Friday, December 30, 2011

The Ride to Conquer Cancer: 6 Gabriola Islanders in training!

There are 6 Gabriola residents that are taking an amazing journey. We'll be participating in a two-day major cycling (over 200km) event called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting BC Cancer Foundation. We've joined up with a team from Nanaimo called "Nanaimo Rides Again" and are aiming to raise over $100,000 between now and June 16 2012.
Already the experience has been amazing for me, I'm using this to experience to show my kids that you can make a difference and you can be the change. Many of you may know that my dad is battling terminal cancer, so this will be a very emotional journey, but I feel so supported by my family, friends and the community of Gabriola.

We have people joining us on training rides to keep our motivation up, Lesley Standerwick is helping us train, local businesses are supporting us and people chipping in any way they can.

We are planning a Beer & Burger night for the end of Feb, we're doing a bottle drive on Jan 6 (please let us know if you have any bottles to donate), and we'll be spinning in Nanaimo at Walmart on Jan 29 and at the Maple Sugar Festival on Feb 12. This is just the start of our fundraising activities, the more we raise the more we have to find the cure. Right now 2 out of 5 people will hear the words "you have cancer" in their lifetime, we need to change this for my family and for yours.

Please take a minute and visit our personal pages and if you'd like to donate online to either Tina or her husband Guy Parcher or one of the other riders, please do it today so that you can take advantage of the 100% tax deduction for your 2011 taxes, what a way to finish of the year!

submitted by: Tina Lynch

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ladysmith Christmas Lights Tour

Here's an opportunity to get in the Festive spirit and a day out with Elly Hallam and Jim Bangle of Chemainus Tours
Tuesday, December 20/2011 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Jim will bring the bus over and pick us up at 1:00 PM. We’ll take the 1:50 ferry and drive to Yellow Point where we’ll visit Yellow Point Cranberries Farm & Gift Store. This farm grows cranberries and sells them fresh as well as a variety of preserves.

Next we’ll proceed to Hazelwood Herb Farm for a cup of tea and a scone with samples of their yummy jams and jellies and a chance to see their array of herbal products from culinary to bath, skin, and hair care products, to an arthritis preparation, to pet care.

Next we’re off to Ladysmith to see their over 200,000 Christmas lights and hopefully we’ll have time to wander along Main Street poking into shops.
Now it’s time for dinner at the well-loved Crow & Gate Pub in Yellow Point before we catch the 7:20 ferry home.

Cost for the trip is $67; dinner extra; under 65’s pay passenger ticket on ferry. The coach can hold 24 passengers.


Monday, November 28, 2011

"Shop Local" 2011 Great Gabriola Gift Ideas

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 favorite picks for 2011...

New Society Publishing.
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. 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 Roaster 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, or pick up your pre-order here at Coast Realty in the village. As a micro roaster they are able to custom craft blends for you!

North Road Sports
A hit for everyone in the family! Great outdoor clothing, shoes and gear, with exceptional quality.

Personal Training
Gabriola has a variety of fitness classes and personal training. Lesley Standerwick is one of the exceptional trainers we have on the island, consider giving the gift of health this holiday season with a gift certificate & help that someone special start out the New Year right!

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. Diana also does commissions, imagine a painting of your kids in a fairytale - it's a gift that will last a lifetime.

Feedlot Studios
For those with a creative flair. Mariko is an exceptionally talented ceramic artist along with a brilliant teacher. In her creative studio, she is offering a variety of workshops and open studio. Having had the opportunity to spend time in this amazing sutdio – 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.

Pages Resort & Marina
With over two hundred titles, our unique book and marine charts store specializes in local Gabriolian writers and illustrators, Gulf Island publications and a wide selection of cruising guides.

Gabriola Elementary School Craft Fair December 3 @ 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're there please stop by my Knotty by Nature table to see some of the creations that I've been putting together for the Christmas season.

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 24, 2011


Ok, another bragging & proud daughter moment...

I was at the newstand yesterday, when I remember that the newest issue of Cloth * Paper * Scissors was out, I was curious as a year ago they had a contest for designing minature mixed media homes which Randi had entered. I immediately opened up the magazine to find the home sweet home feature section, and noticed that after hundreds of entries they narrowed it down to 95 homes that they featured in a 7 page spread - and sure enough mom's house made the cut (page 79 bottom row 2nd one in).
(No surprise to anyone who knows mom, that even in her crafts her love of real estate is evident - as per the home sweet home.)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

A collective of 12 artists got together this year to do a Christmas exchange, as a result they have created a very special 12 days of Christmas Package that will be up for Silent Auction at the Craft Fair at the Commons, December 3. The surprise - the 12 gifts are wrapped, they range in items from ornaments, card collections – but that’s all I’m giving up!

This silent auction item will have 12 gifts for you to open, each made by a local artisan. What a great way to lead up to Christmas, as a Christmas gift, or maybe it will complete all the shopping you had to do – all while raising money for PHC. Artists who have contributed to this Christmas Package include; Karen Aaker, Tina Lynch, Julie Sperber, Diana Bonder, Randi Lynch, Brenda Reid, Mariko McCrae, Christy Wilson, Lindsay Godfrey-Stocking, Jane Reddington, Jennifer Lynch, Tammy Hudgeon.
Hope you have as much fun bidding as we all have in creating & sharing!


I’m often asked why I think Gabriola is such a special place and I can truly sum it up in one word – community. It’s amazing how strong the sense of community is, and it’s a little bit almost overwhelming the generosity of this special place we call home.

My Dad (aka my hero and best friend) was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer this year, it was a complete shock to the family and to my Dad. We have been overwhelmed by the support for the family in this difficult time, and feel fortunate that we do have the opportunity of time.

My sister wanted to have something positive to focus on during this time, and I’m very proud of her, last week she signed up for the ride to conquer cancer, a 2 day 200km cycling event from Vancouver to Enbridge. Within a couple of days signing up, she was inundated with friends, family & community that wanted to take the ride with her. There are many others that offered their support to help make this long ride a little easier by; running a training program, graphic support, artwork donations, financial donations in benefit of cancer research, and the list goes on…

I’m truly amazed and humbled by all the people of Gabriola and their amazing generosity, we are so grateful for being part of this community.

Please take the time to check out her personal page for the ride, Team Papa.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creating your landscape with Topographics

In 2001 we purchased our "older" home on Gabriola, with the awareness that it was going to be a home that would require an addition and substantial upgrades. We've really enjoyed the process of transforming our house, for us it was worth doing the renovations because we could do most of the work ourselves and we loved the neighborhood. For the last 10 years we've spent most of our time, effort and money into creating a suitable living space for a family of four, but we've spent a limited amount of time creating the "landscape". We took down some trees, leveled some areas and did some rock work, but it was a haphazard approach to say the least.
That all changed when we met Cameron and Laura-Jean Kelly a few years ago, and learned that they were landscape architects. After talking with them, my husband I decided that it would be great to have them help us create a plan for how we could develop our property. It seemed to us that it was easier to change a rock wall on a drawing then to move it in reality. Cameron and Laura-Jean worked on drawings, first they marked it out in its current state, then they gave us the drawings to show us how to develop it in stages. The end result will be a property where the outdoor "rooms" flow together. It will likely take us years to create this, but it will help to have a vision and we're looking forward to the process.
The kids were also invited to contribute their ideas to the design, so we're still working in the "deer tea party" section.
If you're looking to develop your property, I would recommend contacting Cameron & Laura-Jean.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Islands Trust | Zoning Bylaws…

Gabriola land use & official community plan is done through the Islands Trust, a unique form of government, created by the province in 1974 to control unbridled development and “preserve and protect” the islands.

The object of the Trust is to preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area and of British Columbia generally, in cooperation with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia.

Land Use planning involves using many different tools to achieve long term stability in the development of the island land base. In the Islands Trust Area, the focus of all long-range planning is the preservation of the environment and community sustainability. The Zoning Bylaw for Gabriola can be located on the Islands Trust website at:

Also of interest, in 2008 there was a profile done on the community which can be viewed online at:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Open Studio @ Feedlot- get ready for Christmas

Open Studios! Now Mondays & Wednesday Evenings at Feedlot Studios

Go and enjoy the warmth of Feedlot Studios (Gabriola) on Monday and Wednesday evenings this fall and winter from 6-9 pm for some good, semi-clean ceramic fun.
They'll get you going on some holiday gift making ideas and lure that Art Star out of you that you always knew you had in you! So start making a list and checking it twice... they can even show you how to make lumps of coal for the not so deserving recipient on your Secret Santa List.
The Fee for Open Studio is still only $10/hour and that includes your materials and firings.
Holy Yuletide! That's a steal of a deal!
We love to go to Feedlot, Mariko finds a way to make it a great experience for everyone (even if your intimidated to try something "artsy"), here's a ceramic pendant that I made in class.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Harvest...

This year was the perfect gardening season on Gabriola, and the harvest has been impressive... The fruit trees were no exception, and the apples were the best crop I've had yet.

After eating all the apples we could over the past month, it was time to make Apple Sauce to preserve the harvest for the winter season.

With the abundance of apples on the island right now, here's my apple sauce recipe;


18 peeled, cored, and quartered apples, fresh from the tree is best
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar (or more to sweeten)
3 cup of water

1 Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

2 Remove from heat. Mash with potato masher. Add additional sugar or cinnamon to taste.

Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated, or a good time to process it to preserve it. It also freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween is in the air!

Everybody enjoys the Halloween holiday whether they are young children looking forward to dressing up as their favourite characters and heading out trick or treating, or as adults getting ready for the big night of festivities. On Gabriola being a smaller community have an amazing Halloween line up for kids of all ages…

You may have seen the Gabriola Fire Departments rubber boots on display at various businesses as they collect monies to put on the fireworks display on October 31st 7:30 pm at Twin Beaches. Reminiscing on some of my favourite childhood memories on the island this has to be one of the most spectacular evenings, who can resist – goodies, hot chocolate, fireworks & hot dogs…

Halloween night could not be complete without a slow drive down the North Road area referred to islanders as the “tunnel” that comes lit up by the amazing display of carved pumpkins. With the homes on Gabriola being further apart, it’s a great way to display your pumpkin by dropping it off in the tunnel – the spectacular display usually is lit up for a couple of evenings post Halloween.

Trick or Treating
Well, the kids tend to have to put in a little extra effort in trick or treating on the island, with the long driveways and the homes having some distance between them, that said there are some popular areas of the island that kids & parents tend to find a little easier; the Strand, Malaspina Galleries, the Village core, are among some of the popular ghouling areas.

For the ADULTS
The Skol & Silva Bay both have events planned for the Halloween weekend. In addition if you haven’t taken in one of the radio after dark Halloween shows, they are not to be missed and usually tend to sell out quickly!

The Radio After Dark Troupe recreate the classic radio shows of the 1930s and 1940s, capturing the essence of those timeless gems with live sound effects, period costumes, passionate performances and the occasional hilarious blooper

Wednesday & Thursday, October 26 & 27 – Silva Bay Restaurant & Pub, Gabriola 7:30pm
Tix $15- , Gabriola tix available at Artworks,

Radio after Dark's Halloween Show catapults the audience back in time to the golden age of radio, bringing those gripping tales of suspense to bone chilling life. Don't miss this amazing experience!

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Flocking to the Gabriola Studio Tour

Ok, here we go. A new flock of 20 Junk BIrds just flew into the studio in time for the Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour. Come visit studio #22, 2635 Islands View Drive to find the perfect bird for you. Randi has been busy making encaustic cards, Jennifer has been creating jewellery, funky sculptures and hand sewn gifts, and I've got lots of original paintings on display. Submitted by : Tina Lynch

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gabriola STUDIO TOUR . OCT 8-10

The Gabriola Studio Tour is quickly approaching and will be held over the Thanksgiving weekend, Oct 8, 9, & 10. I love the tour, it's a great time to meet people, check out studios, talk with other artists and there is a great vibe on the Island during the weekend. We've been busy creating pieces all year long and hope that you find the time to pop on by. If you fall in love with the Island while your here, we'd be more than pleased to find you a place to live! Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's picking time on the Island.

I was down to take a listing of a beautiful acreage on the weekend and while I was there I couldn't help but notice all the blackberries. The owner said I could come and pick blackberries, so I took my son,my dad and a few empty containers and headed over. The picking was great, there was lots of large berries, it was overcast and there weren't any wasps to speak of. We may have ended up with a few scratches, but nothing compared to the taste of our fresh sweet handpicked berries. I've frozen a few so that we can be reminded of the local summer harvests all year long. You'll find lots of blackberry bushes on the sides of the roads on Gabriola, or if you want your own patch you may just want to take a look at the acreage we just listed. Submitted by: Tina Lynch,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gabriola Portrait Day!

Yeosmith Studios is coming to Gabriola this Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011!
Cassandra Yeomans-Smith is a great friend of mine and a truly amazing professional photographer. Recently she came to the Island to do a special photo shoot so that we could have some family shots with my dad and I know these will be family treasures for years to come. She'll be back to the Island this weekend, so you have a chance to have a photo session with her.
At this time there are a few sessions open on Sunday, Session Fee for each session is $49 or you can choose a session package.
If you are interested in a session, it is important to have a consultation either in studio or on the phone. This way Cassandra can get to know you and what you are looking for in your portraits. For all Yeosmith Website, go to
Please call 250 739 0340 to book a consultation or email Cassandra at .
Submitted by : Tina Lynch

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fishing Thrasher Rock

We had a few hours yesterday afternoon that we could spend on the boat, so we loaded up the kids and took my dad out to Thrasher Rock, near Silva Bay on Gabriola Island. The water was calm, it was hot and sunny and there were lots of boats of all sizes out on the water. We did some jigging at about 50-60 ft, and landed 3 nice size Ling Cods on the boat. I recently found this website that shows the bites and tides in a visual format, which I think makes it pretty easy for anyone to follow : tides4fishing Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A view of the Island.

If you'd like to keep an eye on Gabriola, the Island has a few web cams that you may want to check out. One of the web cams has views of the Straight of Georgia, with Entrance Island as the focal point, it gives you a good indication of the current weather, on the website you'll also find videos of community events, Gabriola Georgia Strait Cam. The other website that is very useful when you are trying to determine what the ferry traffic conditions leaving the Island are like is the ferry cam website which has three different vantage points of the line up. Take a minute and enjoy the view from here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gabriola Campground- Descanso Bay

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cistern rebate on Gabriola Island.

The Regional District of Nanaimo is currently offering a rebate of $500 for those that install a cistern (minimum of 1,000 gallons) on Gabriola if you meet the criteria. The "Rainwater Harvesting Incentive Program" is in response to the growing population in the area and the increasing demand on water resources. As the population of the Regional District of Nanaimo continues to grow, reducing demand on water resources and water systems will become increasingly important. I think this is a great initiative and one worth looking into quickly as they have a limited number of rebates available, if you go to the RDN website you can get the application form, details and a list of suppliers.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gabriola - exploring the waters.

It was a bit windy on the Island on Saturday, so we decided to take the opportunity and go for our first sail aboard our 16 footer. We loaded up the cooler, tent, propane stove and kids and left Degnen Bay and headed towards Blackberry Pt on Valdez. It was a great late afternoon sail, we found a compromise that worked for our family, my husband fished, I sailed and the kids tattooed each other with their special markers. We set up our tent about 15 feet from the sandy beach, started a small camp fire and watched this amazing sunset. It did rain during the night, but our tent didn't let in a drop of rain, and we woke up to another sunny day. Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Launching a sailboat on Gabriola

It took us almost a month for my husband and I find a few hours together during the day to launch our little sailboat. On Friday that timed up perfectly with slack tide. We had heard that False Narrows would be the right place to launch our Nordica sail boat, so we thought we'd give it a try. The boat launch for False Narrows is located just off of El Verano on Gabriola. The launch couldn't have gone any better, the sandy bottom and the slack made it really easy for us. When we got to the dock we worked on rigging up the mast and the shrouds, not a bad job for our first time, but we'll have our neighbour come and have a look before we set sail. There are a few options for launching a boat on Gabriola, there is a place at the end of Gray Road (Degnen Bay), a small boat launch at Twin Beaches (Gabriola Sands), and you can also arrange it at Silva Bay for a small fee. With all the outer islands in such close proximity, Gabriola is the perfect place to begin your explorations at sea.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gabriola Families go camping in Lake Cowichan

On Monday 12 families from Gabriola loaded up their coolers, tents, boats and kids and headed down to the group campsite at the Gordon Bay Provincial Park in Lake Cowichan. With 21 kids with us, we had a lot of activity on the beach and at the campsite. This was our third annual group camping trip. On the first night we usually do a pot-luck dinner, a great feast after the work of setting up camp. The group campsite is perfect, it has a large clearing, a covered area, electricity, hot and cold running water, outhouses and even a wood stove. We managed to get in lots of beach time, a few campfires, visiting with our friends, a bit of kayaking and some windsurfing. I left to come back to work on Gabriola Wednesday morning, and the commute was great. I had packed up and hit the road by 7:15, caught the 8:15 ferry from Nanaimo to Gabriola and was in my door by 9am. Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Changes on Gabriola: Folklife Village

We've just brought a new service to the Folklife Village, Coast Realty is now supplying Free WIFI @ Folklife Village Mall on Gabriola Island.So now you can shop, sip and surf courtesy of Coast Realty (Gabriola Village) Ltd.
Another new change in the Folklife Village is the Gabriola Theatre Festival has just finished setting up next door to our office and are there to give you information about the upcoming festival :

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"STAMP" Art Show opens THURSDAY June 30

Join us this thursday at the Artworks annual object show. Each year Artworks gives out 30 "objects" as a starting off point for artists working in various mediums, every year the pieces are vibrant, stunning and diverse. It's amazing to see the way that 30 people view the same object in such unique ways. The show opens at 7pm @ Artworks (on Gabriola) this Thursdsay June 30. The three Lynch gals have all done a piece for this years show "STAMP" and we hope to see you there! Submitted by : Tina Lynch.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

LasQuirkus Circus sets the stage on Gabriola

Well, my night definitely didn't go as planned. I set off for a quick jog after work and came across neighbours that we're all driving past headed for the Circus. I felt a little guilty about not taking the kids, so when I got back to my house at seven, i said to my husband should i take them to the c-i-r-c-u-s, the circus my daughter yelled and off we went. We arrived to a packed house and tonnes of entertainment, the troop consisted of stilters, clowns, ballerina's, giant puppets, jugglers, magicians, a fantastic band. They we're so engaging, hilarious and just tonnes of fun. I love attending these events and try to as often as I can, I think we're pretty lucky to have such great entertainment here and just want to support it any time I can. Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Thursday, May 26, 2011

7th Annual Tour de Gabriola Bike Ride

Be A Part of History... The seventh Tour de Gabriola Bike Ride will be held on Sunday, May 29th.

We have had the opportunity to particpate in this great & very worthwhile event, & the organizers do a fantastic job. It's a great day for a family ride; we braved the entire island with my neice & nephew who were only 2&4 at the time. I was greatful for having the double bike with Bianca, my niece who peddled the whole way around the island (making my cruising very easy).

The clinic benefits all generations and participation in the Tour de Gabriola should reflect that. The Twin Beaches to Orlebar Point circuit is ideal for families with young and old riders and those who might wish to walk or run. The traditional ride around the island is a little more of a challenge, but we know kids as young as 8 years old who have accomplished this. But, you don’t need to ride, you may sponsor a rider, make a donation or ride a horse -- use your imagination. In years to come, when you look at the clinic, you will know that you were part of history.

On Saturday, June 4th, the groundbreaking ceremony for Gabriola’s permanent clinic will be held. All Gabriolans can be considered owners of this facility; it has been a community facility from the beginning. This proud effort has been fueled by various fundraising events, it has not increased taxes and receives more benefits from our tax dollars because of VIHA participation. Knowing that you don’t need to take the ferry immediately in an emergency helps ease the stress and prepares the way for appropriate action. In many cases, Gabriolans now receive much of their health care without leaving the island.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gabriola - Enjoying the Waterfront

It was a gorgeous day on the Island yesterday. I started my day by watching the calm water in front of parents home in the Twin Beach area on Gabriola Island. This is a great spot to go in the evenings, with the smooth sandstone shoreline set against the vibrant sunsets. I only got to look at the view for a few minutes before my day got busy with work, but it was enough just enough time to soak in the beautiful surroundings and get recharged, and a great day to show waterfront homes. Wouldn't you like to live here ?
Submitted by: Tina Lynch.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Animal Magnetism- Gabriola ART Fundraiser for GROWLS

There are so many amazing groups and organizations on this Island that really create the community that we all love and want to be part of. One of the groups that I find amazing is GROWLS (Gabriola Rescue of Wildlife Society), take them and team them up with Feedlot Studios and Sylvie Milman and you have a powerhouse team on your hands. I've been watching them as they energetically gather artists and create a fundraiser called "Animal Magnetism", it's a salon style show to help them raise awareness for GROWLS. The show will run from June 11-30 at Feedlot Studios, 800 Valli place. GROWLS is a registered non-profit society whose mandate is the rescue of ill, injured or otherwise disabled wildlife and the preservation of natural wildlife habitat on Gabriola. British Columbia. Their main role is to rescue and transport injured or sick animals to a veterinarian or one of the wildlife recovery facilities on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. They also visit the schools and educate to the youth about the wildlife on Gabriola and ways that they can help, even the worms after a rainfall.
Come check out the art at the opening on Saturday June 11th from 1-5 @ Feedlot Studios.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Peter and the Wolf on Gabriola

We are so pleased to have Mara Brenner on Gabriola, she's a fantastic dance teacher and great Pilate's instructor. Currently she's lining up all the dancers (I think about 45 of them) for an upcoming performance of Peter and the Wolf.

She's been busy with the costumes, props, set and teaching them all the steps. We are lucky enough that she is willing to put on two performances this Saturday, May 21 at the Pheonix Auditorium at the Haven, one at 1pm and the other at 5pm.

All the kids are so proud to try on their outfits and are anticipating their moment to shine on stage. The performance is 40 minutes long, the perfect length for those with even the shortest attention span. Entrance is by donation to the PHC.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sailing the seas around Gabriola Island

As someone that spent their time growing up on the Island, I've always had a strong connection to the ocean. Although, I've mainly enjoyed it from the shorelines, we would often use dinghy's, kayaks and boats to go "exploring". With a husband that is a fisherman, we then got into power boating and have done lots of fishing and prawning in the local waters.

My dad recently bought a 16 foot Nordica sailboat from a friend, which I thought would be great in the summer, the only problem is that I didn't have the slightest knowledge about "sailing". 4 girlfriends and myself decided we should find out more, so we hired a sailing instructor from Gabriola. We’re busy working our way through the reading material (Basic Cruising Skills) and set out for a day at sea this past Sunday. We left Degnen Bay at about 12 and sailed into the Nanaimo Harbour at about 4:30, under the direction of our patient instructor Oliver. Tonight it's a bit of theory work, then we have another 4 days of afloat sailing instruction.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Gabriola Ambulance Society…

Being on the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of the First Responder team for several years, I have had the opportunity to see the valuable services provided by the Gabriola Ambulance Society.

It’s comforting to know that when you are in a situation that causes you to place a “911” call that your membership covers benefits such as equipment loans, reimbursement for ambulance user fees & some home assistance, as it’s one less thing to think about.

The annual fee of $35.00 covers up to a family of five for a calendar year, and is available to all permanent resident of Gabriola Island & Mudge as well as season residents who are property owners of this area.

In addition to the three main benefits, the Society also provides a $2,000 scholarship annually to a School District 68 student entering into the medical field.. As well it helps support; local doctors, emergency services and hospitals by donating funds and equipment and provides a 50% subsidy for registration for first aid training offered by the Recreation Commission on Gabriola.

If you haven’t become a member, but are interested, the application form can be found online at: . The membership fee must have been paid a minimum of two weeks prior to the use of any service for which a subsequent reimbursement is requested .

We are fortunate on the Island to have such an extremely valuable Society!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter on Gabriola Island

The Easter Bunny has already been around and made his deliveries on Gabriola, the kids have found all the packages of seeds he hid for them and we've just finished dying a batch of hard boiled eggs. Now we have just enough time to visit a friend for lunch before we go to the Commons for the free community Easter egg hunt that starts at 1. Hundreds of kids will come with baskets in hand and will carefully search the grounds for thousands of pieces of candies. The Easter Egg hunt is sponsored by the Gabriola Rod, Gun & Conservation Club.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Coast Realty's Spring Conference

Every year Coast Realty Group hosts a spring conference that is open for the Real Estate Representatives throughout our 12 offices. We enjoy the day, it usually starts with a market update from each location, and then some information from a mortgage broker and an update from our web site staff. It's a great time to connect with other sales representatives in our company and share information on technology and the market. This year our guest speaker was Stephen Jagger, an informative speaker and the writer of "sociable" a book about online marketing tools. Randi, Tina and I were pleased to be the number 2 team in our whole company (of 250 sales representatives) for 2010, and find ourselves surrounded with a great group of Real Estate Representatives from Ladysmith to Powell River. Of course, we wouldn't have made it to number two without the great network of friends, family and clients that we have. Thank You !

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring into ART on Gabriola!

The Gabriola Arts Council is offering a fantastic opportunity to "try out" some art classes during the weekend of April 9 &10th, 2011. There are a variety of classes to choose from, if you want to make fairy wings, learn acrylics, ballroom dance, try out watercolors or acrylics, juggle, make masks or felt with your child. Check the local Sounder for a list of the events and times, then head on up to the Coffee Bar at Artworks to sign up. Many of the courses are offered either for free or at a nominal cost (I didn't see any over $15), and are taught by our local artists. Last year, I signed up for the two day course with Karen Aaker for the introduction to Mosaic, it got me hooked and shortly after I signed up for one of her courses. During the course that I did with her, I made this fish backdrop for my husband and let me tell you, I really learned how much work goes into mosaics and that they are worth every penny they cost.
It's a great way to spend the weekend, one of the keys to happiness is to learn something new, why not give it a go next weekend.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BC Ferries Coast Saver Spring Break Savings

If you are looking for a Spring Break Activity, consider a trip to come and explore Gabriola Island… During the second week of Spring Break BC Ferries is offering reduced fares from the mainland to Vancouver Island, so there’s no better time.

From March 22nd, 2011 - March 31st, 2011: CoastSaver fares of $39.95 one way for a car and driver will be in effect on all scheduled sailings, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Adult passengers pay just $9.95.

Coast Saver spring break savings fares apply to all passenger vehicles (up to 20' in length) fare types (including motorcycles) and are available on the following routes in both directions:

* Tsawwassen(Vancouver)-Swartz Bay(Victoria)

* Horseshoe Bay(Vancouver)-Departure Bay(Nanaimo)

* Tsawwassen(Vancouver)-Duke Point(Nanaimo)

There’s even more savings when you book a March Break Getaway through BC Ferries Vacation and receive a FREE room upgrade with a minimum 2-night stay when you travel on a CoastSaver day.

For more information, visit or call 1 888 BC FERRY (1 888 223 3779). Hope to see you on the Island…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Launching Gabriola's Newest Website...

With over 90% of Buyers starting their home search online, we have made a commitment to provide service to our clients that is beyond expectation, and constantly work to grow & improve our technologies. Complimenting our existing websites, we recognized the need for a buyer-centric dedicated website.

For the past year we’ve been working with web designers & leaders to create a new state of the art website, to make house hunting on Gabriola even easier…

This new website compliments our current website, as well as our Gabriola Waterfront & Ocean View website: . We would like to thank all of our current and past clientele for their continued support, and look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.

If you have any ideas on ways to make your experience online further enhanced, please email us, as we are constantly looking to enhance the experience…

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Federation of Canadian Artists

The Federation of Canadian Artists offers something for everyone, whether you're an art supporter or an artist interested in developing your skills. There are four types of membership available through the Federation and currently there are over 2000 members. The Federation of Canadian Artists hosts an annual conference on Gabriola Island, this years conference will be held September 12-18 2011 at the beautiful Haven Resort. Here's what they say about the event on their site "It's the perfect combination of inspiration and rejuvenation. The Gabriola Workshop 2011 - the 3nd Annual Artist's Haven is comprised of some of North America's most recognized artists nestled on the picturesque island of Gabriola off Canada's Pacific West Coast."

If you're not a member yet, you may want to look into into it, visit the Federation website for more information. I just received my active status today and I'm looking forward to joining the Nanaimo Chapter soon.
Submitted by: Tina Lynch

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Atworks - Just in time for Valentines

The annual Erotica show opens up this Thursday on Feb 3 at 7pm at Artworks in the Folklife Village on Gabriola. It's always a bit of a risque show with lots of on the edge art and its all about Valentines. You'll see some racy art, lots of skin and may want to partake in the wine tasting going on. It's a good time, they do warn that parental discretion is advised (I"d have to agree). If you get a chance to go, check out my piece "she liked to play dress up", she's the first doll I've made and she's ready for some fun.

Submitted by : Tina Lynch

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gabriola Treasures!

I love going for walks on the beach anytime, in the rain or sun, although sunshine is preferred. A neighbour and I went down with the kids last week and it was beautiful. Not only did we get some fresh air, the kids got to run free and explore the beach, but I also found this beautiful door. I was so excited, as were the kids with the shells and rocks they found. I took it home to enjoy and just love the worn colours and the anchor, now I'm waiting to decide what to create with it although I may just hang it up as it is, the perfect little beach treasure. Posted by Tina Lynch.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow and wind in the Gulf Islands

We were watching the weather forecast closely yesterday as we braced ourselves for snow. The kids we're delighted when they saw that the schools in School District 68 would not be open today, although they promise me they do love school. My daughter made a snowman with my parents, while my son and I studied the branch that lodged itself half way through our metal gutter- thankfully stopping before the window. I'm about to get some rest, the crashing branches, high winds and dropping wet snow kept me on my toes through the night.
Posted by Tina Lynch

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

BC Assessment Notices

BC Assessments are online now for 2011 until 15 March you will be able to search your address as well as those of your neighbors at:, a hard copy will be following in the mail. Recent sales information is also available.

If you think your assessment does not represent the value of your property as of 1 July 2010 you have until 31 January to file an appeal – more information on the appeals process can be found online at: .

There is also an excellent map available online which shows the estimated increase or decrease in market value (by %) between the 2010 & 2011 Assessment Rolls. This comparison reflects market movement for both residential and business and other property classes, and can be accessed at - while it doesn’t break out Gabriola specifically it gives a general idea of Central Vancouver Island.

It’s important to note that the assessments may not always match the market, so while this may act as a guide as to property values, it is still recommended speaking to a REALTOR® to get local up to date information on current market conditions.