Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Specialties near by.

If you crave any of your favourite meals or snacks from abroad, you may want to make the trip to McLean's Specialty Foods on Fitzwilliam Street, downtown Nanaimo. They offer a mouth watering selection of fresh and imported delicacies as well as over 100 cheeses from all corners of the world. It's great to have a taste of your homeland for the holidays, or gather some items and make a basket for that special someone. If you go during the week, you should take the time and have your lunch there, their sandwiches are amazing and just melt in your mouth. The store is in Nanaimo's Old City Quarter and is just a short walk from the Gabriola-Nanaimo ferry terminal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies

Growing up on Gabriola, we always thought that my Mom was the best baker… Of course when you come home to the smell of fresh cookies just waiting to greet you, I think she had us won over. One of our all time favourite recipes, that’s a super easy Christmas recipe, is gingerbread. During this festive season, I wanted to share with you one of our all time favorites… and when they come out of the oven fresh give us a call – we’ll be right over!

Easy Gingerbread Recipe…

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Butterscotch Instant Pudding
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


BEAT butter, sugar, dry pudding mix and egg in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Mix remaining ingredients. Gradually add to pudding mixture, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

HEAT oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into gingerbread shapes with 4-inch cookie cutter. Place, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets. Use straw to make hole near top of each cutout.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand on baking sheets 3 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate as desired. Insert ribbon through holes to hang cookies on tree.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Teaching Kids the art of giving…

There are so many great life lessons that can be shared with kids over the holiday season, to help them understand the value of giving.

Kids of all ages can sort through their toys and select a few to donate – GIRO is a great place to bring items where they are quickly re-cycled into someone else’s treasure.

Volunteering is a great way for kids to see first-hand how their good deeds can affect others. On the island there are many amazing organizations that are always looking for a helpful hand, and then there is always those special random acts of kindness we can all bestow on our neighbors whether it be helping to stack firewood, running errands, or bringing a plate of freshly baked cookies over.

It’s a great time to clean out the pantry and have the kids help to box up those goods we’ve collected throughout the year and bring them to the Emergency Food Depot, who is very grateful for these donations.

There’s also an allowance, where kids can raise money to give, and it’s always a nice treat to have some extra hands to help with the day to day household chores. Letting them pick the organization they wish to donate makes them very proud of this special gift they choose to give…

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gabriola Elementary School Christmas Craft Fair

Tina & I will be heading to display our new creations, with our good friend Jane, at the Gabriola Christmas Craft Fair at the Elementary School this Saturday, December 4th from 10 am – 3 pm. We welcome you to come by for a little visit and see what we’ve been up to in the evenings.

There’s a little something for everyone, from glam jewellery, a flock of whimsical “party” birds, to the new series of paintings by Tina, auntie Jane's handsewn owls, and tutus for all of islands princesses– there are some great gift giving ideas, for you & yours.

In addition there are over 38 artists who will have a wide variety of offerings everything from honey, pottery, metal works, and so much more.

Also, please stop by the silent auction table in the front, when we’re not at our table we’ll be looking after the Silent Auction. To date we have nearly 100 treasures that will be on display, from gorgeous jewellery, to firewood, gift certificates, excavation services and so much more…

There’s also the cookie walk, which sells out quickly but has a wide array of baked goods to choose from.

It’s a great way to shop local while supporting our local Elementary School.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Ideas from the comforts of the Island…

Living on Gabriola, known as the Island of the Arts there is never any shortage of great local gift giving ideas... With the holiday season approaching so quickly, here are just a few of our favorites...

New Society Publishers, is now a 20 year old company who’s mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society. They employ approx. 12 island residents, including the two owners. They offer a wide variety of books & some fabulous green building books & cookbooks – that we have in our personal collection. This is an easy shop with their online catalog there is an extensive list of their offerings – making gift giving easy!


Is there anything better than waking up to a coffee on Christmas morning, well only if it’s Gabriola Island’s Red Rooster coffee. Their beans are organic, fairly traded and ethically sourced. The coffee is roasted here on Gabriola in small batches & delivered locally to your door. As a micro roaster they are able to custom craft blends for you!

Childrens Books Illustrated by Gabriola’s own Diana Bonder

Watch your childs face light up as they turn the pages and walk through the land of fairy tales & whimsy in one of the amazing books illustrated by Diana an award winning bestselling Children's Book – this gift is sure to give hours of enjoyment to both parents & children alike.

Pilot Bay Guest House B&B

How about putting a gift certificate for a nights accommodation for your favourite visitors in a stunning waterfront bed & breakfast? Pilot Bay B & B offers a new, luxury, first class accommodations in a informal seaside setting. Don’t be surprised if they choose to extend their stay…

Island of Peace Yoga

How about a gift that helps to reduce stress… At Island of Peace Yoga they cater their classes to all levels and offer workshops. They strive to bring the best that yoga has to offer from the east and the west. We have heard from many clients that a trip to Gabriola is not complete without a session from Island of Peace Yoga.

Feedlot Studios

For those with a creative flair. New to Gabriola, (and very fortunate that they landed on Gabriola), Mariko is an exceptionally talented ceramic artist along with a brilliant teacher. In her creative studio, she is offering a variety of workshops and courses for both adults and children. Having had the opportunity to take a course this fall – I can attest that anyone receiving a workshop this Christmas morning is in for an amazing treat!
For those who are creatively challenged, Mariko is brilliant at getting you past your own clay inhibitions, but the studio also features a wide array of her work available for sale… I have to put a plug in for her very unique & whimsical mugs.

Gabriola Elementary School Craft Fair December 4 @ Gabriola Elementary
This is an exciting opportunity featuring a variety of island artists so you can do your shopping all in one place! In addition to the craft fair the famous cookie walk is a great way to support school activities, while avoiding the Christmas baking – but be early the cookies disappear quickly & the doors open at 10:00 am. There is also the very popular silent auction table with all sorts of some of the best the island has to offer, and because the money is going to such a worthy cause, you can feel good about your Christmas shopping!

If you have a GREAT local shopping idea to share, please send us an email to: – we’d love to hear about it.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

School Closure for Gabriola Nov.25

Good Morning!
Just got up to see if we needed to start getting ready for school, as fore casted more snow has accumulated over night. I checked the Nanaimo School District 68 home page, and here's their message:
"Thursday, November 25, 2010 - Schools are CLOSED today due to snow and dangerous driving conditions in many parts of the district."
We're going to go and try out Tina's new ice rink, her husband flooded a tarp in their yard this week and it may just be ready for skating ! Enjoy your day and don't drive if you don't need to.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gabriola Roads in the Winter

Have you ever wondered what winter road conditions are like on Gabriola when it snows? Well, I'd have to say that I think we measure up pretty well. It seems as though anytime there is a forecast for snow, Emcon (the company that is responsible for maintaining our roads on Gabriola) recruit their drivers and take their machinery on the road. You'll see them set off to clear the main roads first and then they get busy with the smaller roads. Sometimes they work through the night to ensure that our roads are in as good of condition as possible, of course it's always best to stay home but if you have to venture out it is nice to do so on roads that have been cleared.
Wishing you a perfectly wonderful winter day! This is a picture of the snow falling at the Folklife village last night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jingle Bell Craft Fair - Beautiful Island Baskets

Elly Hallam, the new Welcome Wagon rep on Gabriola, is busy making baskets for the Jingle Bell Craft Fair at the Golf Course on Saturday from 10 – 3. She loves working with blackberry vine except for the occasional thorn that lingers and her newest passion is working with kelp. If you love handmade baskets, drop by and have a look. She’s also hoping to meet newcomers and moms with new babies who she can soon bring the Welcome Wagon basket to. If you are new to the island (have moved here within the past 6 months) or have a baby under 4 months, please call Elly at 250 247 8792 to find out more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gabriola residents learn how the brain works best!

If you're looking to find the way that the brain works best, you may want to attend the public presentation at the Gabriola Elementary School on Wed, Nov 17 from 6:30-8:00. The Gabriola PAC and the Gabriola Parent Participation Preschool are sponsoring Gary Anaka to come to the island to present his material on how the brain learns, what can be done to promote brain function and how to maintain a healthy brain into later years (sounds like something for everyone).

Admission is by donation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gabriola Island Ferry - Savings

There are a few ways that you can save money while riding the ferry between Gabriola Island and Nanaimo. Island residents will often purchase a BC Ferries Experience™ Card which is an electronic swipe card that can be loaded with money and used to pay for ferry travel on participating routes. On the Nanaimo-Gabriola route, you pay for a return fare before boarding at the Nanaimo ferry terminal. When you pay for a standard vehicle and driver on the route the fare today would be $30.10, however if you pay using the Experience Card the total fare would be $18.70- that's quite a savings!
Seniors receive free passenger fares Monday to Thursday excluding Statutory Holidays.
If you're traveling for medical appointments you may qualify for the Travel Assistance Program, eligible medical services are outlined on the Ministry of Health Services website.
Also, students travel free between their residence and school, and to attend or participate in school and junior association education and sporting events on the Gabriola -Nanaimo route. As a parent that has kids in weekly swimming lessons in Nanaimo, I find that it makes a difference at the end of the month.
Hope these Savings will help !

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gabriola Winter Art Affair (GWAA)

Mariko McCrae & Sylvie Milman have been working to gather a group of over 30 artists together to open their studios just before Christmas. It's a great opportunity to pick up any items left on your list and of course to buy a few items for yourself to tuck under the tree. This is bound to be a success and we invite you to come to the Island and visit as many of the studios as you can.

Here's a little more info from the event organizers:

2010 Gabriola Winter Art Affair (GWAA)
Saturday, December 18, 11- 5 p.m.

We are pleased to announce the inaugural launch of the 2010 Gabriola Winter Art Affair (GWAA). This year we will be hosting over 30 local artists working in a variety of mediums such as glass, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, painting, sculpture and textiles. In addition, some of our studios will be featuring accessories such as homemade soaps and apothecaries. Be it an item big or small we assure you that each is made with the utmost care and craftsmanship making each purchase the perfect gift for the ones you love the most.

Located just 20 minutes by ferry from Downtown Nanaimo, you can pick up a Gabriola Art Affair map at Artworks in the Folklife Village Slice of Life Gallery in the Madrona’s Shopping Centre or any participating artist’s studio. All of the artists’ studios are indicated by a an easy-to-spot Igloo poster!

For more information you may contact Sylvie Milman at or Mariko McCrae at

Enjoy a getaway to the “Isle of the Arts” this holiday season… we hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gabriola Women's Institute Christmas Bazzar & Tea

There are a few great venues for shopping locally for those that are on your Christmas List this year. The Gabriola Women's Institute has a Christmas Bazaar & Tea coming up on Saturday November 6th from 2-4pm, it will be at the Gabriola Community Hall. Stop by and have a cup of tea while you do your holiday shopping.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fireworks @ the Twin Beaches on Halloween

The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department organize a great fireworks display every year on Halloween. It's a great community event, to gather around a large bonfire and sip hot chocolate with lots of ghosts and goblins as you watch a fantastic display of fireworks.
Some good places to trick or treat on Gabriola are: the Strand, Malaspina Drive and on Islands View/Tyee drive.
Have a happy Halloween and hope to see you @ the fireworks!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gabriola Mushrooms in the Forest

To get the kids motivated to go for a walk in the Cooper Road/Rowan Way area on Gabriola, I promised them to do a bit of exploring and that we'd hit the forest and see what kinds of animals and bugs we could find.
On the walk we found a huge variety of mushrooms, it was amazing to see all the colors, shapes and sizes so we decided to collect a few to see if we could identify them at home (with the help of Google). On the way home, we bumped into some neighbours that suggested doing some spore prints. We cut the stems off the mushrooms, put them on a piece of paper with their gills down and put a glass over each mushroom.
The spore prints that they left were beautiful and apparently a good way to identify mushrooms. **just be careful picking mushrooms that you don't know- we don't want anyone getting sick.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Medical Mayhem: Dinner with a Difference

Wouldn’t you like to know what shenanigans are going on behind the scenes at a community event? You can find out who’s dishing the dirt at this fundraiser for the Gabriola Health Care Foundation. On Friday, October 15th at the Community Hall, you are invited to celebrate the contribution of our health care practitioners, professional and volunteer, at the Gabriola Medical Awards Night, with a special award for the Most Valuable Player in this Year of the Clinic. But hold it — just as the appies are being devoured, the Mounties arrive in the person of Corporal Trevor MacKay, with some terrible news: someone has been found dead in the parking lot. And it’s up to the dinner guests to figure out who did it, with help from a group of nefarious characters who drop hints, spread rumours, and uncover clues relating to the motivations for murder. Tickets at Artworks and the volunteer office of the Gabriola Health Care Foundation. Get your tickets by October 8, as the caterers need to know how many to feed. Black tie optional, Gabriola Gear welcome, for a dinner date you can’t afford to miss.

Please note: doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gabriola - Thanks for Giving!

Tina and I would like to welcome you to our stuido (#20) during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. We've got a fresh array of new works to share with you, something for your walls, your table, your mantle and you! The studio will be open from 10-4 (Oct 9-11).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Upcoming wellSMART workshop on Gabriola

Properties on Gabriola Island are serviced by private wells or cisterns and sometimes a combination of both. If you're interested in learning more, you may want to attend the wellSmart workshop that will be offered on Gabriola next week.
Here is the information from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has posted on their website:

"Learn how to keep your well in safe running order! wellSMART workshops will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions of local well drillers and pump installers, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the BC Ministry of Environment, and North Island Labs. North Island labs will be present with sample bottles for residents to take home for testing, and will provide residents with a 10% discount for well water testing.

wellSMART will teach you basics on:
Well protection, maintenance and operation
Your well and your water source
How to get your water tested and interpret results
Water treatment options

Gabriola Island Agricultural Hall6:30pm, Monday, October 4, 2010

265 South Road, Gabriola

Please pre-register through RDN Parks & Recreation REGISTER NOW! or by phone: 250-248-3252 or 1-888-828-2069 "

Monday, September 27, 2010

Make a stop on the tour and visit the studio of Alice Rich

Alice Rich welcomes you to her studio & gallery to view her original paintings and prints with Contemporary and West Coast themes. Alice paints semi-abstract with impressionistic layers of colour. At the October Thanksgiving Tour it is fun to enjoy a visual conversation and experience.
You'll find her at studio #17, her work is very vibrant and definitely worth making a stop for.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Art Tour: Introducing the work of Simone Bell

As we get ready for the Studio Tour, we will begin to introduce you to the works of some of the artists opening their studios on Thanksgiving weekend. Today's artist is Simone Bell, I have a few pieces made from her and love them, they range from decorative to functional, and lots of times a mix of both.


Simone Bell
As a Ceramic Artist I first create my canvass which is either two or three dimensional. I work with 5 types of clay creating porcelain jewelry, raku wall art and high fire functional pieces. Some of the many themes that inspire me are the stunning natural beauty of the West Coast, whimsical creatures (such as mermaids), spirituality and our human emotions. My functional pieces are art you can use and I hope the decorative ones are a unique way to add beauty to your home. Come see for yourself at the Island of Peace Yoga Centre beside the Co-op.

The Artists of Gabriola & the upcoming STUDIO TOUR!

The 14th annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour is just around the corner and the artists on Gabriola are working away getting their art and studios ready for you. The Gabriola Arts Council helps to facilitate this successful event which will feature the work of at least 39 Island Artists. The Tour is held on October 9-11th 2010 from 10am -4pm, pick up a map/guide at Artworks (in the Village) and see some of the artists work on display.
To kick off this event, we will be featuring a few artists from the tour on our blog during the next two and a half weeks, hope you are tempted !

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Can you keep active on Gabriola? I think so.

If you are considering moving to Gabriola, but you aren't sure if there is enough to do here to keep busy then you might want to take a look at the Fall Programs put out by the Gabriola Recreation office. There are also classes and groups that you can join that aren't on the list, reading groups, choirs, art groups and so much more. I think that you'd find there is more than enough here to keep you active while you enjoy the island lifestyle.


Registration/Info. at Rec. Office, Rollo McClay Park, 1100 McClay Way

250-247-2014; Please pre-register to ensure classes “go”.

Info. subject to change. Check our website at:


KARATE (Ages 8+) Mondays: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.; GES Gym; $30/month; $7 drop-in. Learn from certified instructors; gain strength, balance, flexibility, endurance. Progress at your own pace through belt levels.

FENCING (Ages 12+): Mondays, Sept. 13 – Dec. 6 (cancel Oct. 11/Nov. 22, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m; Community Hall; with Spade de Gabriola club, led by instructors Alex McConnell & Imelda Cuthbertson.

Adults: $45; Youth: $25; equipment available. Please wear non-marking runners, long sleeves & pants. Drop-ins: $4 with own equipment; $6 if using club equipment. Beginners welcome.

POWER HOUR: Mon. & Wed., 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Community Hall. Sept. 20 – Oct. 27 (cancel Oct. 11);

Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 (cancel Nov. 22/24). Up tempo fitness class with instructor Kathryn Sobko aimed at improving cardio, strength and flexibility. $54/session; $50 fitpass; $6 drop-in

BADMINTON (Ages 14+): Tues. Sept. 21 – Dec. 7 (cancel Nov. 23), 7 – 8:30 p.m., Community Hall

For beginners/intermediate with instructor Dave Wong. $48/session; $5 drop-in.

WALK FIT – Jumpstart! Sept. 21 – Oct. 28; Tues. 10 a.m, or Thurs. 5:30 p.m; $25. Meet at Rollo McClay Park GRS office in the portable building. This gentle program with Susan Brooks is for those not currently walking regularly & aimed at getting you started on a routine. Includes warm up/cool down stretches, tips on nutrition, preventing injury & more.

PILATES: Thurs. Sept. 23 – Dec. 9, 3 – 4 p.m; GES; $120/session; $12 drop-in. Learn the basics of mat pilates with instructor Mara Brenner: breathing, joint stabilization, strengthening core & back muscles. Adaptable to all ages, fitness levels

GENEALOGY: Sept. 28 & 30, 10 a.m. – 12; Commons; $50. Everyone has ancestors. Learn how to find yours - where the information is & how to access it. Fill in your own family tree & discover your heritage! Instructors Margaret Mann & Jacquie Jessup are certified by the Nat. Institute for Genealogical Studies.

LEARN TO KNIT: Mon. Oct. 4 – Nov. 8, 1:30 – 3 p.m; W.I.Hall; $54, plus $5 knitting kit. Longtime teacher & artist Leni Balaban will show you how to master the basic skills – knit, purl, cast on & off, do ribbing, joining yarns, & finishing. Participants will complete a stitch sampler & simple project.

Interest Lists (contact GRS office): Emergency First Aid workshop, incl. CPR-C; Introduction to Reiki


BALLET with Miss Mara. Fall session: Sept. 21 – Dec. 8; GES Gym.

Mara Brenner is a longtime teacher, trained in Danish Ballet technique and pilates, with considerable experiencein performance, choreography, and theatre. Since moving to Gabriola, her students have performed at numerous special events around the Island. Costume fees extra.

GRADES 1 – 3: Tuesdays, 3 – 4. Barre/centre work; lots of dance exploration with emphasis on fun! $105

GRADES 5 – 7: Tuesdays, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Focus on strong technique, artistry & choreography. $150

GRADES 3 – 5: Wednesdays, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Time at barre & centre with focus on alignment, body awareness; explore lyrical dance, creative choreography, journaling and performance. $150


TENNIS: Thurs. Sept. 16 – Oct. 14, Huxley Park (weather permitting); volunteer run; $2 drop-in

(Ages 8 – 12): 3:15 – 4:15 p.m; (Ages 13 – 16): 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Let us know if you need a racquet.

BADMINTON: Fridays, Sept. 17 – Oct. 29; with instructor Dave Wong. Learn basic strokes, rules of the game, strategy. (Ages 6 – 9): 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.; (Ages 10 – 13): 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.; $25; $4 drop-in. Parent participation with younger kids encouraged.

GYMNASTICS with NCCP level 2 instructor Mia Goodall; Sun. Sept. 19 – Nov. 14; Comm. Hall

Gymnastics improves strength, flexibility & co-ordination while building confidence & self esteem.

Mia incorporates fun, fitness & the fundamentals of the Cangym program into every lesson.

Parent/Tot: 10 – 10:45 ; $56; Ages 5 - 7: 11 – 12; $72; Ages 3 – 4:12 – 1 pm; $72

MELODYMAKERS (Ages 2 – 5): Wed. Oct. 6 – Nov. 10, 1 – 2 p.m; Community Hall; $48

Musical merriment with Tina Jones and Dinah D. from the Kerplunks. Join this entertaining duo with their multi- instruments, songs, stories & musical crafts for some great fun. Parents welcome! * Please pre-reg.*

BABYSITTER TRAINING (Ages 11+): Sun. Nov. 7; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m; $50. Learn child care skills,

1st aid, injury prevention, games & crafts, your rights & responsibilities; with instructor Cindy Cormons.


At the School: (Ages 14+) GES Gym; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m; Sept. 13 – Apr. 29 (cancelled during school closures)

Monday: Volleyball; Thursday: Badminton; drop-ins: $2 - $5 depending on turnout

At the Community Hall: TAI CHI: Mon. 9:45 am; WOMEN’S BADMINTON: Mon. 2 – 4/Thurs. 7 – 9 pm.

SPINNERS & WEAVERS: meet 1st Mon. of month, downstairs

At the Agi. Hall: TAI CHI: Mon. & Wed.; ph: 247-9901 for current schedule; GARDEN CLUB: 1st Thurs. of mo. 7 pm; $10/yr.; $2 drop-in; COFFEEHOUSE: last Fri. of month, 7 pm;

BALL HOCKEY: Sun. 2 p.m; Huxley Park, lacrosse box (behind tennis courts); bring your own gear!

PICKLEBALL: Huxley Park, lacrosse box, weather permitting; Tues./Fri./Sun. 9 – 11 a.m.

SOCCER: Sun. 2 p.m.; School Field, weather permitting; drop-in $2

TENNIS: Huxley Pk; in season; see sign on fence for mens/womens/mxd. doubles times; $20 yr.

WALKING GROUP: Wed. 10 a.m; meets at a different location each week; 247-9774

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's starting to feel like fall on Gabriola

Well the weather has definitely become a bit cooler in the last week and the kids are back in school, so it's beginning to feel like fall. Yesterday, we went to the Fall Fair which was held at the Commons. Despite the weather it was a very well attended event, with lots of local vegetables, music and good food. My daughter is in Miss Mara's dance class, so we went and watched them perform in the rain. Janet from Three Gate Farms had some fleece and was set up so that you could do some felting at her booth, she sells beautiful fleece and may even have a felting course coming up.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gabriola Arts Council is looking for the kids to help create MAGIC

The Gabriola Arts Council is looking for students from grades 1 to 6 attending Gabriola Elementary School or Home Schooled on Gabriola to create an image for the“Do you believe in Magic?” contest. They can’t wait to see the submissions dropped off at Coast Realty (Folklife Village) by the upcoming deadline on Wed SEPT 8 at 4pm. Here are a few rules, then it’s up to you to create the magic:

1) 8.5 X 11 inch piece of paper
2) Crayon or paint accepted
3) May incorporate words
4) The theme is “Do you believe in magic?”
4) Must have name, age, grade & phone number on BACK of artwork (**not on front)
5) Drop it off by the deadline

The Gabriola Arts Council is looking forward to seeing white paper magically transformed into works of arts that they can use to design a poster for an upcoming event, and the GRAND PRIZE will be an Ice Cream Party for five friends (and the young artist) at Mad Rona’s. For full information on the contest please see the Sounder.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday…

Yesterday the family along with many friends took an adventure to Wonderland as we celebrated my neice & nephews birthday… Alice (Bianca) & the White Rabbit (MicGill) had a great time with their friends going down the “rabbit hole” to play royal croquet, search for the gold key, a tea cup race & a mad hatters tea party. The Queen of Hearts (also known as my sister) played her part perfectly walking around yelling off with your head, to both kids and adults. The Mad Hatter (Guy) was busy running around keeping the kids entertained, and the adults as well - refreshing his lipstick! The kids had so many great ideas, and their birthday party ended up as magical. Happy Birthday Bianca & MicGill – Love Auntie Jennifer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


On August 20,21,22 the Gabriola Theatre Festival will be in full swing on Gabriola and there is a lot to offer everyone from chuckles to tears. Street Art takes place this weekend- so you can pick up some local art between performances, Lochnivar lane will be closed to vehicle traffic as 50 artists set up there booths and display there stunning works of art. I just bought tickets for two of the plays from the kiosk located right in front of Artworks (which will be open everyday until the festival), and saw that a few of the plays have already sold out. Mara Brenner is busy training up some of Gabriola's youth to do a dance performance on stage during the festival, they will be dancing to the beat of "Broadway Baby" on Saturday at 11:30 and Sunday at 4:15. It'll be a great weekend to celebrate the"drama" of this creative island!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ice Cream Cones with a cause.

I saw the following ad and I just love it, it sums up island living perfectly.

“Who is that walking through the Village? Does

she live on the Island

now – or just visiting?” asked a long-time resident of Gabriola.

“Who cares” I replied,

“Where’d she get that

Ice Cream Cone?”

Ice Cream Cones now available at the GHCF Volunteers’ office. Monday to Saturday – 10am to 4pm. (formerly - the Hardware Store) in Folklife Village – run by and to benefit the Gabriola Health Care Auxiliary/Foundation.

Reading Rocks on this Rock.

If you want to encourage your kids to read this summer, stop by the Gabriola Branch of the Vancouver Island Library in the Folklife Village and sign them up for the Summer reading Club. This year’s theme is “reading rocks”, and they are making it fun for kids to explore and get familiar with the library. My kids went a few weeks ago with a friend and did the “scavenger hunt”, a great way to get them familiar with the library. We're filling up our reading lists and having fun, reading time at the Gabriola branch of the library this summer is on Tuesdays from 3-4pm. The Island Book shoppe is located next door to the library and offers a great variety of new and used books, and a nice selection from local authors & illustrators.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Working Silver

I love jewellery and I love to make things, so I was thrilled to get the newsletter from letting me know of some irresistible upcoming classes being offered in Gallery 223 (downtown Nanaimo). I'm definitely a beginner and a little shy of power tools and things that I could possibly get to explode (propane makes me nervous at times), but this is fantastic. There is something for everyone, whether you want to learn how to enamel, make some Christmas presents (in which case, I'd love to be on your list) or learn how to texture metal. You can arrange to have your own private class, which you can even do as a fundraiser, or go to the drop in studio once you have some basics down. Kathy Brandon from Gabriola Island is offering many of the courses and currenlty has pieces on display at Artworks.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Perched above Gabriola Island

If you drive around Gabriola, it's quite likely that you will spot some of the wildlife here without even leaving the car. Gabriola has a large population of deer, something to watch out for when you're driving and it's common to spot an Eagle or two around as well. If you go down South Road towards Silva Bay from the Village, you will see a large white sign with "Eagle Nest" in red writing just before Shaw Road. Across the road you will see a large tree and near the top is an Eagle Nest. It's amazing to look at the nest and see the large branches. Hornby Island has a web cam in one of the eagle nests, it's worth checking out anytime but especially during nesting season (January - August). Eagle Nests and Perch trees are usually found within 1km of the shoreline, if you see one contact the Ministry of Environment and have it designated as a "Wildlife Tree". If you'd like to learn more about Eagles you might like the information on the GROWLS website and you may also want to take a look at the Wild life tree atlas.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gulf Island Adventures

Yesterday we celebrated out mom's birthday on Saltspring Island. We wanted to create a memorable day. We like to celebrate birthdays with experiences, so we thought this year we would let her join the circus.

Our adventure took us from Gabriola over to Saltspring Island, a southern gulf island that has a ferry leaving from Crofton. We went for a beautiful drive to the amazing Flying Dreams Aerial Studio. Greeted by Victoria the owner and extraordinary teacher, we went into to the beautiful studio called the "Temple", it has 40 foot ceilings, an amazing view and is breathtaking in itself. Victoria gave us enough courage to try some of the basic skills on both the aerial silks and the trapeze. We’re not sure if we did more climbing, upside down manoeuvres or laughing & not sure which caused the soar rib cages today! It was an amazing experience and a “must do” if visiting Saltspring. It's part of the beauty of exploring the islands, there are plenty of unique experiences and adventures to partake in.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Launching into fun from Gabriola

If you live on an Island, you likely have some love/appreciation/longing of the beautiful waters that surround you. We recently put our dad's boat in the water, and found it easy to launch from the end of Gray Road (Degnen Bay, Gabriola). There is also a place to launch your boat from Narrow’s Road just off of Elverano. The best time to launch is definitely high tide, and there are many places to explore around Gabriola, including Valdez, Ruxton, Mudge and Decourcy. With sun in the forecast everyday during the next 14 day period, you definitely want to consider being close to the beach. I've created a google map to show places on Gabriola to set your boat or kayak, if there are any others that you know of please let me know and I'll add them too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

No FIRES on Gabriola

The "no fire" signs went up around Gabriola Island Last night (July 9th), I'm not surprised with the hot weather we've been having the past week. I just checked and the current temperature is at 31'c.
A reminder that Gabriola is now in 'Early shift', no fires and a shut down of powered equipment at 1:00 (yes, a good time to hit the beach and a good excuse if you didn't get your lawn mowed).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boating adventure from Gabriola Island

We were lucky to have our friends lend us their Zodiac this summer. On Sunday night, we decided to cook dinner over a campfire. My husband, kids and myself loaded up the small Zodiac and headed to Black Berry Point on Valdez Island, it was about a 15 minute boat trip from Degnen Bay on Gabriola. Surrounded by clouds, the shells on this beach glistened in the sun. There was a beautiful fire pit already made, so we brought out the European Hot Dogs and Bannock Batter and had our best summer night yet. Inspired, we've decided to head there again tonight with some new Islanders - hope they like small boats and outdoor cooking.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gabriola - Island of the Arts

Gabriola is well known to many as “Isle of the Arts,” with a great Arts Council which supports many artistic adventures. In addition Artworks is a hub for the many artists on Gabriola to exhibit their work, and for tourists and islanders alike to come and gather in this energetic gallery.

Thursday night, Canada Day, from 7 – 9 pm marks the beginning of the summer shows, one that the Lynch’s are very excited to be a part of. “Measure Up” will run from July 1st – 14 featuring mixed media works of 30 artists each given a ruler to transform into a masterpiece. Randi, Jennifer & Tina were thrilled to each be able to contribute a piece to the show and invite you to come check it out!

Thanks again to Kathy R. and her amazing staff at Artworks for all the work they do in making Gabriola such a vibrant community!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Open House | 155 McConvey

155 McConvey - Open House
Sunday, June 27th

12:00 - 3:00 pm

Come join us this weekend for your opportunity to see this beautiful home situated on south facing waterfront lot overlooking a reef in one of the prime locations on Gabriola. The home is a fabulous master piece built by Chelsom Construction, a well known Gabriola builder. Located on a no thru road it is close to all amenities such as the village shopping, ferry and some of Gabriola's most fantastic beaches, including its own shoreline from where fishing, kayaking or scuba diving can be a daily treat. A long covered sundeck spans the entire length with double doors from the bright and open concept new kitchen, living and dining room. With granite counter tops and wood flooring, the home has an elegant, yet cozy and comfortable feel to it. The great room has a propane fireplace for cozy evenings and the additional room with ensuite could be an ideal bedroom or perhaps a games room. Hot tub on deck & 3 additional bedrooms up (+bonus room), all with ocean views. Double car garage, fenced & landscaped.

If you're unable to make the open house but would like a private viewing appointment, call Randi, Jennifer or Tina LYNCH, Coast Realty Group (Gabriola Village) Ltd. toll free at #1.877.422.8455 250.247.2088 by email at: or visit us online at:

Gabriola Home and Garden Tour

On Sunday June 27th People for a Healthy Community are hosting the 12th Annual Gabriola Home and Garden Tour. This self guided tour of island homes and gardens has been a great success in the past and this year looks to be even better. Ten outstanding homes and gardens are being opened to the public for viewing. The weather has been excellent for gardens and everything is in full bloom. See ideas for decorating, green building and spectacular coastal living.

The tour starts at 10:00 am and goes until 5:00pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on Gabriola at Artworks, Lockwood Garden, Wheelbarrel Nursery and the Wild Rose Garden Centre. Tickets are also available in Nanaimo at Buckerfields at Southgate and Dig This on Metral Drive. Gabriola is one of the Gulf Islands that boasts scenery, views and wildlife. Check ferry schedules at and make a day of it.

Tickets are also available on June 27th at PHC locate on the lower level of the Commons, 675 North Road on Gabriola. Drop by and see our community gardens, displays and information about People for a Healthy Community along with sales of art cards and light snacks.

A blind auction for a beautiful giclee print of “His Garden” by artist Sylvie Milman as well as framed photo by Liz McKnight and a painting by award winning artist Jeff Molloy will be available for viewing at various sights on the tour.

This is a fund raising event to benefit the programs and services offered on Gabriola Island by People for a Healthy Community (PHC). PHC is a non profit organization that provides social services to Gabriolans in need. PHC operates the food bank, soup socials, community gardens, children’s grief programs, housing advocacy, a Christmas bureau, emergency funding and a holiday Spirit Feast.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Daytrip to Newcastle Island

The Gabriola Elementary School Kindergarten and Grade 1 students headed over to Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park for one of their year end events. The ferry to Newcastle Island leaves from Maffeo Sutton Park, near the sea wall in Downtown Nanaimo. During the summer the ferry leaves regularly between 9am and 9pm. Newcastle Island is a 10 minute ferry ride from Nanaimo, and is a beautiful park with great walking trails, camp sites, a dance hall, camp store, concession, biking and no cars.
The students went to Brownie Bay where a marine biologist met with them, had them set up a net in the eel grass and discussed the marine life they found in the net. It was a great day trip from Gabriola and all within walking distance to the Gabriola Ferry, a memorable event for the kids and a great day for the parents that were able to attend.