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About Gabriola Island

The Gulf Islands lie between the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and the inside coast of Vancouver Island, favoured by a Mediteranean climate of dry summers, mild winters with less rainfall than the coast and little snow, and a long spring season, often beginning in February. Rural in nature, the Islands have been protected by legislation in order to preserve their natural environment for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
A twenty-minute ride from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Gabriola retains its native charm, with abundant wildlife co-existing with a year-round population of about 5,000 people, including descendants of 19th century settlers side by side with urban refugees in search of a place where community still means you can leave your doors and your car unlocked. The community has become known as the Isle of the Arts, home to first-class artists in almost every discipline, from jewellery to woodcarving, pottery to painting, where professional performers present everything from comedy to Shakespeare, musicians play everything from classical to folk, and writers and illustrators produce work in every genre - fiction and nonfiction, romance, mystery, children's books, spoken word and haiku.

And by the way, locals call it Gay-bree-ola, not Gah-bri-ola. Any way you say it, it's one of the isles of the blessed.

Services and Entertainment

Gabriola has almost everything you will need for a short or a long stay: a variety of restaurants, coffee houses and pubs, liquour outlets and bakeries, full service grocery stores and a Saturday farmers' market from the end of May to the beginning of October. We have a high speed web service outlet and sophisticated copying services, a library and a bookstore. Courier services deliver every weekday to the island, and public fax facilities are available six days a week.

In the village, there are medical and dental services as well as a pharmacy, and alternative therapists have established practices in naturopathy, homeopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, psychological counselling and tarot readings. A full-service branch of a credit union is open five days a week, and ATM outlets can be found in various locations. And yes, you can shop to your heart's content for clothing, gifts, and real estate.

If you choose to bring a companion or your family with you to holiday while you write, there is plenty to interest them at any time of year. You can rent bicycles, mopeds and cars as well as kayaks and horses. There's a golf course, tennis courts, a skateboarding park, birdwatching trails, fishing and dive charters. Public access to beautiful sandstone beaches provide endless hours of exploration, swimming and beachcombing, sandcastle building or peaceful contemplation. Yoga classes continue year round, and a gym with private coaching is located near the village. Video and DVD rental outlets provide a reasonable selection of new and old movies.

The community is known as The Isle of the Arts - there are top quality artists in almost every discipline, from jewellery to woodcarving, pottery to painting, musicians playing everything from classical to folk, and writers in every genre, romance, mystery, children's books, fiction and nonfiction, spoken word and haiku. with an annual gallery and studio tour over the Thanksgiving weekend, frequently rotating exhibitons of local artists at Gabriola Artworks in the village, the Gabriola Poetry Festival in the fall and the Dancing Man Music Festival in the spring, frequent theatrical presentations with resident and visiting performers in the studio at the Gabriola C.E.N.T.R.E., the Phoenix Theatre at the Haven, and various venues around the island. And for really old art, you can explore the petroglyph sites, either in situ or at the Gabriola Museum.

For current information on events and services, visit the community newspaper Gabriola Sounder.
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This page copyright © 2007, Patricia Ludwick
1890 Starfish Place
Gabriola Island, BC
Canada V0R 1X6
Phone: 250-247-8990

E-mail: writershaven AT uniserve DOT com

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Last revision: October 2007