabriola Island

The Gabriola Arts Council is pleased to welcome Tiller's Folly,the Pacific Northwest’s internationally traveled, virtuosic ambassadors of song.
Tiller’s Folly features lead vocalist and guitarist Bruce Coughlan, fiddle/mandolin player Nolan Murray, and bass player/vocalist Laurence Knight.

"This full-throated Canadian Celtic group, a cross between Stan Rogers and the Clancy Brothers, is on a stirring crusade. It wants to establish an oral story-telling tradition for the settlers, fishers, natives, loggers and adventurers of the misty West Coast."Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun

Opening for Tiller's Folly is Gabriola's very own Myles Black & The Pearly Whites.

Advance tickets: $15 at Artworks

Tickets at the door (if available): $18

Randi will be on the door for the evening - so make sure to say hi!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Artists in the Village

Saturdays is a busy place in the Village, as people come out to the Farmers Market on Gabriola, and then proceed to the Village to finish up shopping, have a cup of coffee with friends, or perhaps pick up a fishing rod – for the afternoon. Well in the summer, there’s another reason to stop by the Village. The Gabriola Art’s council is featuring a different two artists each Saturday through until 5th September. It’s a great opportunity to come and meet some of the islands local artists who will display their art under the tents.

The Gabriola Arts council will also be selling art, by some very talented islanders, on magnets, ready to grace any metal surface in your home, and a great island keepsake. This year, there is a choice of 5 different magnets from artists such as; Dianna Bonder, Rick Cranston, Tammy Hudgeon, Rohana Laing & Sheila Norgate. If your not able to make it there on Saturday, they are also available at Gabriola Artworks. Cost is $5 each or the full set for $20 (receipt for charitable donation available). The funds will enable the Arts Council to continue to support artists and bring art to the Gabriola community.

The Empty Bowl Project

This weekend, as a fundraiser for Gabriola's Emergency Food Depot, People or a Healthy community are once again holding their annual fundraiser, and your chance to, make a bowl for hunger.

On Saturday, May 30th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Sunstone Pottery studio's open it's doors, to all those interested in creating a bowl for Hunger. June 2nd is National Hunger Awareness Day and PHC welcomes your awareness and action to alleviate hunger on the island. Potter extoridnaire, Graham Sheehan and colleagues will be there to guide your talents in creating a bowl. A small fee of $5 is required to participate. Love your bowl??? During the week of June 18th - 24th the bowls will be displayed at Artworks, where you can bid on your own bowl or your favorite bowl. Note: Wear clothes suitable to play in the clay…have fun!!! You can register at PHC or on May 30th when you arrive at Sunstone. All ages welcomed!

Sunstone Pottery – 520 Argyle Lane, Gabriola

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coast Realty Group on the BC Ferries

Beginning this month, passengers on BC Ferries Coastal Renaissance will be able to view properties listed with Coast Realty Group during their 95 minute crossing between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay.

In partnership with Tourism Nanaimo and Vancouver Island University, the tourism desk of the new ferry will feature a direct link to properties listed on and information about Coast Realty Group’s 14 offices serving Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Vancouver Island University tourism students, who staff the desk, expect to greet 30,000 passengers from May to September on four daily crossings, seven days a week.

Jennifer Lynch, Manager of Coast Realty Group (Gabriola Village) Ltd., said, “with a healthy listing inventory coupled with near record low interest rates , we expect that the Spring market will continue through the Summer. With a large percentage of our buyers coming from out of town, marketing programs such as the partnership with Tourism Nanaimo on the BC Ferries is a great service to our clients and compliments other corporate marketing efforts such as video marketing presentations at Comox Airport (YQQ).”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coats Marsh Regional Park to officially open on May 22

Clyde Coats' former family property will officially open to the public as Coats Marsh Regional Park on May 22nd. The ceremony begins at 11:15 am on May 22, at the Aiden Road entrance to the park located off of Coats Road. The new Regional Park is a 45.7 hectare parcel of wetlands and forest and is protected in a partnership between The Nature Trust of British Columbia, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and the BC Trust for Public Lands.

"Conservation is of great importance to residents of the Regional District of Nanaimo," said Larry McNabb, Chair of the Regional Parks and Trails Advisory Committee. "We are looking forward to the opening ceremony, and we are tremendously grateful to Mr. Coats for the opportunity to care for this property and manage it as a Regional Park."

Coats Marsh Regional Park features a wetland and stands of rare coastal Douglas fir. Two creeks run through the property and eventually connect to Hoggan Lake. The land also kitty corners the 707 Acre Community Park, owned and managed by the Regional District of Nanaimo.

"By protecting this unique property we have taken a tremendous step in establishing a large protected area on Gabriola Island that contains rare plant species and provides habitat for numerous wildlife," said Doug Walker, Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Trust of B.C. "At the same time, this acquisition will provide the people of the Regional District of Nanaimo, in particular Gabriola Islanders, with the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of this ecological gem in their community." With the acquisition of the former Coats lands, the RDN now has 2016 hectares (1,769 acres) of regional parkland, including two campgrounds, nine day-use parks, and seven trails. The RDN manages more than 160 community parks, including the 707 Acre Community Park adjoining the former Coats property.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leader in protecting BC's natural diversity of plants and animals through the acquisition and conservation of critical habitats and other areas of ecological significance. Through partnerships like the Coats Land Acquisition, The Nature Trust has invested more than $63 million to secure more than 61,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of critical habitat throughout British Columbia. (

Ever considered living next door to a conservation area... There is a gorgeous 5 acre property located at 1040 Coats Drive, which is currently listed for sale, additional details can be found at: .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Exploring the Gulf Island and BC's West Coast

Over the past weekend I had some clients from out of province and one of our discussions on the tour of properties was about the BC Ferries Experience Card which allows you to get a significant discount when you travel on the Nanaimo - Gabriola route and other routes as well.

The clients I was out with had purchased a 4 consecutive day SailPass which allowed them to travel from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay and through several of the gulf Islands and returning to Vancouver for a cost of $189.00 for two adults and a car. This is a great way to explore Island Living and is a unique way for Islanders to travel locally.

There are many other options to consider when you are planning your vacation or exploring a route for commuting, one is the Assured Boarding Passes which are available for the three major Vancouver Island/Mainland routes or you may consider making reservations. To find out more about the specials and trip planning visit : . Submitted by: Tina LYNCH

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Change....

We went for a little day trip yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day, we decided to leave the Island for the morning and visit the garden stores near Coombs.
After the excursion to a couple of lovely nurseries, to pick up a beautiful hanging basket, we made an excursion to Qualicum. My Mother-in-law, who lives in the area, had told us about the change machine... It’s great - the kids poured the change they had saved onto a tray on the machine and watched through a little glass slot as it got sorted. It prints you out a receipt and you visit the teller to collect your bills.
The kids loved it and so did I, they had enough money to take me for a special DQ treat and buy a few more seeds for the garden, a nice change of scenery for the day.

Qualicum Beach is about a 40 minute drive from the Gabriola Ferry, if you'd like to visit the Quality Foods and cash in your change it's located at 705 Memorial Avenue. Submitted by: Tina LYNCH

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gabriola B&B Association Hosts Open House

Gabriola is a destination for many tourists whether it be to enjoy the kayaking around the gulf islands sea shore, scuba diving, a wonderful golf course, walking trails, our summer time markets, the island winery, & a visit to some of the many artisans that make Gabriola there home…

If you would like to stay overnight on Gabriola Island and explore the island in greater depth, there are many Bed and Breakfast establishments located either on the waterfront or near the ocean.

You are invited this Sunday, 3 May 2009 - to tour the 12 bed and breakfasts that comprise the Gabriola Bed and Breakfast Association from noon to 3:00. Maps and brochures available at Art Works and Beaches Convenience Store. The B&B associations website can also be found online at: , where there is photos, write ups and links to the B&B's personal webpages.
*Be sure to stop by Jupiter Ranch on the tour, who are also featuring an art sale of works by two very talented ladies on the island, Sylvie Milman & Tammy Hudgeon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A perfect 10… Coast Realty Group (Gabriola Village) Ltd. celebrates a 10 year milestone.

We are excited to celebrate Coast Realty Group (Gabriola Village) Ltd. 10th year anniversary on 1 May 2009. A company based on “People. Above All,” the company has grown over the years to include 13 Realtors® & our 2 amazing support staff.

As the Realtors in the office are fortunate to live and work in this community, there is a strong sense of pride and recognition of the Quality of Life that Gabriola offers. Coast Realty has very much enjoyed the opportunity to serving the island, and has been active in the community, from it’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, youth softball, to sponsorships which help put on events such as the Dancing Man Festival, Concert on the Green, Home & Garden and so much more….

Having worked for this dynamic company for the past 10 years, we feel very fortunate to have met and had the opportunity to work with some amazingly talented people both in the office & the new neighbors who have allowed us the opportunity to help them relocate.